HOLLAND, Mich. -- An early tournament showdown between last year's national finalists was assured Friday as both Hope and Washington-St. Louis won their first-round game in NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament being held at Hope's DeVos Fieldhouse. The defending national champion Washington U. Bears won the night's opener against previously undefeated Denison 71-55 and Hope followed with a 77-65 victory agianst DePauw.

Hope led by six points at halftime, 39-33. DePauw scored the first two points of the second half, but Hope responded with an eight-point run and expanded it to a 21-point lead, 58-37, just six minutes into the second half.

The Flying Dutch (27-2) balanced its perimeter shooting with its post-up game. Hope ended with 10 3-point baskets and shot 54 percent overall while taking only 46 shots in the game.

Senior All-American Carrie Snikkers led the Dutch with 21 points while Liz Ellis followed with 16 points and Erika Bruinsma added 12.