David Meurer scored a career-high 28 points and Bret Woolard added 18 points and eight rebounds as Denison defeated Case Western Reserve 87-74 on Tuesday night in Granville. The victory marks the Big Red's first 3-0 start since the 1992-93 season.
Both teams entered the contest undefeated and throughout the contest both squads looked the part. The Spartans took a nine point lead early in the first half and found themselves clinging to a 42-41 lead at the half.
The Big Red would open the second half on a 23-7 run that covered the first eight minutes of the period. Suddenly trailing by 15 with 11:53 to play, Case would respond with their own run, outscoring DU 16-3 over the next five minutes of action. That took Denison's lead all the way down to just two points with 7:34 remaining.
Leading by three with just under three minutes to play, Bret Woolard connected on a short jumper and was fouled by Eric Black. He converted the free throw to put Denison up 77-71. At the other end, Bret Woolard forced a steal and Denison had a chance to run the clock down to under two minutes. That's when Meurer drove to the hoop and was fouled once again by Black. The shot didn't fall but he knocked down both free throws to put Denison up eight. Over the final two minutes, Denison was 10-for-11 from the free throw line, resulting in the 13-point win.
Fifty-nine of Denison's 87 points came from Licking County natives Meurer, Bret Woolard and Brad Woolard. Meurer was 11-of-22 from the field for a career-high 28 points. He also added four steals and three assists.
Bret Woolard came off the bench to score 18 points while tying for the team lead with eight rebounds. His brother, Brad Woolard, chipped in 13 points while pulling down seven rebounds. DU outrebounded the Spartans 44-26 as Briggs King matched Bret Woolard with eight caroms.
Denison shot 46 percent from the field (29-of-63) and was 22-of-29 from the charity stripe (.759). Case Western Reserve shot 47 percent from the field and was 11-of-28 from beyond the arc.
The victory avenges last season's 33-point loss to the Spartans in Cleveland. Case Western Reserve falls to 3-1 with the loss while Denison moves to 3-0. The Big Red will return to action on Saturday (Nov. 29) when they take on Bethany (W.Va.) at the University of Chicago. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. EST.