Denison rains 3's in win over Allegheny

Jett Speelman  |  Photo by Craig Hicks
Jett Speelman | Photo by Craig Hicks

MEADVILLE, Pa.--  No. 23 Denison poured in 16 3-pointers and five players scored in double figures as the Big Red raced past Allegheny, 98-78.  Denison improves to 19-4 overall and 13-13 in the North Coast Athletic Conference.  It also matches the program's single-season high for victories set in 1997-98.

On January 7, Denison knocked down 17 treys in a 104-63 rout of Allegheny in Granville.  The game plan translated to Saturday as Denison took a 10 point lead into the locker room after eight 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes of play.  Jett Speelman led DU with 15 points in the first half and Andrew Castagnetti scored 10 points in his first start since Dec. 7.

Allegheny entered the second half on an 8-0 run, cutting Denison's lead to 44-42 with 17 minutes left.  Back-to-back triples by Castagnetti and Speelman curbed the Gator run.  Claude Chandonnet added a layup to go up 10.  An Allegheny miss gave the ball back to the Big Red and Chandonnet pulled the trigger on a 3-point attempt that was off the mark.  Devon Pitts was there for the offensive board and fed Bret Woolard at the top of the arc for another trey.  Denison absorbed the Gator run and was back up 13 with 15 minutes to play.

Denison's lead grew as large as 22 points with one minute to play. 

The Big Red shot 57 percent from the field and were 16-of-37 from long range (43 percent).  At the free throw line, DU was 14-of-17 and Speelman was a perfect 6-for-6.  On the season, Speelman leads the nation with a 96.0 percent free throw percentage.  In 23 games he has made 119 of 124 free throws attempted.  The single-season free throw percentage record for Division III men's basketball is 96.3 percent set by Korey Coon of Illinois Wesleyan in 2000.

Speelman led Denison with 27 points and Castagnetti posted a new career-high with 20 points.  Garrett Collier scored 13 points and had seven assists and David Meurer followed with 10 points and five helpers.  Chandonnet was DU's fifth player to reach double digits.  He came off the bench to score 11 in 14 minutes of play.

Denison was led in rebounding by Johnny Vernasco with nine.  Pitts scored six points and had three assists and four rebounds.

Allegheny was led by Jordan Rawls with 22 points and seven rebounds.  Evan Zabriski scored 19 and had nine rebounds off the bench.

There are two games left in the regular season and DU trails first-place Ohio Wesleyan by one game in the standings.  Denison returns to the court on Wednesday when they host Hiram College at 6 p.m.