GREENCASTLE, IN – La Roche women's basketball (24-3) gave DePauw (30-0) all they could handle in the first half before falling to the nation's #1 team 73-43 in an NCAA Tournament First Round game. DePauw moves on to play Maryville who defeated Otterbein in the earlier game.
"I want to give credit to my team, playing with 7 or 8 girls all season and making the NCAA Tournament," said Coach Gissendanner. "DePauw is a great team and you can tell why they are the number one team in the nation. They are a big team and they did a great job on the boards."
The Lady Redhawks trailed 2-0 but used a 6-0 run to take control early. A strong defensive effort led the charge and the host Tigers were unable to break La Roche's full-court press. Jessica Pitts grabbed 4 big boards and Shataya White had 2 steals in the first 5 minutes. The Lady Redhawks fought toe to toe with DePauw throughout the first half, but as the half drew on, their height advantage and deep bench became evident.
White led La Roche with 8 first half points and Pitts pulled down 5 rebounds. The Lady Redhawks held DePauw scoreless beyond the arc and to just 36% from the field, but were outrebounded 28-16 including 13-6 on the offensive glass.
La Roche shot the ball well in the second half and scored 18 points in the paint including Pitt's 10 points.
Pitts led La Roche with 13 points and 6 rebounds and contributed a game-high 4 assists. White had another strong game with 11 points and 2 steals and Amanda Garland added 6 points and 4 boards. Casie Cygan had 5 points and Brianna Gibbs had 4 points in the loss.
The Lady Redhawks perimeter defense was fantastic holding DePauw to just 3 of 17 from three-point range, 21% below their season average. La Roche also turned the ball over just 14 times, 6 fewer times than what DePauw opponents averaged.
Pitts spoke about the Lady Redhawks' terrific season and highlighted next year's team as one that could be just as good.
"We came into the season with a short bench but we were able to overcome a lot of obstacles and win the AMCC Championship. We don't lose anybody so the outlook for next year is extremely bright. I'm excited to get back in the gym and work at making the tournament again next season."
La Roche women's basketball had a terrific season despite the loss. They set a school record for most wins in a season (24) to go along with their third consecutive AMCC Regular Season, Tournament Championship, and NCAA Tournament appearance.