OBERLIN, Ohio -- Behind Alex Stipano's career-high 30 points, the Yeowomen eliminated the Big Red from the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday night following a 66-52 defeat of Denison at Philips Gymnasium.
Despite seven first-quarter points from sophomore Alison Schafer to give the Big Red a 16-13 lead at the end of the frame, the Yeowomen recorded 10 of the first 12 points in the second quarter to take a 23-18 lead with 2:48 remaining until the half.
At the 2:23 mark, senior Brittany Atkinson countered a Stipano three with a jumper to cut the Denison deficit to three, 23-20, but consecutive buckets from Oberlin's Jasmine Sorrells and Ally Driscoll put the Yeowomen ahead 27-20 entering intermission. DU ended the quarter going 1-for-13 from the field including four turnovers.
To open the second half, DU's Lauren Hofer connected on a pair at the charity stripe before Valesha Province buried a shot from the perimeter to bring Denison within eight, 33-25. However, Olivia Canning kept OC ahead by double digits after she scored 10 of Oberlin's first 11 points of the third to give the Yeowomen a 38-25 advantage less than four minutes into the quarter.
Both sides recorded their best point-totals of the night in the third period (Oberlin 25, Denison 19), but it was three 3-pointers in the third from Stipano that put the Big Red behind 52-39 entering the final frame.
In the fourth, Oberlin totaled 42-percent from the field and held Denison to 4-of-18 shooting to go up by as many as 14 points in the final 10 minutes of play. With 4:14 remaining in the game, Atkinson cashed in from the perimeter, and following a Yeowomen turnover, she logged both of her free throws to cut the DU deficit back to nine, 59-50.
On the next possession, Stipano landed a three-point play off a Denison foul to go back up by double digits and eliminate the Big Red from the NCAC quarterfinals for the first time since 2013 when they lost to Wittenberg University, 69-65, on Feb. 19.
To compliment her 30-point effort, Stipano added five assists and three rebounds on the night. Canning contributed 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting, while Sorrells led the Oberlin bench with five points.
The Big Red were led by Schafer's 17 points, five rebounds and three assists. Atkinson chipped in 15 points, while Province and Lauren Turner chipped in a combined eight points off the bench.
Denison finished their season with an overall record of 12-14, including a 7-9 mark in the conference.