GRANVILLE, Ohio-- Denison tied a school record with 17 3-pointers. That red-hot shooting performance allowed the Big Red to secure a 96-81 victory over Ohio Wesleyan on Senior Day at Livingston Gymnasium. With the win, Denison will be the No. 7 seed in next week's North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament and will travel to No. 2 seed, Wabash for a Tuesday night quarterfinal matchup.
The Big Red came out of the gates on fire, opening a 23-13 lead in the first seven minutes of the game. Denison shot 65 percent from the field in the first half and was a blistering 10-of-13 (.769) from beyond the arc. Those 10 made 3-pointers came from seven different players and that allowed DU to take an 18-point lead into the locker room.
Denison's intensity remained high to open the second half. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Nate Haller gave the home team its largest lead at 72-46 with 15:05 to play. The Battling Bishops made a run, cutting the Big Red lead to 12 with 4:13 remaining but Denison got a layup from Will Hunter and another 3-pointer from Jack Coulter with one minute left to clinch the win.
Counter entered the game needing four 3-pointers to tie his own program record for triples made in a season at 78. He finished the game 2-for-2 and will enter Tuesday's game needing three to break the record.
One player who has put the rest of the NCAC on high alert over the last two months of the season is sophomore center Freeman Brou. He finished with a career-high 26 points on 11-of-19 shooting. He added five rebounds and three assists. Freeman's older brother, Fred Brou, finished with eight points, six assists, and one steal.
Like Freeman Brou, Haller also had a day to remember. The senior was a perfect 5-for-5 from beyond the arc for a career-high 15 points in 19 minutes of action. Cheng followed with 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting and Matt Gerics ended the day with 11 points and a career-high eight assists in 27 minutes.
The Big Red shot 57 percent for the game (35-of-62) with assists coming of 28 of 35 made field goals. Over the last two games that have resulted in wins over DePauw and Ohio Wesleyan, the Big Red have logged assists on 78 percent of made field goals. This is the sixth time in program history a Denison team has made 17 3-pointers in a single game.
Ohio Wesleyan was led in scoring by Jack Clement's 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Grant Gossard added 15 and Ethan Stanislawski finished with 14.
Denison improves to 10-15 overall and 7-11 in the NCAC. Ohio Wesleyan drops to 12-13 and 7-11 in conference play. The Big Red won a tiebreaker with Ohio Wesleyan for the No. 7 seed. The start time for Tuesday's NCAC Quarterfinal will be announced soon.