RIVERDALE, N.Y.-- No. 21 Denison scored the final 13 points of the game resulting in a 72-64 come from behind win over Mount Saint Vincent. Denison trailed 38-31 at the half but outscored the Dolphins 41-26 in the second half to lock up the victory.
For the second-straight day, the shots were not falling from the field for the Big Red but that didn't stop them from improving to 10-1 on the season. On this day, the free throw line is what led DU to victory.
Trailing by seven entering the second half, David Meurer sparked DU by scoring the first six points of the half. After a jumper by MSV's Ramiel Coleman, Jett Speelman rattled off six-straight points, giving Denison a 43-40 lead with 15:47 to play.
Mount Saint Vincent battled back and took a 64-59 lead with 2:43 to play after Matthew Sowah's layup. Trailing by five with two minutes to play, Speelman's 3-point try was off the mark but Bret Woolard was there with the offensive rebound. Woolard was fouled on his shot attempt and connected on both free throws, cutting the deficit to three.
Denison regained possession with 1:26 to play and Meurer drilled a 3-pointer, tying the game at 64-64. Garrett Collier followed with a steal at the other end and despite Woolard's missed layup in transition, Speelman snagged the offensive rebound and was fouled. He promptly made both free throws, putting DU back in front by two.
On MSV's next possession, Ammad Alkhulaidi was fouled by Woolard but Alkhulaidi missed both charity tosses and DU took over possession with a two-point lead.
With 27 seconds left, Matthew Bauer was fouled and converted his pair of free throws for a four-point lead. A technical foul on MSV's Andrew Curiel with 19 second left sent Speelman to the line for four free throws. The senior, who is shooting 95 percent from the line, made all four shots to secure the win for Denison.
Speelman finished with 22 points and was 13-of-14 from the free throw line. He also pulled down a team-high nine rebounds in 30 minutes. Meurer followed with 18 points and was 6-of-9 from the field. As a team, Denison shot just 4-of-28 from beyond the arc but for the second straight day, they dominated the glass, outrebounding their opponents, 44-31.
The Dolphins were led in scoring by Sowah's 16 points. Trevor Johnson added 12 points off the bench.
The Big Red will return to North Coast Athletic Conference play on Thursday (Jan. 5) when they host Ohio Wesleyan at 7:30 p.m.