TRUJILLO ALTO, P.R.-- Denison freshman Alison Schafer buried a three-pointer with 0.7 seconds left in regulation, sending the Big Red to a 51-48 victory over 19th-ranked Albright on Thursday morning.
The nationally-ranked Lions didn't trail in the opening quarter, but a 6-0 run to open the second that was capped off by a Gaby Mehringer jumper gave the Big Red their first lead of the game at 17-16. The two teams traded the lead six times before entering the intermission tied up at 23-23.
After surrendering the first two points of the second half, Denison rattled off eight unanswered tallies to take their largest lead of the quarter at 31-25. Albright would shrink the deficit to three at 36-33 following a Jane Joyce jumper with 1:13 left in the period.
Buckets by senior Emily Krumpe, Mehringer and Jordan Holmes pushed the DU advantage to nine two and a half minutes into the fourth. The Lions engineered a 12-3 run to tie the contest 45-45 with just under two minutes to play. Schafer broke the tie with a three-pointer before three free throws from Nina Mazzarelli tied the contest once again.
Following an offensive rebound on a Mazzarelli missed foul shot, Holmes forced a turnover on Shannon Thomas' inbound pass. The takeaway gave Denison one last chance with 12.6 seconds on the clock. After a Big Red timeout, Schafer took a pass from Gabrielle Nottage and knocked down a triple from the wing to secure the victory.
The Big Red shot 39 percent (22-for-57) from the field, while the Lions converted a 35-percent clip (17-for-48). Denison held a 37-31 advantage on the glass.
Holmes paced the Big Red with 14 points and 11 rebounds while also blocking four shots. With her 14-point performance, the senior post moved into sixth on Denison's all-time scoring list with 1,258 points, passing former standout Carolyn Simpson (2005-09). Schafer scored 12 points, all from beyond the arc, to go along with three rebounds and two assists. Mehringer chipped in 10 points and two steals, while Valesha Province and Erica Holmes each handed out three assists.
Mazzarelli led all scorers with 18 points, while Devan Horka had 10 points and five rebounds. Joyce finished with a game-high four assists.
With the win, Denison improves to 6-7 on the year while the loss drops Albright to 8-3 overall. The Big Red resumes North Coast Athletic Conference play on Wednesday when they travel to the College of Wooster for a 6 p.m. contest.