Greencastle, Ind. – The Wittenberg women's basketball team has advanced to the NCAC Tournament Championship game with a 72-68 win over the host Tigers of DePauw University. This is Wittenberg's first win over the Tigers of DePauw in the NCAC Tournament and the first since 2002 when Wittenberg took a 69-64 decision. Wittenberg last earned a trip to the NCAC Tournament Championship game in 2014-15 when it was played in Greencastle, Ind., the Tigers left with the hardware that same weekend, picking up wins over Denison in OT along with finals win over Ohio Wesleyan. Wittenberg held a 33-27 lead over DePauw at the break, jumping out to an early 21-11 first quarter lead to start the game. Wittenberg had four players finish scoring in double figures with Alex Kiess, Sydney Mayle and Amanda Raber each tallied 15 points. Kristie Kalis was not far behind with 12 points of her own.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Wittenberg jumped out to an early 21-11 lead over DePauw, shooting 53 percent from the field through the first ten-minutes of action. The Wittenberg offense would flow through Mayle to start, recording seven points early on along with two assists. Kalis (7) and Raber (5) each would come off the bench for Wittenberg, providing 11 points off the bench early on with an assist each. Each team would find their stride moving forward, as Wittenberg would record a 33 percent clip from the field, before taking a 33-27 lead into the intermission. Holding the host Tigers to a 31 percent shooting average from the field through the first half, Wittenberg managed a 43 percent clip after two-quarters of action knocking down 5 of 11 attempts from beyond the arc. Wittenberg stormed out of the break outscoring DePauw 19-7. Mayle came out to add six points, two assists, a rebound and a blocked shot to her total in the third quarter. Senior Haley Dannemiller provided four points and eight rebounds, reeling in three boards in the first and third quarter. Kalis would add five points off the bench in the third quarter, converting on two of three attempts from the field adding a rebound and a steal. Shooting 54 percent in the third quarter and an even 50 percent in the fourth. Wittenberg was led by Kiess who tallied 10 of her 15 points during the final 10-minutes of play, converting on all eight attempts from the foul line. Freshman Delaney Williams would provide seven of her nine points on the night in the second half, adding four rebounds and four assists.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Wittenberg shot 46 percent from the field, converting on 38 percent from beyond the arc. The visiting Tigers of Wittenberg knocked down 22 of 26 attempts from the foul line. Wittenberg won the battle on the boards 37-35, as the points in the paints would finish locked at 16-16. Wittenberg created nine DePauw turnovers leading to 10 points on the evening. With the bench providing 29 points on the night, Wittenberg managed a lead of as many as 18 points.
FROM THE BENCH: "This was an amazing team effort all around. Our bench was amazing and full of energy tonight. Our team believed in each other and it showed. We are extremely excited and now need to be focused on tomorrow," said coach Kelly Mahlum.
UP NEXT: Wittenberg will return to action to take on Oberlin in the NCAC Championship game from DePauw University at 4:00 PM tomorrow.