Second half surge sends #9 Wooster past Denison

Matt Gerics  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Matt Gerics | Photo by Jace Delgado

GRANVILLE--  Denison led No. 9 Wooster by six points at halftime but a 15-0 Wooster run to start the second half gave the Fighting Scots a solid cushion that led to a 73-63 victory.

For 37 minutes Denison played Wooster dead-even but the surge that occurred behind Wooster veterans Danyon Hempy and Reece Dupler over a three-minute span after halftime was their undoing.

In the first half, Denison held Wooster to 35 percent from the field and the Scots were just 1-of-11 from 3-point range.  Matt Doyle had 10 points and six rebounds at the break while Matt Gerics and Claude Chandonnet combined for 10 points off the bench.

After Wooster's big run to open the second half, the Fighting Scots held a double-digit lead most of the way, but Denison wouldn't back down.  A 3-pointer by Gerics with 5:13 to play got DU to within seven at  61-54.   Wooster's Trenton Tipton answered at the other end, pushing it back to a 10-point lead.

Trailing by nine with four minutes to play, Wooster snared offensive rebounds on consecutive 3-point tries.  Crashing the glass allowed the Fighting Scots to run nearly 90 seconds off the clock, making a Denison comeback even more improbable.

With 2:26 remaining, Jake Livingston scored down low to make it a seven-point game.  Once again, Wooster turned to Dupler who knocked down a pull-up jumper in the paint.

A Denison turnover forced the Big Red's hand and they were forced to send Dupler to the line with 1:09 left.  He split the pair on his first trip to the line.  After a missed 3-pointer by Jack Coulter, Dupler was fouled again and the senior nailed the pair to put the game away.

He finished with a game-high 26 points while Hempy followed with 24.  The duo accounted for 50 of Wooster's 73 points.  Eric Bulic followed with 10 points and nine rebounds.

Doyle led Denison in scoring with 14 points. He also led the squad with eight rebounds and three steals in 27 minutes.  Livingston and Gerics finished with 11 and Coulter chipped in nine points.

Wooster improves to 19-3 while extending its winning streak to 12 games.  Denison falls to 6-15 and returns to action on Saturday when they host Allegheny at 3 p.m.