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Defense fuels win over Witt

Nicole Coggins shot 64 percent from the field in DU's 12-point win over Witt.
Nicole Coggins shot 64 percent from the field in DU's 12-point win over Witt.

Denison rebounded from Wednesday's loss at OWU with a 60-48 victory over the Wittenberg Tigers on Saturday afternoon in North Coast Athletic Conference play from Granville, Ohio.

The Big Red defense stifled the Wittenberg offense, forcing the Tigers into 10 turnovers in the opening 10 and a half minutes of play.  During the span, DU also held the visiting team to a 2-for-10 shooting performance and surrendered just four offensive rebounds.  All those factors allowed Denison to gain a 13-5 lead midway through the opening period.

Wittenberg used a 10-4 run to shrink the deficit to two, but the Big Red stayed disciplined over the final six minutes of the half as they took a 24-19 lead into the break.  Denison scored seven points off 11 Tiger turnovers in the first 20 minutes and scored 14 of its 24 points down low.

Holding on to a four-point roughly two minutes into the second period, DU went on a 12-0 run to regain its largest lead of the afternoon at 40-24.  The offensive outburst featured 3-pointers by seniors Kyli Parker and Serafina Nuzzo, a 4-for-5 performance at the charity stripe and four key offensive rebounds.

The Tigers shrunk the deficit to nine on several occasions, but a 6-for-6 performance at the foul line over the final 1:44 secured the 12-point victory for the Big Red.

Denison forced Wittenberg into 20 turnovers while committing just 12 giveaways.  DU also outrebounded the Tigers 39-33, including a 15-10 edge in offensive rebounds.  Those 15 offensive boards resulted in 17 points for the home team.  Both teams shot 35 percent from the field, but an 18-for-21 outing at the free throw line played a key role in the Big Red attack.

Seniors Nicole Coggins and Nuzzo co-led all scorers with 14 points in over 35 minutes of action.  Coggins was 7-for-11 (64 percent) from the field, while Nuzzo grabbed six boards and logged a game-high four steals.  Junior Gretchen Staubach pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds to go along with three steals, while Aubrey Rogers dished out a game-best five assists.

Carli Swartz led the Tigers with 10 points off the bench, while Karen Daniel-Hamberg grabbed nine rebounds.

DU improves to 8-7 overall and 3-3 in the NCAC, while Wittenberg falls to 7-7 and 3-2 in league play.  The Big Red returns to the court on Wednesday when they travel to top-ranked DePauw for a 6 p.m. contest.