No Event
No Event
No Event
No Event
No Event
Wed Nov 15
Final
69 Otterbein
76 Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Nov 18
Final
90 Denison
70 vs. #23 Cabrini
@ Fredericksburg, Va. in Fredericksburg, Va
Sun Nov 19
Final
57 Denison
70 at Mary Washington
in Fredericksburg, Va.
Tue Nov 21
Final
74 Denison
69 at Case Western Reserve
in Cleveland, Ohio
Wed Nov 29
8:00 PM
Wooster
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Dec 02
3:00 PM
Denison
at Kenyon
in Gambier, Ohio
Wed Dec 06
7:30 PM
Oberlin
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Dec 09
3:00 PM
Wittenberg
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Tue Dec 12
7:00 PM
Capital
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Wed Dec 20
7:00 PM
Ohio Northern
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sun Dec 31
2:00 PM
Chicago
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Wed Jan 03
8:00 PM
Denison
at Ohio Wesleyan
in Delaware, Ohio
Sat Jan 06
3:00 PM
Denison
at Allegheny
in Meadville, Pa
Wed Jan 10
6:00 PM
DePauw
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Jan 13
3:00 PM
Denison
at Wabash
Crawfordsville, Ind
Wed Jan 17
7:30 PM
Hiram
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Jan 20
3:00 PM
Kenyon
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Wed Jan 24
8:00 PM
Denison
at Oberlin
in Oberlin, Ohio
Sat Jan 27
3:00 PM
Denison
at Wittenberg
in Springfield, Ohio
Wed Jan 31
8:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Feb 03
4:00 PM
Denison
at Wooster
in Wooster, Ohio
Wed Feb 07
6:00 PM
Denison
at DePauw
in Greencastle, Ind
Sat Feb 10
3:00 PM
Allegheny
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Wed Feb 14
7:30 PM
Denison
at Hiram
in Hiram, Ohio
Sat Feb 17
3:00 PM
Wabash
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
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Comeback thwarted by Wooster in NCAC semifinals

David Meurer  |  Photo by Craig Hicks
David Meurer | Photo by Craig Hicks

DELAWARE, Ohio--  The College of Wooster opened the second half on an 8-0 run. Despite a furious comeback attempt by the Big Red, that early cushion proved to be enough to take down No. 14 Denison, 87-77, in the North Coast Athletic Conference semifinals at Branch Rickey Arena.

Denison trailed 39-30 at the intermission after the Fighting Scots got a buzzer-beating layup by Danyon Hempy after a Big Red turnover.  Both teams struggled to find the shooting touch early on as Denison shot 1-of-14 from beyond the arc and 10-of-31 overall.  Wooster wasn't much better, shooting 1-of-9 from 3-point range.  The Scots' outscored DU 28-18 in the paint, combine that with an uncharacteristic 10 turnovers for Denison and that was enough to give Wooster the early edge.

The opening minutes of the second half proved to be crucial as Wooster senior Dan Fanelly took it upon himself to score the first eight points of the period, giving his squad a 47-30 lead.

In last year's NCAC Championship, Denison was faced with a similar predicament.  Trailing by 16 with 17:24 to play, the Big Red forced overtime and captured their first conference tournament title behind a heroic 28-point effort from David Meurer.

For a moment, the Big Red had fans feeling a slight hint of déjà vu after back-to-back 3-pointers by Garrett Collier and Jett Speelman cut the Scots' lead to nine with 13:56 to play.

The 3-pointer didn't fall in first, but Wooster came up with two big ones when they needed it most.  Milt Davis and Spencer Williams canned consecutive treys to put their team back up 16 with just over 11 minutes to play.

Down the stretch, Wooster and Denison traded blows.  Triples by Speelman and Meurer made it 69-58 with 6:18 remaining.  A 3-pointer by Andrew Castagnetti chipped the Wooster lead to 10 with five minutes to play. Meurer made it even more interesting after his NBA-range 3-pointer went down, cutting the Wooster lead to 72-64 with 4:15 on the clock.

Denison wasn't done.  

They made it a 3-point game when Speelman bullied his way to a basket in the paint with 2:25 to go.  Fanelly came back with a hook shot off the glass and after two missed free throws by Denison, the Scots held a seven-point lead with 1:29 to play.  DU played the foul game over the final 90 seconds but that only played into Wooster's hands.  They went 5-for-6 from the line over the final minute to put the game on ice.

Speelman finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds for Denison.  He scored his 1,000th career point early in the first half.  His 10-for-10 effort at the charity stripe improved his season free throw percentage to .965.  That puts him over the threshold for the single-season NCAA Division III record for best free throw percentage in a season.  That record of .963 was set by Illinois Wesleyan's Korey Coon in 2000.  He is also in line to be the Division III career leader in free throw percentage. That mark of .925 has been held by Andy Enfield of Johns Hopkins since 1991.  Speelman currently boasts a .929 career mark from the line.

Meurer followed Speelman with 22 points and five rebounds.  The Newark Catholic products scored 35 of their combined 46 points in the second half.

Wooster was paced by Fanelly's 32 points.  That matched a season-high as he went 10-of-17 from the field and 11-of-13 from the free throw line.  He also tied for the team lead with eight rebounds.

With the win, Wooster advances to Saturday's NCAC Championship game where they will face top-seed, Ohio Wesleyan at 4 p.m.  Denison drops to 22-5 and their NCAA Tournament dreams now lie in the hands of the selection committee.  The 2017 NCAA Division III Tournament selection will take place on Monday, Feb. 27.  Check NCAA.com for the live video link to the selection show.

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