Denison picked up its first victory of the 2012-13 season following a 67-51 win over Bethany on Saturday in the consolation game of the Hampton Inn/Damon's Tip Off Tournament hosted by Wilmington College.
The Big Red jumped out to a 19-8 lead roughly eight minutes into the opening period. Despite the 11-point deficit, the Bison engineered a 15-2 run to take their first lead of the game at 23-21. With the score tied at 25-25, sophomore post Mary Margaret Habel converted a layup with 20 seconds left in the frame to give DU a two-point lead at the half.
Tied at 41-41, Denison rattled off 12-straight points over a three and a half minute span to regain a double-digit advantage with 8:24 left in regulation. The run featured seven points from senior point guard Serafina Nuzzo, a three pointer by senior Kinsey Bryant-Lees and a Habel bucket. Bethany shrunk the deficit to nine twice, but a 9-2 run over the final 5+ minutes secured the Big Red's 16-point victory.
Nuzzo led all scorers with 22 points. She entered the contest needing only seven points to become Denison's 11th 1,000-point scorer in school history. She reached that milestone off a free throw seven minutes into the contest.
Following Nuzzo in the scoring department were seniors Nicole Coggins and Bryant-Lees, who each registered 11 points. Junior Gretchen Staubach pulled down a game-best eight boards, while Coggins and senior Kyli Parker grabbed four rebounds apiece.
Taylor Verrico paced the Bison with 18 points, eight rebounds and two blocks, while Mikyla Tipton posted 11 points, seven boards and three steals.
Despite losing the battle in the paint (34-20), DU forced Bethany in to 20 turnovers which resulted in 22 points. At the conclusion of the game, Coggins was named to the All-Tournament team after averaging 11 points in two contests.
The Big Red improves to 1-1, while the Bison fall to 0-2 on the year. Denison returns to action on Tuesday when they travel to Mount St. Joseph for a 7 p.m. contest.