In front of an electrified crowd at Livingston Gymnasium, the Big Red men's basketball put together a memorable performance to honor their 2014 Senior Class. In one of the most dominant performances in 14 years, Denison knocked off Wabash College, 92-57, on Saturday in Granville.
The 35-point win was the largest margin of victory since DU recorded a 37-point win over Oberlin on January 19, 2000. In addition, Saturday's Senior Day win marked the largest margin of victory under current Head Coach Bob Ghiloni.
Prior to the game, the Big Red honored their three senior members, DJ Bridges, Alex Longi and Ely Washauer. The recognition didn't just energize the crowd in Granville, it also ignited a fire on the Denison squad leading up to tip-off.
Longi and Bridges combined to score the first six points, before a 3-pointer by Briggs King made it a three-possession game four and a half minutes into the contest. King's triple was setup by a beautiful pass by the third senior, Washauer.
After a Little Giant layup ended the drought, sophomore Darius White gave the fans an early sign of things to come when he buried a three to give Denison its first double-digit lead of the day. Over the course of the next 6:19, White sank five-more triples accounting for 18 of the Big Red's first 36 points. First-year Matthew Bauer followed up White's sixth three with one of his own to give the home team a 39-13 lead with 5:17 to go in the first period. Denison eventually entered the locker room with a 48-28 halftime lead.
Wabash opened the second period with a pair of free throws to shrink the deficit to 18, but that was as close as the visiting team would come as a 17-6 run opened up a 29-point lead for DU. The Big Red maintained a 20-point advantage for almost the entire second half, including a 30-point lead over the final 7:12 of the contest.
Denison's largest lead came with just two minutes left in regulation when Washauer hit a circus shot in the lane as he drew a foul on Daniel Scofield. The senior's acrobatic bucket brought every DU fan to their feet. Washauer completed the old-fashioned three-point play before making his final exit from the game.
For the game, the Big Red knocked down 54.7 percent (35-for-64) from the field and hit 12-of-25 attempts from behind the arc (48 percent). On the flipside, the Denison defense held the Little Giants to a 34 percent clip from the floor and a 28.6 conversion rate from long range. DU committed a season-low tying seven turnovers and turned 16 Wabash giveaways into 31 points. Denison's bench also outscored the Little Giant reserves, 51-37.
White led all scorers with a career-high 22 points after going 8-for-9 from the floor and 6-for-7 from 3-point range. He also had two assists and two steals in 25 minutes off the bench. Longi had 16 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals, while King and Robby Weingart each chipped in 10 points. King also had six boards and two steals, while Weingart pulled down a team-best seven rebounds. As a group, the senior class accounted for 25 points and eight rebounds.
Andy Walsh led Wabash with 15 points in 23 minutes off the bench, while Houston Hodges dished out six assists.
With the win, Denison climbed over the .500 mark for the first time this season. DU sits at 12-11 overall and 8-8 in the North Coast Athletic Conference standings. The Little Giants fall to 8-14 and 7-9 in NCAC play. The Big Red returns to action next Wednesday when they host Hiram College at 8 p.m.