GRANVILLE, Ohio – Seniors Lauren Longbrake and Lauren Hofer each posted 10 points as Denison women's basketball defeated Kenyon College 63-43 in the quarterfinals of the 2020 North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament on Tuesday evening in Granville. The Big Red (18-8, 11-5 NCAC) will now advance to the NCAC Tournament semifinals where they will play third-seeded Wittenberg in Greencastle, Ind. on Friday, Feb. 28.
Led by a 32-14 scoring advantage in the paint and 31 points from the DU bench, the Big Red responded to their one-point lead at the end of the first with a 16-9 scoring run in the second, highlighted by a pair of triples from Alison Schafer and four points from Hofer. Denison also collected four steals in the frame as they entered the break with a 27-19 advantage.
Coming out of the half, the Ladies took control through the first three minutes of the third quarter thanks to a 7-3 scoring run behind a five-point effort from Paige Matijasich. With 7:14 to play in the period, Zyah Beal connected from beyond the arc to extend the Denison lead to seven, 33-26, while Shonta Lockett followed with a layup on their next possession to put the Big Red in front, 35-26.
This turnaround would spark a 13-5 scoring run for Denison that saw Longbrake add four points and Lauren Turner and Kat Williams each bury a bucket. The Big Red carried a 43-31 lead into the final frame.
Outscoring Kenyon 20-12 in the fourth quarter, the Big Red pulled away in the final four minutes of action, thanks to 10 unanswered points from Schafer, Hofer, Beal, Lily Morris, and Addie Buzas. Denison advances to their second-straight NCAC semifinal with the win while Kenyon ends their season at 10-16.
Hofer and Longbrake added a combined 11 rebounds to their team-high 10 points each. Schafer and Beal each finished with eight points and Morris chipped in seven points off the bench. The Big Red landed 10 different players in the scoring column.
Matijasich led all scorers with 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting and chipped in seven rebounds and five assists. Grace Connery added eight points off the bench and Ellie Schaub recorded nine points and five rebounds.
Friday's matchup between Denison and Wittenberg is at a time to be determined in Greencastle, while semifinal host and top-seeded DePauw will host No. 4 Ohio Wesleyan in the other semifinal game.