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Big Red routs Mt. Vernon Naz.

Gretchen Staubach scored a career-high 13 points against MVNU.
Gretchen Staubach scored a career-high 13 points against MVNU.

In its first home game of the season, the Denison women's basketball team dropped Mount Vernon Nazarene, 74-47, on Saturday afternoon from Livingston Gymnasium in Granville.

The Big Red scored on its first four offensive possessions to build a 9-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.  Senior Nicole Coggins provided five points, while junior Gretchen Staubach and sophomore Mary Margaret Habel each added a bucket.  On the flip side, the DU defense forced three turnovers and limited the Cougars to just one shot attempt in its opening four possessions.

Denison grabbed its first double-digit lead of the game when senior Kinsey Bryant-Lees drained a triple of an assist from junior Mikaela Freundlich.  MVNU responded with a 9-0 spurt to trim the deficit to 12-11 with 12:04 left in the first period.

Ahead by just one, DU went on a 14-3 run to regain a 26-14 advantage with five minutes to play.  Senior Kyli Parker led the charge with six points, while Staubach, Habel, Serafina Nuzzo and Candise Love all added two tallies.  Up by 11, Nuzzo closed out the period with a three-pointer and a fast break layup, giving the Big Red a 36-20 lead at the intermission.

Denison maintained its double-digit lead for the entire second half.  DU went up by 30, its largest lead of the day, at 7:44 when Parker found Feundlich for the team's eighth three of the game.

Nuzzo led the Big Red with 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists.  The senior was 6-of-15 from the field and pulled seven defensive boards.  Staubach also chipped in a career-best 13 points on 5-of-6 from the floor and a 3-for-4 performance from the charity stripe.  The junior post player also grabbed six rebounds, including four offensive caroms.  Coggins finished the day with nine points, five boards and four steals, while Parker recorded eight tallies, four rebounds and a game-high five steals off the bench.

Erica Cramer led Mount Vernon Nazarene with a game-best 15 points, while Ainsleigh Krause posted 12 points.  Amy Daniels crashed the glass to the tune of six rebounds.

As a team, DU turned 24 Cougar turnovers into 26 points and held a 36-33 edge in rebounding.  The Big Red also turned 16 offensive rebounds into 18 points.

Denison improves to 3-1 on the year, while MNVU falls to 1-5.  DU continues its homestand on Sunday when they host Case Western Reserve at 2 p.m.