Greencastle, Ind. - Twelfth-ranked DePauw held off a late Oberlin charge and advanced to the North Coast Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Tournament title game with a 58-54 semifinal win over visiting Oberlin.
The Tigers improved to 25-2, while Oberlin finished its season at 13-14. DePauw faces Denison in Saturday's 4 p.m. championship after the Big Red topped Kenyon, 51-42.
DePauw held a 17-15 lead early in the second period before going on a 10-1 run to push the lead to 11. The Tigers led 33-23 at the intermission.
During the third, DePauw pushed the margin back to 13 before Oberlin trimmed it to 45-38 after three. Taylor Howard's two free throws with 3:58 left in the game gave the Tigers a 53-43 lead.
Alex Stipano responded with a three for Oberlin and then added a free throw to cut the lead to 53-47. Maya Howard's jumper in the paint with 2:06 left made it 55-47 before Stipano followed with a layup.
Stipano's layup with 16 seconds left closed the gap to 55-51 before Emily Budde hit one of two free throws a second later to make it 56-51. Stipano's three-pointer with eight seconds left bounced off the rim a couple of times before dropping in and cutting the Tigers' lead to 56-54.
Budde wrapped up the game by hitting a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining.
Budde led DePauw with a season-high 18 points off the bench, while Sydney Kopp followed with 10. Stipano led the Yeowomen with a game-high 20 including 13 in the fourth quarter. Olivia Canning followed with 15 points and six blocks.
DePauw held a 39-36 edge on the boards as Claire Ryan grabbed seven. Abby Andrews and Tyler Parlor each hauled down seven for the Yeowomen. Sarah Thompson led Oberlin with eight assists, while Maya Howard has three for DePauw.
DePauw shot 36.5 percent from the floor to Oberlin's 41.4 percent.