DePauw Women’s Basketball concluded their impressive season on Saturday, March 2 against Hope College in the NCAA tournament. The Tigers were looking dominant heading into the tournament, defeating Wooster, Denison, and Ohio Wesleyan to win the NCAC, earning their spot in the NCAA tournament.

DePauw was matched up against Berea in the first round, where the Tigers took a 22 point victory, winning 74-52. Offensively, the team operated like a well oiled machine, routinely getting and making open shots. While no single player stuck out, the team’s passing, rebounding, and three-point shooting did, where they tallied 19 assisted buckets to Berea’s seven, pulled down 16 more rebounds, and knocked down an impressive 8/15 three-point opportunities. 

The strong point for the Tigers was their play on the defensive end. Forwards Lydia Stullken ‘24 and Olivia Hart ‘27 had a block party in the paint, denying six attempts from their paint threats, forcing Berea into a jump-shooting gameplan. DePauw also combined for 8 steals. With stellar play on both ends of the floor, the Tigers coasted into a dominant win. 

Following their victory against Berea, DePauw faced a tough game against Hope College, where their season ended in a 55-70 loss. Hope took the lead early and never lost it. The game saw some momentum shifts throughout and made for a competitive match. DePauw experienced hiccups at the end of the first quarter, where Hope jumped into the passing lanes for easy points off turnovers. DePauw’s offense was limited by Hope’s gameplan, limiting their three-point shooting. 

DePauw made their presence felt through some gutsy plays. Guard Ava Hassel ‘25 drained multiple contested three-pointers to lead the team with 13 points; Hart completed a tough and one play to finish a point short of a double-double; and Forward Lyla Barr ‘25 scored off of a backdoor cut to give DePauw some highlight plays in a difficult game.

DePauw’s undoing ultimately came down to untimely turnovers and their inability to draw fouls. While the Tigers played good defense and forced turnovers, Hassel stole the ball three times— the free-throw difference hurt the Tigers, finishing with 12 fewer free throws than Hope. Hope’s tough shot-making in the midgame didn’t help either. Despite the loss, DePauw wrapped up its season as champions of the NCAC and as victors in the NCAA tournament, which they hope to replicate next season.