OWU to face Emory in NCAA first round


The Ohio Wesleyan University women’s basketball team will face Emory (Ga.) in a first-round game of the NCAA Division III tournament at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky., it was announced by the NCAA on Monday.

In the other first-round game on Friday, Transylvania will host Chatham (Pa.) at 8 p.m.. The advancing teams will meet in a second-round game at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Ohio Wesleyan (22-6) was an at-large selection to the NCAA Division III tournament.

The Battling Bishops shared the North Coast Athletic Conference championship with an 11-3 record, then finished as runner-up in the NCAC tournament, falling to DePauw by a 56-53 count on Saturday.

Ohio Wesleyan will be making its second consecutive and its eighth overall NCAA Division III playoff appearance. Last year, the Bishops lost to Gustavus Adolphus, 84-68, in the first round. Ohio Wesleyan finished third in the NCAA Division III tournament in the 2000-01 season.

Senior guard Kasey Schipfer leads the Bishops with averages of 20.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, leading the NCAC in the former and ranking third in the latter. Schipfer ranks 20th in NCAA Division III in scoring average and sixth in free throw percentage (.883). Schipfer was named to the All-NCAC tournament team.

Senior guard Lauren Denison averages 12.3 points per game, 10th in the NCAC, and leads the league in 3-point field goals (2.5/game) and 3-point field goal percentage (.374).

Junior post Alyssa Griner averages 11.4 points per game, 14th among NCAC players, and also was named to the All-NCAC tournament team. Freshman post Macy Miller averages 10.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, 16th and 10th respectively in the NCAC, and senior guard Elizabeth Homan leads NCAA Division III players in assists (194) and ranks second in the nation with an average of 6.9 assists per game.

Emory (19-6) was an at-large selection to the NCAA Division III tournament. The Eagles tied for third in the University Athletic Association championship race with a 9-5 record. Emory is making its sixth NCAA Division III playoff appearance and its second in a row. Last year, Emory lost to Millikin, 76-70, in a first-round matchup. Ohio Wesleyan and Emory have never met on the hardwood.

Guard Claire Brock, a graduate student, leads Emory with an average of 17.0 points per game and adds 5.1 rebounds per contest. Junior guard Daniella Aronsky adds 10.0 points per game and a team-leading 5.3 assists per outing. Junior forward Erin Martin leads the Eagles with an average of 5.5 rebounds per game.

Chatham (24-3) won the Presidents’ Athletic Conference tournament with an 77-50 decision over Geneva on Saturday. The Cougars were second in the PAC standings with an 18-2 record. Chatham is making its first-ever NCAA Division III playoff appearance. Ohio Wesleyan and Chatham have met twice on the basketball court, with the Bishops winning both meetings. The most recent meeting was during the 2016-17 season, when Ohio Wesleyan won by a score of 83-61.

Junior guard Ashlie Louden leads Chatham with an average of 14.7 points per game. Sophomore forward Alyssa Laukus follows with 10.7 points and a team-high 5.7 rebounds per contest. Junior guard Aurielle Brunner leads the Cougars with an average of 3.9 assists per game.

Transylvania (27-0) won the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament with a 74-46 win over Mount St. Joseph on Saturday. The Pioneers finished atop the HCAC standings at 18-0. Transylvania is making its ninth overall NCAA Division III playoff appearance and its fifth in a row (the 2021 NCAA Division III tournament was canceled).

Last year, Transylvania won the national championship, defeating Rhodes (58-45), Millikin (71-59), Ohio Northern (67-43), New York University (79-63), Smith (76-65), and Christopher Newport (57-52) on the tournament trail. Ohio Wesleyan and Transylvania have never met in women’s basketball.

Dasia Thornton leads Transylvania with averages of 14.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Kennedi Stacy averages 12.3 points per game. Sadie Wurth leads the Pioneers with an average of 4.7 assists per contest.

The advancing team from Saturday’s second-round game will compete in the third round and quarterfinals, scheduled to be played on March 8-9 on the campus of one of the competing institutions.

OWU Sports Information contributed to this report.

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