Lords protect home court

Hale scored 21 points in Denison's loss to Kenyon on Wednesday.
Hale scored 21 points in Denison's loss to Kenyon on Wednesday.

Kenyon College opened the game on a tear, shooting 68 percent over the first 20 minutes of play.  The Lords cooled off in the second stanza, but its 21-point halftime lead would be enough to hold off the Big Red, 73-61 from Tomisch Arena in Gambier, Ohio.

In the first half the Lords seemingly could not miss as they went 19-for-28 from the field and were 5-of-7 from beyond the arc.  Meanwhile, DU struggled from the outside, shooting just 1-of-9 from 3-point range and Kenyon controlled the glass, outrebounding the Big Red 25-9 in the first half.

In the second half Denison started to chip away at the lead, finally cutting the Kenyon lead to 10 after a 3-pointer by Alex Longi with 1:53 to play.  Two free throws by Longi with 1:11 remaining got the lead to single digits but on Kenyon's next possession Julian Pavlin was fouled and he connected on both free throws, giving the Lords another 10-point lead.

Denison would continue to foul over the final minute, but Kenyon was rock-solid from the stripe, going 10-for-10 over the final five minutes of the contest, eventually setting the final at 73-61.

Longi led DU in the scoring column with 21 points off a 6-for-11 shooting performance.  He was 8-of-9 from the free throw line.  Dimonde Hale followed with 19 points and a team-high eight rebounds in 36 minutes.  DJ Bridges added eight points and four boards in 14 minutes off the bench.

Kenyon had four players score in double figures and was led by Pavlin's 17 points.  John Bray scored 13 points and Ikenna Nwadibia posted 12 points and 15 rebounds.  That marks a season-high in rebounds for Nwadibia.  It is also his fifth-straight game reaching double-digits on the glass.

DU falls to 9-15 overall and 7-8 in the North Coast Athletic Conference.  Kenyon improves to 14-10 overall and 8-7 in the NCAC.  The Big Red will close out the regular season on Saturday when they host Ohio Wesleyan at 3 p.m.