BEXLEY, Ohio -- Thanks to a season-high 21 points from sophomore Alison Schafer, Denison women's basketball returned to Bexley, Ohio on Saturday afternoon where they defeated Franklin College, 71-63, on day two of the Capital University/Marriott Columbus Airport Holiday Tournament. Schafer's season-best also matches a career-high that she totaled against Thomas More College back on Nov. 27, 2016.
The Big Red assisted in Schafer's career-night by shooting 40-percent from beyond the arc and connecting on a perfect 13-for-13 from the charity stripe. They also put together their best quarter of the night in the final frame when Denison forced six Franklin turnovers and totaled 7-of-11 shooting after only leading 50-47 entering the fourth.
The Grizzlies started the final quarter going three of four from the free throw line to trail by only one, 53-52, with 8:22 remaining in the contest. The Big Red countered over the next 2:43 of play as a layup from sophomore Lauren Hofer was followed by Brittany Atkinson's three-point bucket to take a 58-52 lead with 5:39 left in the game.
Schafer kept the DU lead at six, 61-55, as she tallied one of her four three-pointers on the night with less than five minutes to go. Franklin didn't back down as Maddie O'Day countered with her own perimeter jumper and cut the Grizzly deficit to 61-58, but Hofer converted back-to-back layups to increase the Denison advantage to 65-58 with 4:07 left in the quarter.
Franklin made one final push with 2:33 remaining as Kelsey Smith buried a three that cut the Denison lead to 65-63. The Big Red ended the night on a 6-0 scoring run, led by four points from junior Valesha Province, as they held off the Grizzly comeback and secured the win.
Schafer added seven rebounds and a spot on the all-tournament team to her 21-point effort, while Lauren Longbrake added 10 points and 11 boards, totaling a double-double. Hofer contributed 12 points and four rebounds for the Big Red and Atkinson and Province chipped in nine points each.
Franklin's Bayleigh Walker led all scorers with 23 points on 9-of-20 from the field. Erin Bradley also added eight points and six rebounds.
Denison will return to action this coming Wednesday, Jan. 3 when they travel to Delaware, Ohio for a matchup with Ohio Wesleyan University at 6 p.m.