STEVENS POINT, Wis. — Illinois Wesleyan received a career-high 28 points from Olivia Lett and 23 points from Stacey Arlis in a 77-74 NCAA Division III tournament win against Coe on Friday. With the win, IWU moved into the round of eight set for Saturday evening.
Illinois Wesleyan, winners of 11 consecutive games, survived its closest margin of victory in a win this year and improved to 26-4. IWU will meet the winner of the game between host school Wisconsin-Stevens Point (27-2) and George Fox (24-5).
The sectional champion advances to the championship round of four, hosted for the second consecutive year by Illinois Wesleyan, on Friday-Saturday, March 18-19.
The Titans shot 43.3 percent from the field (26 of 60) and finished making 6 of 18 3-point field goal tries after going only 1 for 9 in the first half. IWU made 11 of 15 from the free throw line (73.3).
Coe shot 43.8 (28 of 64) from the field and made 8 of 21 (38.1) attempts from beyond the 3-point arc. The Kohawks, who received 19 points from Sarah Anciaux and 16 each from Kayla Lincoln and Kayla Waskow, made 10 of 15 free throws.
Illinois Wesleyan and Coe each had 34 rebounds and the Titans committed 18 turnovers to 16 for the Kohawks, whose season ends with a 26-4 record in their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.
IWU led throughout most of the first half until Coe scored the final nine points to take a 36-32 lead at intermission. Coe led 67-66 with 4:12 to play in the game before the Titans got consecutive 3-pointers from Lett to reclaim a five-point lead at 72-67 with 2:13 left.
The Kohawks closed to within one point twice down the stretch, including down 75-74 with 19 seconds remaining, but Lett made two foul shots to seal the win with 14 seconds remaining.