Cincinnati native Mary Margaret Habel exploded for a career-high 17 points in Denison's 59-49 victory at Mount St. Joseph on Tuesday night in "The Queen City".
The Big Red opened the contest with a 10-0 run in the first four minutes of play. The charged was fueled by seven points from Habel. The Lions battled back, eventually trimming the deficit to 12-10 with 10 minutes left in the opening half. However, DU answered with an 11-1 surge over the final 9:40 to enter the locker room with a 23-11 lead. Five different players scored during the final chrage, including an old-fashioned three-point play from senior Kyli Parker.
Denison maintained its double-digit lead for the majority of the second period, leading by as many as 17 with 12:12 left in regulation. The Lions closed the gap to single figures on four separate occasions, but the Big Red offense proved to be too much for Mount St. Joseph to handle.
DU converted a 42-percent clip from the field (23-for-55), while the Lions shot just 29 percent from the floor (15-for-52). The Big Red also held a 37-33 edge on the glass and outscored MSJ in the paint, 30-20.
Senior point guard Serafina Nuzzo led all scorers with 18 points on 6-of-13 from the field and 5-of-7 from the charity stripe. The senior's performance moved her into ninth on the program's all-time score list, passing Molly Baumann (1997-07) and Carin Crislip (1984-87).
Habel finished the night 7-for-8 from the field and a perfect 3-for-3 at the foul line. The sophomore post also collected four rebounds and dished out one assist in 22 minutes of action. Junior Gretchen Staubach grabbed a game-high eight rebounds, while Parker logged five assists and four thefts, both game highs.
Madie Long and Chelsea Castleberry paced the Lions with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Heidi McManus pulled down six boards, while Long handed out three helpers.
Denison improves to 2-1 with the win, while the loss drops Mount St. Joseph to 0-3. DU begins a six-game homestand on Saturday when they welcome Mount Vernon Nazarene to Livingston Gymnasium for a 2 p.m. tipoff.