February 9, 2013

DU completes season sweep of Gators

The Big Red scored a season-high 90 points, with 23 coming from junior guard Alex Longi.  All of that resulted in a 90-75 victory over visiting Allegheny College on Saturday at Livingston Gym.

After suffering through a slow start in Wednesday's loss to DePauw, DU responded by jumping out to a 14-4 lead in the opening six minutes.  Longi set the tone early on with some baskets in the low post.  Longi and Dimonde Hale's inside presence opened up the outside shot and that's where Robby Weingart proved to be a factor off the bench.

Denison closed out the first half strong and led by seven at the break.  Longi scored 13 in the opening half, but Weingart was 3-of-5 from beyond the arc in his 12 minutes off the bench.

In the second half, Allegheny got the game to within four at 69-65 with 8:33 to play. Denison would respond with back-to-back 3-pointers from Briggs King and Jon Akpapunam that pushed DU's lead back out to double digits.  The Gators wouldn't go away and with 4:32 to play the North Coast Athletic Conference's leading scorer, Devone McLeod knocked down a 3-pointer that got his team to within seven points.

On Denison's next possession, Hale would find Brad Woolard down low for his ninth point of the contest.  After that triple by McLeod, Allegheny would convert one field goal over the final four and a half minutes.  That would allow Denison to build upon its lead at the free throw line and eventually come away with the 15-point win.

Longi's 23-point outburst was his second-highest point total of the season.  He was 9-for-13 from the floor and was 5-of-6 at the line.  He also added six rebounds and five assists.

Hale followed with 18 points off 8-of-13 shooting.  He pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds and tied Longi for the team lead in assists with five.

Weingart added 12 points in 19 minutes off the bench while Akpapunam also reached double-figures with 10 points in his 24 minutes.

Allegheny was led by McLeod's 17 points and five assists in 32 minutes.  Ryan Stanko scored 13 points off the bench and Brandon Smith also chipped in 10 points in his reserve role.

DU was 34-of-59 (.576) and were 9-for-19 from 3-point range (.474).  They also converted at an 87 percent clip from the charity stripe.  Allegheny shot 47 percent from the floor and were 7-for-20 from long range.  The Big Red held a +12 advantage on the glass (36-24).  This marked Denison's highest scoring output since Nov. 27, 2011 when they handed Capital University a 90-76 loss in Columbus.

Denison (9-14, 7-7 NCAC) will return to action on Wednesday when they travel to Kenyon College for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off against the Lords.  With the loss, Allegheny drops to 9-14 overall and 3-11 in conference play.