Stevens Point, Wis. - DePauw trimmed a 10-point deficit to one late in the third quarter, but a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Wisconsin-Stevens Point started the hosts on a 7-0 run that eventually led to a 65-50 win over the Tigers in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Championship.
DePauw finished its season at 22-7, while the Pointers improved to 21-7 and will face George Fox tomorrow night after the Bruins topped St. Norbert in the evening's opening game, 64-54.
The Poianters led by as many as eight at 15-7 in the opening quarter before DePauw held the hosts scoreless for 7:44 while scoring eight and knotting the score at 15-15 with 7:38 left in the opening half.
UW-Stevens Point scored the next seven and still held a seven-point lead before Maya Howard converted a three-point play with 17 seconds left as DePauw trailed 26-22 at the intermission.
Opening the third on an 8-2 run, the Pointers took their largest lead at 34-24. The margin was still seven late in the third before Taylor Howard's bucket and a pair of layups by Claire Ryan trimmed the DePauw deficit to 41-40. UW-Stevens Point's Mickey Rowland beat the third-quarter buzzer and gave the Pointers a 44-40 lead after three.
The Pointers pushed the lead to 47-40 on Joann Wolfenberg's layup and a later free throw. After DePauw's Morgan Skordos hit one of two free throws with 7:01 left, the Tigers trailed 49-43. DePauw turned the ball over on three straight possessions, while Allie Miceli converted a layup and two free throws to push the lead to 53-43 with 5:15 remaining.
DePauw was still within eight at 57-49 after Ryan hit two free throws with 2:36 left, but Taylor Barrett countered with a layup that started an 8-1 game-ending run.
Maya Howard led DePauw with 14 points, while Skordos and Ryan each added 10. Abby Keller grabbed seven rebounds including five on the offensive boards.
Lauren Anklam paced the Pointers with 12 points, while Miceli followed with 10. Lexi Roland led with a game-high 11 rebounds and shared the assist lead with Anklam as each had five.
DePauw shot 32.2 percent from the floor with Stevens Point connecting on 47.2 percent. The Pointers outrebounded the Tigers, 39-32.