This past Saturday marked the start of another run at the NCAA Division III championship for women’s basketball, as they kicked off their regular season against Adrian.
While DePauw opened their season on the road, the team felt right at home, as the Tigers beat the Bulldogs 68-42.
Despite winning by over 20 points, DePauw was not able to pull away from Adrian during the first half of play, which many of the players accredited to nerves.
Nevertheless, the Tigers still managed to carry a four-point lead over Adrian into halftime.
The second half would be a different story, as DePauw took over completely, outscoring the Bulldogs 46-24.
“At halftime our seniors pulled us aside and talked to us about how we just need to keep our pace and play our game, which I believe everyone took to heart,” said junior Lex Gaumer. “It helped us refocus and we ended up having a phenomenal third and fourth quarter.”
Senior forward Abby Keller agreed, noting the change of play in the second half.
“I think in the second half we were able to slow the game down in our heads,” said Keller. “We were able to take a step back and play at the pace we wanted to play at and control the game.”
On offense, the Tigers were lead by Keller, who totaled 11 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double.
DePauw also received strong performances from sophomore and junior guards Emily Budde and Claire Ryan, who scored 13 and 11 points respectively.
While the program lost five seniors to graduation last year, the team is returning five this season in Keller, guard Jenna Stoner, forward/guard Morgan Skrdos, forward Angela Hacker and guard Colleen Connors.
“We are a different team this season and we are still building on our main points we have discussed to be successful,” said Ryan. “As Coach (Kris) Huffman says, 'If we are able to win hustle plays, make our free throws and play a one-on-one defense, we believe we will have a great year.'"
The Tigers return to play this Friday in Wilmington, Ohio, where the team will be taking on Franklin in the Fred Raizk Memorial Tournament. Tipoff is set for 8:00 p.m.