No. 11 Scots Rally Back Before Second-Half Burst by Big Red Propels Denison Past Wooster

WOOSTER, Ohio – The 11th-ranked College of Wooster men's basketball team overcame an early 13-0 deficit and led for a stretch of 7:40 in the second half before a 10-0 run by Denison University shifted the momentum the Big Red's way in their eventual 65-59 win over the Fighting Scots on Wednesday evening at Timken Gymnasium.

Denison (5-0, 1-0 North Coast Athletic Conference) opened the contest with a quick 13-0 run over the first 3:30, with David Meurer and Jett Speelman each scoring five points during that stretch.

Freshman Danyon Hempy was one of three Scots in double-figures in scoring, and he played a key role in both of Wooster's big runs.

Wooster (3-2, 1-1 NCAC) answered with a 9-0 run with two jumpers from junior Alex Baptiste and a 3-pointer by freshman Danyon Hempy sparking the rally to pull the Fighting Scots within four at 13-9 with 14:07 to go in the half.

Later, Wooster pulled within four against, this time at 20-16 with 8:39 left in the first half, when senior Dan Fanelly finished a layup he was fouled on and sank the ensuing free throw, with that possession coming on the heels of an inside lay-in by classmate Milt Davis that started the five-point swing.

However, Denison gradually pulled back out to a nine-point lead twice in the stanza, the latest at the 3:48 mark on a Garrett Collier 3-pointer, but those were the last Big Red points of the half.

Fanelly led the charge from there for Wooster, who closed within two at 30-28 at the half, thanks to a 3-pointer by the senior with :58 remaining. Just over two minutes earlier, Fanelly started the 7-0 run with a pair of free throws.

Slightly over a minute into the second half, Fanelly knotted the score at 32 on an inside bucket, and that's where the score stood until Andrew Castagnetti nailed a 3-pointer with 16:53 left in the half.

From there, Wooster went on a 12-0 run over the next 3:42 to take a 44-35 lead with a highlight-reel lay-in and free throw by junior Spencer Williams headlining the stretch. Notable, a bucket by Hempy at the 15:49 mark gave Wooster its first lead of the night at 36-35.

Then, Denison countered with a 10-0 stretch and a layup by Speelman, who followed up his own miss on the offensive end handed Denison the lead back at 47-46 with 8:09 remaining.

Williams countered with a quick layup at the other end of the floor for Wooster's final lead of the night at 48-47, and Denison's Claude Chandonnet answered with the go-ahead 3-pointer six ticks later.

Later, Wooster pulled within one – the closest it came down the stretch – when Davis split a pair of free throws, a Williams lofted in a layup after a Fanelly steal on the next possession that cut Denison's lead to 52-51 with 6:15 remaining.

Wooster made it a one-possession tilt with just over a minute remaining on a Fanelly layup, but Meurer knocked down a 3-pointer with :33 left on the clock.

Fanelly led Wooster with 22 points on the night – his third 20-point game this season – and added seven rebounds.

Williams (13) and Hempy (10) finished in double-figures in scoring for the Scots, while Baptiste had another productive night on the defensive end of the floor with eight of his game-high 11 rebounds coming on that end, and he tallied three blocked shots on the stat sheet.

Speelman led all scorers with 25, and he had a double-double for the Big Red with 10 rebounds. Meurer turned in an all-around night with 11 points, four assists, and four steals.

Next, Wooster travels to Wabash College (2-3) for a 2 p.m. contest on Saturday, Dec. 3.