Greencastle, Ind. - DePauw held off second-half charges from visiting Ohio Wesleyan and the Tigers topped the Battling Bishops, 74-69, at Neal Fieldhouse on Senior Day.
The Tigers, ranked seventh in the latest coaches' poll and eighth by D3hoops.com, improved to 23-1 overall with their 20th straight win and finished with a perfect 16-0 North Coast Athletic Conference record for the third time in four seasons. The Battling Bishops dropped to 13-12 overall and 9-7 in conference play.
DePauw, the NCAC regular season champion for the fourth straight year, opens NCAC Tournament play on Tuesday, February 24. The bracket will be released on Sunday after all conference competition has concluded.
Ohio Wesleyan held a couple of three-point leads in the first half and were still ahead, 15-13, with 7:46 left in the half.
Abby Keller's three-point play and Savannah Trees' three-pointer kick-started the Tigers who scored 15 straight points to grab a 28-15 advantage with 3:49 remaining in the half. DePauw headed to the break with a 34-26 lead.
The Battling Bishops closed to within one at 44-43 at the 12:48 mark, but DePauw scored the next eight. With 6:45 left Ohio Wesleyan again trimmed the DePauw lead to one on LaNiece McRae's layup. DePauw's Lauren Abendroth countered with a three and Hannah Douglas followed with a layup.
DePauw stretched the gap to as many as nine points at 69-60 with 3:24 left and the guests rallied with six straight points to trail 69-66 with 1:38 left.
Trees knocked in a jumper with 1:11 remaining and the Bishops turned it over on their next possession. Douglas was fouled after rebounding her own miss and added a free throw with 25 seconds left to make it 72-66.
Taylor Dickson nailed a three with five seconds remaining, but Trees was fouled and canned both free throws for the final five-point margin.
Abendroth led the Tigers with 13 followed by Douglas with 12, Trees with 11 and Keller with 10.Keller added eight rebounds, while Trees dished out six assists.
Kristin Henning had a game-high 14 for the Bishops, while McRae had 13 with a team-high six rebounds. McQuade and Megan Kuether each scored 11 with McQuade handing out seven assists.
DePauw shot 45.9 percent for the game to Ohio Wesleyan's 49.0 percent. The Bishops shot 57.1 percent in the second half. The Tigers had a slim 29-28 edge on the boards and committed just 10 turnovers and held a 17-9 advantage in points off of turnovers.
NOTES: With her 11 points, Trees moved into second place on DePauw's all-time scoring list with 1,385 points. Amy Argetsinger (2001-05) is the all-time leader with 1,447 . . . the victory was the Tigers' 66th straight regular season home win and they finished the year with a 95-game win streak in home conference games ... DePauw's five seniors improved to 114-5 which is the best record of any current Division III senior class.