CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Spartans outscored the Big Red 34-23 in the second half as Denison suffered a 51-45 loss to Case Western Reserve on Tuesday night at Horsburgh Gymnasium in Cleveland.
Following a first half that saw senior Jack Coulter account for three of four Denison triples and 11 of DU's 22 points, the second half opened as a game of runs for both sides when Monty Khela buried back-to-back threes to fuel a 6-0 run for the Spartans while the Big Red followed with a layup from Conor Fenton and another three off the hands of Coulter for a 5-0 run. The Big regained the lead and went ahead 27-23 with 17:36 remaining in the game.
With the score staying as such for the next 3:18 of play, CWRU's Michael Hollis entered the scoring column for the first of his six points on the next bucket. After Denison's Nate Haller connected from three to go back up by five, 30-25, on the next possession, Hollis followed with his second-straight layup to spark an 8-0 scoring run for the Spartans, including four points from Cole Frilling
Trailing 33-32, sophomore Kevin Cheng answered the deficit with a shot from the perimeter that gave DU a 35-33 lead with 7:05 remaining. Over the next 5:29 of action, CWRU turned in 11 unanswered points, including 5-of-6 from the charity stripe that put the Big Red behind 44-35 at the 1:36 mark.
With Case Western leading 48-38 with 33 seconds remaining, Cheng breathed life into the Big Red on the next trip down the court when he was fouled on his second triple of the half and tallied the free throw for a four-point play that brought DU within six, 48-42, at 24 seconds remaining.
Fourteen seconds later, Coulter recorded his fifth three of the night as the Denison deficit dropped to four, but Antonio Ionadi converted the game's final two free throws as both sides moved to 2-3 on the season.
Coulter posted a game-high 17 points on 5-of-10 from the three-point line and added two rebounds. Cheng followed with 12 points and four rebounds while Will Hunter chipped in seven points, three boards, and three assists.
Frilling led CWRU with 13 points off the bench and added eight rebounds. Khela and Michael Volkening combined for 18 points while Hollis and Ryan Newton posted six points each.
The Big Red return to action next Wednesday, Dec. 4 when they travel to Hiram College for an 8 p.m. tip-off with the Terriers.