GREENCASTLE, IND. DePauw played tough, determined basketball to beat North Park 75-55 and gain its sixth straight victory.
All-America candidate Ryan Hooker (Sr., Rensselaer, Ind./Rensselaer Central) led the Tigers with 20 points. Fellow senior Matt Bowers (Granville, Ohio/Granville) had a career-high 11 rebounds, six of them on the offensive end, to go with his 12 points.
DePauw led 33-28 at halftime, and coming out of the locker room it looked like the Tigers were going to run away and hide as they raced to a 14-point lead with 17:30 to go in the Neal Fieldhouse contest. But North Park made a run and cut the score to 47-43 at the 10:45 mark.
It was then that Brad Stevens (So., Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville) came up big. He scored a three-pointer at 10:27, made a steal and had an assist on a Matt Gorrell (Sr., Beavercreek, Ohio/Beavercreek) layup to put the Tigers up 52-43 with 10:06 left. The Vikings never got closer as DePauw pulled away.
Stevens also had another assist and two rebounds in the sequence, finishing with 12 points in only 18 minutes of action.
Point guard Jason Kreag (Sr., Granger, Ind./Penn) chipped in with nine points, and Ryan Miller (Sr., LaPorte/LaPorte) had eight points and six rebounds.Miguel Tharpe had 17 points for the visiting Vikings. Kevin Terrell added 13.
DePauw begins conference play against Rose-Hulman at home on January 8.
Coincidentally, the 75-55 score was identical to the women's basketball team's final against Wartburg in the afternoon game.