Claire Keefe led all players with 20 points and three blocks, Sydney Kopp added 13 points and 10 rebounds, and DePauw University (Ind.) held on to defeat UW-Oshkosh, 60-55, in a matchup of nationally ranked women's basketball teams during the opening game of the Paul Knueppel Classic on Friday (Nov. 22) in Milwaukee.
DePauw University (4-0), ranked 10th in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, led by scores of 11-6 after the first quarter, 29-16 at intermission and 48-30 entering the final period until UW-Oshkosh closed to within 56-52 with 20 seconds remaining. Kopp buried a pair of free throws one second later to extend the Tigers' lead to 58-52. The Titans then missed a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, and DePauw University's Hayley Cange collected the rebound and hit two free throws for a 60-52 advantage with six seconds to go.
The Tigers, who avenged a 54-52 loss to UW-Oshkosh in the 2019 NCAA Oshkosh Regional championship game, has defeated three straight WIAC opponents after downing UW-Stevens Point, 66-61, Nov. 15 and UW-Whitewater, 70-69 in overtime, Nov. 16.
Seventeenth-ranked UW-Oshkosh (2-2) was held to 33.9 percent (20-59) shooting from the field and 26.3 percent (5-19) from 3-point range while converting 10 of 14 attempts (7.14 percent) at the free throw line. The Titans owned edges of 10-9 in assists, 10-16 in turnovers and 9-4 in steals.
Leah Porath led UW-Oshkosh with 14 points while Emily Miller had a career-high 11 points and five rebounds off the bench. Olivia Campbell contributed nine points to go along with team highs of six rebounds, six assists and two steals for the Titans.
DePauw University shot 40.8 percent (20-49) from the floor, 35.3 percent (6-17) from beyond the 3-point arc and 82.4 percent (14-17) from the foul line. The Tigers, the 2007 and 2013 national champions, produced advantages of 40-29 in rebounds and 5-1 in blocks.
The Tigers jumped out to a 7-0 lead at the 6:52 mark of the first quarter following a Keefe 3-pointer and layups from both Keefe and Kopp. The Titans cut their deficit to 7-4 after a 3-pointer by Miller, but DePauw University answered with seven of the next nine points for a 14-6 advantage early in the second period and led by at least four the rest of the way.
Trailing 55-42 with just under four minutes left, UW-Oshkosh responded with a 10-1 run to close within 56-52 on a Porath layup with 20 seconds remaining. The Titans' fourth quarter surge featured five points by Campbell, including a three-point play, ahead of Porath's layup. UW-Oshkosh had a chance to pull within one possession after a steal by Abby Kaiser, but Keefe answered with a steal of her own as the Tigers maintained a 55-50 lead with 46 seconds remaining.
Cange finished with 11 points and nine rebounds for DePauw University.
UW-Oshkosh plays Ohio Northern University in the Paul Knueppel Classic on Saturday (Nov. 23).