Denison tops Case in DU Classic finale

Gretchen Staubach was named to the Denison Classic All-Tournament team.
Gretchen Staubach was named to the Denison Classic All-Tournament team.

The Big Red used a second-half surge to power past Case Western Reserve University, 62-52, in the final game of the Denison Classic on Sunday from Livingston Gymnasium.

Despite falling into an early 4-1 hole, Denison used an 8-0 spurt to take a five-point lead.  DU opened the run with buckets by freshman Jordan Holmes and senior Gretchen Staubach.  Junior guard Candise Love closed out the burst with a pair of jumpers.

Ahead 11-10, the Big Red put together a 14-4 run over the course of 6:20 to extend its advantage to 11.  Five different DU players scored during the run, highlighted by four points from Holmes.  Junior Mary Margaret Habel and sophomore Kellie Arter each knocked down a triple to close out the run.   The Spartans battled back over the final 6:39 to shrink the deficit to 29-25 heading into the locker room.

Case Western Reserve took its first lead since the 18-minute mark of the first half when Laura Mummey knocked down a jumper in the paint to give the visiting team a 35-34 edge.  Denison senior Aubrey Rogers answered on the ensuing possession with a jumper in the paint to put the Big Red back in front by a point.

The back-and-forth battle continued when Mummey converted an old-fashioned three-point play to give the Spartans a two-point edge.  However, four-straight free throws by Love gave DU a 40-38 advantage with 11:29 to play.

After three-straight tallies by Erin Reynolds gave Case a one-point advantage, Denison engineered a 16-5 run that put the tournament host in front 56-46 with 2:38 left in the contest. Staubach led the eight-minute outburst with five points, while Rogers added four tallies.  Senior Paige Williams, Love and Holmes all contributed two points, while senior Mikaela Freundlich scored the final tally after splitting a pair at the line.  Denison maintained its double-digit lead for the rest of the period thanks to a 4-for-6 performance at the charity stripe.

Denison shot 42 percent (21-for-50) from the floor, while the Spartans connected on 38 percent (23-for-61) from the field.  The Big Red also knocked down 18 of their 23 free throw attempts (78 percent).  On the flip side, Case Western Reserve earned just five chances at the charity stripe, converting three of those attempts.  Both teams pulled down 34 rebounds and scored 26 points in the paint.

Love led all scorers with 16 points to go along with four assists.  Staubach finished with 13 points, three rebounds, two assists and a block, while Holmes posted her sixth-straight double-double after totaling 11 points and 14 rebounds.  The freshman post also had four steals and three blocks.

Brooke Orcutt led the Spartans with 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Berit Eppard chipped in 11 points, seven rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals.  Mummey finished with three blocks to go along with seven points and six rebounds.

At the conclusion of the tournament, Staubach and Holmes were named to the Denison Classic All-Tournament team.  Staubach averaged 13.5 points in the two contests, while Holmes averaged a double-double with 10.5 points and 17 rebounds per game.  She also recorded the program's second triple-double in Saturday's win over Muskingum (10 points, 20 rebounds, 11 blocks).

The Big Red (6-1) continues its four-game homestand on Wednesday (Dec. 4) when they open North Coast Athletic Conference play against Oberlin.  Tip-off from Livingston Gymnasium is slated for 7:30 p.m.