February 19, 2011

Win secures undefeated regular season

Eighth-ranked Denison got 28 points from Shaina Kaiser (Ostrander, Ohio/Buckeye Valley) and 14 points from Serafina Nuzzo (Western Springs, Ill./Fenwick) and Lucy Follansbee (Nashville, Tenn./Harpeth Hall) which resulted in an 86-62 victory over Oberlin College.  The win closed the books on Denison's 2010-11 regular season and at 25-0, the Big Red became the first women's basketball team in the history of the North Coast Athletic Conference to complete a regular season with an undefeated record.

Oberlin kept things close in the opening 12 minutes minutes of play but Kasier and Follansbee would spark a 21-4 run over the next 10 minutes helping DU take a 43-28 lead into the second half.  During that run Denison got eight points from Kaiser and six points from Follansebee while the Big Red defense forced Oberlin into seven turnovers.

In the second half the Big Red continued their momentum from the first half by coming out on a 19-6 run over the first nine minutes of the half which resulted in a 32-point lead for the home team.  Denison's fast-break offense was outstanding as they outscored Oberlin 16-2 in transition.  The Big Red also made the most of Oberlin's miscues, scoring 36 of their 86 points off the Yeowomen's 24 turnovers.

Prior to the game Denison honored it's pair of seniors, Kaiser and Haley Dahlgard (Walnut Creek, Calif./Northgate).  The duo has won 83 career games while posting a sparkling 51-11 record in conference play.  Kasier was 9-for-11 from the field and was 8-for-10 from the free throw line.  She also posted a game-high eight rebounds to go along with four assists and two steals.  Dahlgard scored 10 points while shooting 4-of-8 from the field.

From her point guard spot, Nuzzo netted 14 points, nine assists, six rebounds and three steals in 29 minutes.  In the post, Follansbee enjoyed one of the best games of her young career by going 7-for-8 for 14 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots.

As a team Denison shot 52 percent and were 7-for-17 from beyond the arc.  Oberlin connected on 46 percent of their shot attempts and was led by Syrea Thomas who netted 32 points.  Allison Anderson added 16 points, eight rebounds and three steals.

Denison will move on to the NCAC Tournament which will begin with the quarterfinal round on Tuesday (Feb. 22).  Denison is the No. 1 seed in this year's tournament and they will face No. 8 Wooster at 7:30 p.m. from Livingston Gymnasium in Granville.  Should Denison advance to the semifinals, Livingston Gymnasium would serve as the host venue for both semifinal games and the championship game on Feb. 25-26.