GRANVILLE, Ohio-- Winners of 13 of their last 15, Denison women's basketball enters the semifinal round of the 2019 North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament as one of the hottest teams in Division III basketball.
As the No. 2 seed, Denison will face No. 6 seed, Ohio Wesleyan on Friday at 7 p.m. at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Top-seeded DePauw will play fourth-seeded Wittenberg at 5 p.m.
Denison is 2-0 this season against Ohio Wesleyan. On January 5, Denison handed the Battling Bishops a 60-43 loss in Granville behind 14 points from Valesha Province. Last Saturday, in the Big Red's regular season finale in Delaware, Denison exited Branch Rickey Arena with a 61-50 win over OWU. Lauren Longbrake poured in a career-high 25 points to go along with 13 rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench.
Ohio Wesleyan advanced to the semifinals after a 63-52 win over Kenyon on Tuesday night in Gambier. Tia Karras scored 15 points and Claire Sterling added 12 rebounds in the win. Devin Hefner leads Ohio Wesleyan in scoring at 11.2 ppg but the first-year hasn't played since a 76-57 loss to Wittenberg on Feb. 6. Karras is second on the team in scoring at 11.1 ppg while Sterling follows at 10.6 ppg.
The Big Red is getting 11.2 ppg from Longbrake while Province and Schafer follow at 10.9 and 10.8 ppg, respectively. DU leads the NCAC in assists per game (16.6) and assist-turnover ratio (+1.1).
Denison is 38-26 (.594) all-time in NCAC Tournament play. Ohio Wesleyan is 45-28 (.616) in the conference's postseason tournament. The Big Red ranks second in the NCAC with seven conference tournament championships.
DePauw University will provide a free live video stream and live stats of both semifinal games and the championship on Saturday.