GRANVILLE, Ohio-- Second-seeded Denison cruised to an 82-53 victory over seventh-seeded Hiram in the quarterfinals of the 2019 North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament on Tuesday night at Livingston Gymnasium.
Denison (17-8) enters the semifinals red-hot and winners of 13 of its last 15 games. They will face sixth-seeded Ohio Wesleyan on Friday at a time to be determined at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Top-seeded DePauw will serve as the host site for the semifinals and the championship game on Feb. 22-23 after defeating Allegheny in the quarterfinals.
A 25-point first quarter for the Big Red proved to be all Denison needed to dispatch the Terriers. Valesha Province got off to a strong start, scoring seven of her game-high 21 points in the opening period. Shonta Lockett snared five of her game-high nine rebounds in the quarter as DU entered the second period with a 25-13 lead.
The Terriers got to within 17 points of the lead early in the third, but Denison took back control, opening a 24-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
Province was one of four Denison players to reach double figures. Hofer followed with 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting. Zyah Beal and Schafer scored 11 apiece while Lauren Longbrake added seven points and nine rebounds.
Tashauna Wright led Hiram with 17 points and five rebounds in 34 minutes. Madison Branch followed with eight points. Hiram shot 34 percent from the field and was 3-of-17 from beyond the arc. Denison held a 45-29 advantage on the glass while outscoring the Terriers 36-18 in the paint.
This marks the fifth time in the last six seasons that the Big Red will play in the semifinals of the conference tournament. Their opponent, Ohio Wesleyan advanced to the semifinals by defeating third-seeded Kenyon, 63-52, in Gambier.
Start time for Friday's semifinal vs. Ohio Wesleyan will take place at 7 p.m.