GREENCASTLE, Ind. -- Denison women's basketball suffered a 58-50 loss at No. 19 DePauw University on Wednesday evening at the Neil Fieldhouse in Greencastle, Ind. The loss dropped the Big Red to 15-8 overall and 11-4 in the North Coast Athletic Conference. With the win, the nationally-ranked Tigers improved to 20-4 on the year and 14-1 in conference play.
Despite a 12-11 Denison lead after the first quarter and a two-point advantage with 2:19 remaining until halftime, the Tigers went 17-of-22 from the charity stripe and finished the game on an 11-6 scoring run to hold off the Big Red in the final four minutes of action.
Trailing 42-37 entering the final quarter, Denison fell behind by eight after Maya Howard buried a three at the 7:55 mark. Less than two minutes later, Sydney MacBlane brought the Big Red deficit to five, 45-40, when she connected from the perimeter with 6:18 to play.
After Claire Keefe and Zyah Beal traded a pair of layups, the Big Red continued to chip away at the Tiger advantage when Lauren Hofer accepted a pass from senior Valesha Province and laid it in trim their deficit at three, 47-44, with 4:18 remaining.
Despite Denison's momentum, DePauw rattled off a 7-0 scoring run over the next three minutes of action that put DU behind 54-44.
Province and Lily Morris buried a pair of threes for Denison's final six points of the game, but four straight free throws from Howard put the game away and handed the Big Red their fourth conference loss of the season.
Morris led the Big Red with a career-high nine points on 3-of-5 shooting from three in 14 minutes of action. Lauren Longbrake added eight points and seven rebounds, while Province chipped in eight points and five boards. Hofer and Beal combined for 16 points and four rebounds.
DePauw was led by Howard's 21 points on 6-of-19 from the floor and 8-of-9 at the line. Sydney Kopp posted a double-double on 14 points and 10 rebounds, which includes four assists. Hayley Cange added seven points and seven rebounds. Keefe, Cange, and Kopp combined for 25 of DePauw's 43 team rebounds.
The Big Red will return to action this Saturday, Feb. 16 when they round out the regular season with a trip to Delaware to take on Ohio Wesleyan at 1 p.m.