GRANVILLE, Ohio-- Garrett Collier scored a career-high 18 points and added 12 rebounds helping Denison to a 76-69 season-opening victory over Otterbein on Wednesday night at Livingston Gymnasium.
The Big Red may have led for 32 of the game's 40 minutes but that lead never reached double figures. DU held a 36-30 lead at the half despite 13 points from Otterbein freshman Justin Carter.
In the second half, the Big Red crashed the boards and got a memorable performance from sophomore guard Jack Coulter. Playing the first extended minutes of his career, Coulter knocked down four of his game-high five 3-pointers in the second half.
Denison trailed 49-46 with 11:25 to play after a deep 3-pointer by Hunter Dennison. Coulter responded with a trey, sparking a mini 7-0 run for the Big Red which put them back on top by four with nine minutes to play.
The Cardinals kept hanging around and with 3:48 remaining Denison's lead was down to one at 67-66. One minute later, Coulter connected on his fifth triple of the game to put his squad up four. Over the final three minutes, DU outscored Otterbein 9-3 to clinch the win.
Collier, who is Denison's only returning starter from last year's 22-5 squad, 6-of-10 from the field for 18 points. He led all players with 12 rebounds and also chipped in four assists and two steals in 35 minutes.
Coulter finished with 15 points after going 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. In all, four players posted career-highs in points as Fred Brou (13) and Sheldon Freeman (nine) joined Collier and Coulter with new personal bests.
Also reaching double-figures was Matt Doyle with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Carter led Otterbein with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Austin Springer followed with 19 points.
Denison shot 51 percent from the field (30-of-59) and dominated the glass 42-28.
The Big Red returns to action this weekend when they travel to the University Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia for a four-team tournament. Denison will play Cabrini College on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 5 p.m. and will return to action on Sunday against either Randolph College or Mary Washington.