Fourth-Quarter Denison Comeback Nullifies Collective Wooster Scoring Effort

WOOSTER, Ohio – Despite scoring contributions from 10 different Fighting Scots and a strong bench performance, The College of Wooster women's basketball team could not hold off the Big Red of Denison University in a competitive battle that again came down to the final shot, as Denison held on to top Wooster, 63-62, on Wednesday evening at Timken Gymnasium.

Reigning North Coast Athletic Conference Player-of-the-Week, Jordan Holmes of Denison (7-7, 4-1 NCAC), scored 12 points and secured 18 rebounds, while also posting a game-high five blocks. Of note, Holmes played the entire game, logging 40 minutes on the evening.

Senior Natalie Coschigano goes up for a jumper in the Fighting Scots' 63-62 loss against Denison University on Wednesday evening.

First-year Akwia Tilton led all Wooster players with a season-best 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting, in addition to pulling down five rebounds to go along with two assists and two steals.

First-year Courtney Lockhart led the team with six rebounds, while fellow first-year Cat Fiorito put in an impressive all-around performance with eight points, five rebounds, and four assists.

Leading 32-24 at the half, the Scots (1-12, 0-4 NCAC) were clicking on all fronts, shooting 35.5 percent from the field while holding a plus-four advantage in the rebound department.

Entering the third period, Denison was held to 31.4 percent shooting, while going just 2-for-10 from three-point range.

The Scots took their largest lead of the game (12) at the 8:03 mark in the third period as senior Natalie Coschigano connected on consecutive jumpers to give Wooster a 38-26 advantage.

After a good jumper from first-year Kylie Orr kept the spread at 12, the Big Red finished the period on a 12-8 run to cut Wooster's lead back to eight (50-42) before the start of the fourth period.

In the fourth, Denison outscored Wooster 21-12 while shooting 61.5 percent, led by Valesha Province who scored eight of her 11 total points in the final period.

Senior Rachel Collins, who tallied eight points off the bench, lifted the Scots' lead back to double-digits (58-47) after a mid-range jumper with 7:37 left to play.

Then, a 10-0 Big Red run – fueled by two 3-pointers from Province – brought Denison to within one with 5:20 remaining.

Jumpers from Lockhart and Collins bookended a hi-low layup from Holmes, and two converted free throws from Denison's Gaby Mehringer brought the Wooster lead back down to one with 2:10 left to play.

Missed opportunities from Anna Gibbs and Aki Shurelds on the next two possessions were capitalized upon, as Province connected on a mid-range jumper in the lane to lift Denison to a 63-62 advantage with 1:15 remaining.

After a defensive stop and subsequent timeout with :17 remaining, Wooster advanced the ball to half-court on the timeout for one last opportunity, and after a trio of Denison fouls, an off-balanced attempt from Orr with :04 remaining fell short as Denison held on to win, 63-62.

The Scots return to action against Ohio Wesleyan University (4-9, 1-3 NCAC) on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 2 p.m. as part of a Wooster basketball doubleheader at Timken Gymnasium.