Big Red top century mark in win over Hiram

Shaina Kaiser scored 20 points in a conference opening win over Hiram.
Shaina Kaiser scored 20 points in a conference opening win over Hiram.

The Big Red shot 61 percent from the field and got 20 points from Shaina Kaiser (Ostrander, Ohio/Buckeye Valley) which helped Denison roll to a 102-54 victory over Hiram College on Saturday afternoon from Livingston Gymnasium.  The victory ran Denison's record to a perfect 9-0, keeping their best start in school history intact.

DU enjoyed their best shooting performance of the season as they jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first seven minutes of the contest.  By the five minute mark of the first half Denison was sitting on a comfortable 27-point lead after going on a 24-8 run over an eight-minute span.  During that run sophomore point guard Serafina Nuzzo (Western Springs, Ill./Fenwick) found Kaiser on a nifty alley-oop pass that resulted in a reverse lay-up for the senior while bringing the home crowd to its feet.  After a highlight reel worthy first half, Denison would enter the locker room with a 57-23 lead powered by 11 steals, 17 points off turnovers and tremendous ball movement on offense.

In the second half, the pass-first offensive approach continued for Denison and the Big Red continued to knock down open shots.  Five players scored in double-figures as Kaiser finished the day 9-for-16 from the field while going 2-for-2 from 3-point range. Kaiser scored 20 points but also added six assists, five rebounds and three steals.  Christina Myers (Pataskala, Ohio/Watkins Memorial) followed with 17 points and six rebounds in just 18 minutes.  Myers was 8-for-10 from the field.

Senior Haley Dahlgard (Walnut Creek, Calif./Northgate) came off the bench to score 16 points in 13 minutes.  She had the hottest hand from the outside, going 4-for-5 from beyond the arc.  Nuzzo posted 15 points and had six assists and six rebound in 24 minutes.  Sophomore Nicole Coggins (Mesa, Ariz./Corona del Sol) rounded out Denison's leading scorers with 11 points, five assists and three steals.

Denison outrebounded Hiram 41-26 while racking up a a season-high 27 assists of 43 made field goals.  Denison's 27 assists were just four off the school record set in 1992 and the most by a Big Red team since they totaled 28 in a victory over Earlham on Feb. 2, 2008.  The Big Red hit on 43-of-71 shots from the field (.606) and were 11-for-18 (.611) from 3-point range.

Hiram was led in scoring by Tiffany Shields' 21 points in 30 minutes of action.  With the win, DU moves to 9-0 and 1-0 in the North Coast Athletic Conference.  Hiram falls to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in conference play.  DU will return to action on Tuesday (Dec. 14) when they travel to Grove City (Pa.) for a 7 p.m. tip-off with the Wolverines.  Grove City is 4-4 on the season.