GRANVILLE, Ohio-- Denison earned its signature win of the 2019-20 season on Wednesday night as they outlasted No. 14 Wooster, 72-71 at Livingston Gymnasium.
Wooster entered the game fresh off its biggest win of the season, a 98-86 over previously undefeated and then No. 2 ranked Wittenberg. Denison was coming off a heartbreaking three-point loss to Allegheny after leading until the final seconds.
Today was a new day and DU led by seven at the half and pushed the lead to 14 with 15 minutes to play. Denison never trailed but Wooster managed to keep this one in doubt until the final second ticked off the clock.
Over the last three games, sophomore Freeman Brou has come alive, scoring 17 against DePauw, 13 against Allegheny leading to tonight's career-high 21 point effort. Brou was a load in the paint throughout the game but with 5:50 remaining he stepped out and knocked down his lone 3-point attempt to stop the bleeding and give his team a 68-62 lead. Up to that point, Wooster had chiseled the lead down thanks to a 16-5 that spanned nine minutes.
Wooster's Keonn Scott, who finished with a game-high 24 points followed with a jumper to cut the deficit to four. Over the next two minutes, the two teams combined for five misses. With three minutes left Wooster's Dontae Williams was fouled and connected on two free throws to trim the deficit to 68-66.
Denison committed turnovers on its next two possessions and Scott drilled a baseline jumper to tie the game at 68-68 with 2:26 to play.
The Big Red responded with a basket by Brou in the paint. Scott missed a 3-pointer at the other end and Jack Coulter was fouled in the scrum for the rebound with 50 seconds left. He made both to put Denison up four.
Right on cue, Wooster senior Danyon Hempy canned a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to make it a 72-71 game with 42 seconds left.
Denison first-year Will Hunter drove to the hoop but was blocked by Williams with 21 seconds remaining. Wooster's Scott took a 3-pointer with seven seconds left but the two teams shared the rebound and a jump ball was called. The possession arrow stayed with the Fighting Scots giving them a chance to win the game with four seconds remaining. Wooster lobbed an inbounds pass to Williams in the paint, but Hunter knocked the ball away and went out of bounds off Wooster. Denison took over possession with 0.8 seconds on the clock. The Scots were forced to foul Fenton with 0.3 seconds left. Fenton missed his free throw on purpose allowing the clock to run out before Wooster could attempt a desperation shot.
Freeman Brou scored 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting. He is averaging 17.0 ppg over his last three contests. Fenton and Coulter followed with 14 points apiece. Coulter was 4-of-7, all coming from beyond the arc. Fenton was 6-of-10 from the field and 2-of-3 from 3-point range. Both triples came in one-minute span that helped DU build a 14-point lead early in the second half. He also finished with eight rebounds, five steals, and four assists.
Scott finished with 24 points, five steals and seven rebounds to lead Wooster. Williams tallied 20 points and 11 rebounds in 22 minutes. Hempy finished with 17 points but was just 1-for-6 from long range. As a team, Wooster struggled from 3-point land, going 5-of-25 (.200) for the game. The Big Red was 9-for-20 (.450) from three and 29-for-59 (.492) from the field.
Denison moves to 5-11 overall and 2-7 in the NCAC while Wooster drops to 13-3 and 7-2 in conference play. The Big Red travels to Crawfordsville, Indiana on Saturday where they will take on Wabash College at 2 p.m.