GRANVILLE, Ohio-- In a season that has more ups and downs than a Cedar Point roller coaster, Wednesday's convincing 83-62 victory over Ohio Wesleyan was some Rocky Mountain high, altitude sickness-inducing rarefied air.
Not since the Big Red's 14-point win over Wooster way back on November 29, had Denison turned in such a complete and dominating performance on both ends of the court.
Trailing 21-19 with 8:34 to play in the first half, Denison exploded for a 19-2 run powered by three 3-pointers by Maxwell Siwik and three Ohio Wesleyan turnovers.
Denison entered halftime with a 41-25 lead after shooting 56 percent in the first half while forcing the Battling Bishops into 12 turnovers that resulted in 17 points for the Big Red. Siwik led Denison with 11 points at the half and was 3-for-6 from beyond the arc.
In the second half, DU kept the pressure on and with nine minutes remaining they held a comfortable 29-point lead after back-to-back 3-pointers by Jack Coulter. Denison's lead grew to as much as 31 with five minutes remaining, allowing head coach Bob Ghiloni to turn the reigns over to his reserve squad to close out the game.
Siwik led all scorers with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting in 28 minutes. Coulter followed with 16 points while going 4-of-5 from long range. Johnny Vernasco tallied 12 points and four steals in 21 inspired minutes. Senior point guard Garrett Collier was equally as efficient, totaling 12 points, nine assists and six rebounds in only 26 minutes.
Ohio Wesleyan boasts the No. 1 and No. 2 scorers in the North Coast Athletic Conference in Nate Axelrod and Seth Clark. Axelrod failed to reach double-figures for only the second time this season as he scored nine points on 3-of-7 shooting. Clark led OWU with 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting.
Denison shot 53 percent from the field and was 14-of-27 from 3-point land (52 percent). Ohio Wesleyan shot 43 percent from the field and was 11-of-30 from deep. Denison outrebounded the Battling Bishops 31-25 and turned their 19 turnovers into 23 points.
The Big Red improves to 11-9 and 7-6 in the NCAC while OWU drops to 15-6 and 9-4 in the league. Denison returns to action on Saturday when they travel to the College of Wooster for a 4 p.m. tip-off against the Fighting Scots.