Maureen Hirt and Kayla Ernst combined for 57 points as the Kenyon Ladies knocked off North Coast Athletic Conference rival Denison, 81-50, on Friday evening from Tomsich Arena in Gambier, Ohio.
Hirt took the game over early, scoring 16 of her team's first 21 points. The junior went 6-for-8 from the field, including four three-pointers, over the opening eight minutes of action. Down 6-5, the Ladies orchestrated a 20-6 surge to take a 25-12 advantage. Ahead 26-16 midway through the first, the home team closed out the period with a 28-9 run that resulted in a 29-point lead, their largest of the half.
Kenyon carried its momentum into the second period, taking a 31-point lead on the first shot of the half. DU trimmed the deficit to 21 points on multiple occasions, but the deficit proved to be too much to overcome as the Ladies ended an 11-game losing streak to Denison with a 31-point home victory.
Sophomore Mary Margaret Habel paced the Big Red with eight points and three steals, while junior Gretchen Staubach added seven points and a team-leading six rebounds. Guards Serafina Nuzzo and Candise Love each scored six points to go along with four and three assists, respectively.
Hirt finished with 33 points on 11-for-18 from the field, including an 8-for-14 outing from beyond the arc. She also grabbed a game-high nine rebound, while Ernst added 24 points. The duo went a combined 21-for-33 (63.6 percent) from the field.
Denison falls to 6-6 overall and 1-2 in the NCAC, while the Ladies improve to 10-3 and a perfect 4-0 in league play. The Big Red returns to the court on Saturday (Jan. 5) when they host Wooster at 7:30 p.m.