WOOSTER, Ohio-- Denison used a 21-12 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter to rally past the College of Wooster, 63-62, on Wednesday night at Timken Gymnasium. With the win, Denison improves to 4-1 in North Coast Athletic Conference play while also running their current winning streak to five games.
After 20 minutes of play, DU found itself in an eight-point hole heading into the second half. The Scots built their largest lead of the game following an Aki Shurelds jumper and back-to-back buckets from Natalie Coschigano less than two minutes into the third. Wooster led by double digits for most of the period before an Erica Holmes three-pointer with 1:03 on the clock shrunk the deficit to 50-42.
The Big Red pulled to within five just 52 seconds into the final quarter behind another Holmes triple before a pair of buckets by Rachel Collins sandwiched around a Kylie Orr jumper pushed the Wooster lead back to 11 points.
Senior Gaby Mehringer answered the second Collin triple with a jumper. That bucket sparked a string of four-straight DU possessions that produced points. Sophomore Valesha Province buried back-to-back threes, while senior Gabrielle Nottage knocked down a jumper to close the gap to 58-57 with 5:20 to play.
Courtney Lockhart broke up the 10-0 surge with a jumper in the paint, while a layup by Jordan Holmes pulled Denison back within one. Once again Collins connected on a jumper to make it a three-point game with 2:30 on the clock. After corralling her own miss, Mehringer drew a foul and converted both attempts from the charity stripe to get the Big Red back within one at 62-61.
With 1:15 left in regulation, Province drove the lane and knocked down a jumper in the paint to give DU its first lead since the 3:30 mark of the first quarter. On the ensuing possession, Jordan Holmes blocked a Shurelds layup out of bounds and came down with a missed jumper by Coshigano. Wooster thought they regained the lead when a prayer was answered after an Alison Schafer foul. However, the officials ruled the foul occurred on the floor prior to the three-point attempt. The Scots final chance resulted in a Kylie Orr turnover that fell into the hands of Jordan Holmes.
Denison converted 43.5 percent (27-for-62) from the floor and 41 percent (7-for-17) from beyond the arc. Wooster shot 37 percent (24-for-65) from the field. The Big Red outscored the Scots in the paint (20-14), while also turning nine offensive rebounds into 12 second-chance points.
Nottage led all scorers with 13 points to go along with three assists in 24 minutes off the bench. Holmes registered 12 points, 18 rebounds, five blocks and two steals, while Province added 11 tallies and a game-high four assists in 30 minutes. Freshman Addie Buzas also pulled down six rebounds for DU. With her 18 boards, Holmes moved past Staten Island's Jacclyn Rock (2005-09) and into fifth on the NCAA Division III career rebounds list. The DU senior now has 1,493 rebounds in 96 career games.
Akwia Tilton paced Wooster (1-12, 0-4 NCAC) with 10 points to go along with five rebounds and two assists and steals. Anna Gibbs chipped in nine points and three steals, while Cat Fiorito had eight points, five rebounds and four assists.
DU (7-7) continues NCAC play on Saturday (Jan. 7) when they welcome Allegheny College to Livingston Gymnasium. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.