Denison grinds out win over OWU

The Big Red were all smiles after their 8-point win at OWU.
The Big Red were all smiles after their 8-point win at OWU.

Gretchen Staubach scored 22 points and Jordan Holmes added 16 rebounds and 9 blocked shots as Denison improved to 14-4 on the season after a 72-64 victory at Ohio Wesleyan.

The win over the Bishops avenged an early season loss to the Battling Bishops in Granville.  It also moves DU to 6-3 in the North Coast Athletic Conference.

While Denison did manage to come away with the 8-point win, things were anything but cut-and-dry for DU in the second half.  After leading for nearly the entire first half, Denison took a 33-26 lead into the second half but Ohio Wesleyan began to chip away early.

With 12:07 to play in the contest, OWU's Megan Kuether gave the Bishops its first lead since the opening minutes of the game at 41-39.  The two teams would trade the lead back and forth over the next six minutes and with 6:09 to play, the two teams were deadlocked at 52-52.

A key sequence would come with just under four minutes to play at DU leading by two.  After a steal by Ohio Wesleyan's Sarah McQuade, Holmes' defensive prowess came into play at the other end when she blocked Emily Julius' layup attempt.  Holmes came away with the rebound and that would lead to a jumper by Staubach at the other end, putting DU up 58-54.

After a timeout, Ohio Wesleyan would come right back with a 3-pointer to pull within one with 3:13 to play.  On Denison's ensuing possession, Mikaela Freundlich connected on her only 3-point attempt of the game, lifting the Big Red to another four-point advantage.

Over the final minute of the contest, Denison would go 8-for-9 from the free throw line to secure the win. 

The charity stripe was friendly to Denison as they connected on 17-of-23 attempts for 74 percent while Ohio Wesleyan went to the line only eight times, making five.  Denison also outshot OWU 44 percent to 36 percent.

Staubach led all scorers with 22 points while going 7-of-15 from the field.  She also added seven rebounds in 27 minutes.  Holmes scored just three points but her 16 boards, 14 of which were defensive, limited the Bishops' second-chance opportunities.  She also blocked nine shots for the second time this season, which was one shy of her career-high.

Also reaching double-digits in scoring was Freundlich with 13 points and Candise Love with 12.  Freundlich was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field.

Ohio Wesleyan was paced by Kristin Henning's 16 points off the bench.  Tamra Londot led the Bishops in rebounds with nine.

Denison will return to action on Wednesday (Jan. 29) when they host top-ranked DePauw at 8 p.m.