Big Second Quarter Lifts Denison Over Wooster in Conference Clash

Anna Gibbs

GRANVILLE, Ohio – Despite a near-even three quarters of play, Denison University capitalized on a 20-7 second period to propel themselves to a 63-48 win over The College of Wooster women's basketball team on Saturday afternoon at Livingston Gymnasium in Granville, Ohio.

Scoreline-wise, both teams finished even in the first and final periods, while Denison (11-11, 8-5 North Coast Athletic Conference) tallied a 15-13 scoring advantage in the third.

Wooster (1-20, 0-12 NCAC) commenced the game 4-of-5 from the floor with first-year Akwia Tilton converting on a strong take in the lane to open the game's scoring.

Of note, three first-years (Tilton, Kylie Orr, Cat Fiorito) started the contest for the Fighting Scots.

After a pair of free throw conversions from Fiorito and a 3-pointer from Orr, Wooster brought its advantage to five (11-6) with back-to-back jumpers from Tilton and sophomore Anna Gibbs. Both Gibbs and Orr finished with a co-game-high 15 points.

A 7-0 Denison run – capped off by a jumper from Emily Krumpe – reclaimed the Denison lead (13-11) at the 2:52 mark. Till the quarter's end, the Scots would tie it up twice, at 13 and 15, the latter behind two made foul shots from first-year Courtney Lockhart, who converted after going up strong on an offensive rebound.

Senior Jordan Holmes, who last week became the NCAA Div. III career leader in rebounds, gave the Big Red a 17-15 advantage to open the second period. Orr responded, however, connecting from deep on her second 3-pointer of the day to give the Scots an 18-17 lead with just over eight minutes to play in the half.

Of note, Holmes nearly recorded her seventh triple-double of her career – another statistic in which she is the NCAA Div. III career leader – as she finished with 10 points, 19 rebounds and nine blocks.

Over the ensuing 2:41 of the second period, Denison regained traction with a 9-0 run before sophomore Christina Vukovich cut the deficit back to six (26-20) with a layup at the 4:43 mark. The Big Red tallied another 9-0 run before the half's close while Gibbs connected on a last-second jumper as Wooster trailed 35-22 at the half.

In the third, Gibbs kick-started and closed on a mini 6-2 run to get the Scots back within nine (37-28) with respective teardrop floaters in the lane – a shot that proved very effective for the sophomore throughout the game.

A 3-pointer from Alison Schafer and a layup Holmes bookended a jumper from Gibbs as Denison took a 42-30 advantage with 5:53 left in the third.

Wooster again clawed back to within nine in the period (42-33), as Gibbs led down the floor in transition after a steal from Vukovich, switching it cross-court to Fiorito, who kicked it to Orr for a step-in three-pointer. However, an 8-2 period-closing run gave Denison a 50-35 lead heading into the fourth.

Notable, Gibbs and Orr accounted for 11 of Wooster's 13 third-period points.

It was an even slate in the final period with each team tallying 13 points. For the Scots, Gibbs (5) and Orr (4) accounted for nine points, while junior Aki Shurelds and senior Danielle Besancon added two each as Wooster was unable to materialize any significant runs through the game's remainder.

The Scots return to action against Allegheny College (3-18, 1-11 NCAC) on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. at Timken Gymnasium.