Gators Drop First Conference Game of the Year to No. 9 DePauw

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MEADVILLE, Pa. – The Allegheny women's basketball team played tough, but the No. 9 DePauw Tigers were just too much for the Gators to handle, as Allegheny dropped their first conference game of the season 75-59.

After a disappointing loss in their first game after break, Allegheny looked to bounce back against one of the nation's perennial powers. The first half was a stark contrast to the Carnegie Mellon contest, as Allegheny would start the game shooting the ball extremely well. Lead by sophomore Erica Restich, the Gators would knock down an impressive 45.8 percent of their shots, including going 3-6 from the line.

However, the Tigers would shot even better, shooting 51.6 percent from the field, including 4-8 from downtown. The biggest factor in the first half was DePauw's dominance on the glass. When the Tigers did miss, they would consistently grab offensive rebounds and capitalize on the second half chances. At the half, DePauw would hold an 18-11 edge in the rebounding department, with seven of them coming in the offensive end.

Allegheny would go into the half trailing 27-41, but despite the 14 point deficit, the Gators felt that they were within reach of completing yet another comeback.

That feeling seemed to diminish early on in the second half, when the Tigers showed exactly why they are ranked top 10 in the country. Less than five minutes into the second stanza DePauw had increased its lead to 26, while holding Allegheny to just one bucket on five shots.

It seemed as if the Tigers had taken control, when the Gators would slowly start to climb back. With hard-nosed defense, and lights out shooting Allegheny would cut the lead to 16 on several occasions. The DePauw lead would hover around 16-19 points for the majority of the half, until with less than three minutes to go the Gators would mount a run of their own.

DePauw would regain a 21 point lead, but sparked by a three from Freshman Kendall Hoffman and the gritty play of freshman guard Maria Bozzo, the Gators would go on a 10-0 run cutting the lead to just 11. Unfortunately that would be as close as Allegheny would get as the offensive rebounding of the Tigers would be too much to handle.

The Gators would hold DePauw to just 29 percent shooting from the floor; however, they would grab 14 offensive rebounds in the second half, which would turn into 20 second chance points. The Tigers would end the game out-rebounding the Gators 44-24.

In the loss, Allegheny shot very well, going 25-53 from the floor while also going 5-5 from the line. Restich led all scorers with 20 points, while juniors Daryl Ford and Heidi Goeller chipped in with a combined 26 points and eight boards. Bozzo played a crucial 12 minutes off the bench in the second half, scoring a career-high four points and dishing out two assists.

The Gators will be right back at it, as they will host the Tigers of Wittenberg tomorrow. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:00 pm.