SPRINGFIELD, Ohio-- No. 25 Denison held Wittenberg to one made field goal in overtime. That would be enough to send the Big Red to a 72-68 win over the Tigers. The win moves Denison's 8-0 and 4-0 in the North Coast Athletic Conference marking the program's best start to a season since the Walter Livingston coached 1913-14 squad opened the season 11-0.
The game saw five lead changes and 10 tie game situations but the Big Red never trailed by more than three at any point.
With just under 14 minutes to play in the second half, Bret Woolard's 3-pointer gave Denison its biggest lead at 47-39. Jett Speelman followed with seven-straight points for the Big Red to maintain the eight-point lead. Wittenberg fired back with an 8-0 run, tying the game at 54-54 with six minutes to play.
Garrett Collier followed with a layup inside and after a pair of missed free throws by Wittenberg, Claude Chandonnet drilled his third triple of the game to put DU on tip 59-54. After the three, Speelman came up with a steal and turned it into a pair of made free throws. The senior has yet to miss a free throw attempt this season. After going 3-for-3 today, he is now a perfect 41-for-41 this season.
Leading by nine with three minutes left, Wittenberg had one last run in them and the duo of Shane Edwards and Jaelin Williams led the charge. Edwards scored twice in the paint and Williams knocked down a game-tying 3-pointer with under a minute to play. The Tigers had a chance to win the game in regulation but Ryan Gallimore's shot off an inbounds play at the buzzer was off the mark.
In overtime, Williams started things off with a 3-pointer, giving the Tigers their first lead since early in the second half. Denison's Matthew Bauer countered with a trey at the other end, tying the game at 66-66. The play of the game would come with 44 seconds left and the game tied at 67-67. That's when David Meurer drove the lane and scored in traffic. He also drew the foul and converted the free throw to put his team up three.
Wittenberg's Cody Phillippi split a pair of free throws and Meurer did the same for the Big Red. With 15 seconds left in overtime, Williams attempted a long 3-point attempt that failed to draw iron. The ball went out of bounds and Denison regained possession and was able to leave Springfield with the hard fought victory.
Speelman led DU with 16 points and five rebounds. Meurer followed with 14 points and three steals while going 4-of-9 from the floor. Chandonnet chipped in nine points off a 3-of-6 performance from beyond the arc. Bauer chipped in eight points and five boards while Devon Pitts added seven tallies and four steals.
Wittenberg was led by Edwards with 18 points and Williams added 14 off the bench. As a team, Denison shot 46 percent while the Tigers finished at 47 percent. The Big Red knocked down 12 3-pointers while Wittenberg connected on 6-of-19 from long range.
Denison will look to extend their winning streak to nine games on Wednesday when they take on Ohio Athletic Conference foe, Capital University at 7 p.m. in Bexley.