February 2, 2013

Denison earns key win at Hiram

The Big Red had four players score in double figures and shot 51 percent from the field in a 70-64 North Coast Athletic Conference win at Hiram on Saturday.

With the victory, Denison moves into a three-way tie with DePauw and Kenyon for fourth place in the conference standings with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

The two squads battled for the entire 20 minutes of the opening half.  With 32 seconds remaining in the half, the senior Dimonde Hale scored on an offensive put back to give Denison a nine-point lead, its largest of the half.  That tip-in moved Hale past former Big Red standout Lou Mitchell and into fourth place on the school's career scoring list.

Trailing 51-43 with 8:53 to play in the contest, the Terriers rattled off eight-straight points to tie the game for the fourth time.  After a Hale jumper put DU back on top, Hiram's Aaron Stefanov knocked down a triple to put the home team back in front for the first time since the 12:27-mark in the first half.

Denison quickly answered when sophomore Robby Weingart drilled a three-pointer of his own to regain the lead for the Big Red, 56-54.  The Weingart triple sparked an 11-2 run that gave DU an eight-point advantage.

Down 67-59, a triple and jumper by Stefanov on back-to-back possessions shrunk the Hiram deficit to three with 55 seconds to play.  However, a 3-for-4 performance at the charity stripe by Hale over the final 40 ticks secured the six-point victory.

The Big Red went 28-for-55 (.509) from the field, while the Terriers converted 37 percent (25-for-67) from the floor.  Hiram held a 41-36 edge on the glass.  DU outscored the Terriers in the paint (34-30) and got 20 points from its bench.

Hale recorded a double-double after logging 21 points and 10 rebounds.  The senior also notched three assists and two blocks.  Weingart finished with 12 points and seven boards.  The sophomore went 5-for-8 from the field and 2-for-3 from beyond the arc in 26 minutes.  Alex Longi chipped in 11 points, while rookie Darius White added 10 tallies.

Stefanov went 8-for-16 from the floor and 5-for-8 from 3-point range en route to a game-high 23 points.  Alan Sheppard chipped in 10 points, while Steve Zivoder pulled down eight rebounds.

Denison improves to 8-13 overall and 6-6 in the NCAC, while the Terriers fall to 10-11 and 4-8 in the conference.  The Big Red returns to the court on Wednesday when they host DePauw at 7:30 p.m.