GRANVILLE, Ohio – Denison men's basketball held on for their third win in their last four contests on Saturday afternoon as they outlasted Kenyon College, 63-62, at Livingston Gymnasium.
Following a close 71-67 win over Hiram on Wednesday in Granville, the Big Red played to another tight one against the Lords with the lead changing 10 times and both sides playing to eight ties.
After Denison carried a 28-27 lead into halftime, Kenyon outscored the Big Red 15-10 to open the second half, including three triples from Carter Powell. Following a DU timeout with 12:55 remaining in the game, the Big Red took fire with three combined threes from Jack Coulter and Nate Haller that put Denison in front 47-42 with less than 10 minutes to play.
Over the next 2:47 of action, the Lords chipped away at Denison's lead and thanks to a pair of free throws from Ugnius Zilinskas and a layup from Kase Cronin, KC regained the lead, 53-49, and forced another Big Red timeout.
Trailing 53-51 with 5:42 to play, Coulter found Kevin Cheng at the top of the key who took the foul and buried the triple for a 54-53 advantage in the final six minutes of action. Cheng's three started to turn the tide for DU as Conor Fenton followed with a jumper and Coulter answered two Kenyon free throws with a three-pointer that put the Big Red ahead, 59-55 with 4:38 remaining.
With 47 seconds left in the game, a pair of Freeman Brou free throws gave Denison their largest lead of the game, 63-57. On the next possession, KC's Powell tallied his fourth three of the day to cut the Kenyon deficit in half, 63-60, at the 40-second mark.
A foul ensued on the inbound pass, sending Coulter to the free-throw line for a one-and-one. Following a miss on his first attempt, Kenyon regained possession and gave the ball to Powell, who was fouled on his next three-point attempt which put the senior at the line. With 25 seconds to play, Powell made his first attempt but missed the second. After connecting on the third, Denison held a 63-62 lead entering a Kenyon timeout.
On the next possession, Brou looked to build Denison's lead back to three, but his shot was denied by the Lords, allowing for one last play from Kenyon with 10 seconds remaining. Following one final timeout from KC, Kase Cronin went for the win with a layup, but his shot didn't fall as the Big Red evened the season series with the Lords and moved to 7-12 on the season and 4-8 in the North Coast Athletic Conference. Kenyon dropped to 6-13 and 3-9 in the NCAC.
Brou and Cheng led the Big Red with 13 points each while Cheng also led DU with four assists and two steals. Haller finished the game 3-of-4 from the perimeter for nine points and Fenton, Coulter, and Will Hunter chipped in six points each.
Kenyon's Zilinskas led all scorers with 17 points and tied for the game-high with nine rebounds. Powell followed with 16 points on 4-of-7 from three and Ryan O'Neil added nine points.
Denison will look to secure their third-straight victory next Wednesday, Feb. 5 they travel to Springfield, Ohio for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff with the sixth-ranked Tigers of Wittenberg.