Denison used a 13-3 run over the final five minutes of regulation to secure a key 55-46 North Coast Athletic Conference win over Allegheny on Saturday afternoon in Granville.
The Big Red gained the early advantage and maintained its lead for three quarters of the opening half. However, the Gators engineered a 7-0 run that quickly turned a 19-14 deficit into a two-point lead with 5:14 on the clock. With the game tied at 21-21, D'Andre Corbin and Brandon Smith scored back-to-back buckets in the paint to give Allegheny its largest lead of the day at 25-21.
Following a timeout by DU Head Coach Bob Ghiloni, Denison closed out the final three and a half minutes of the period with a 9-0 run to take a five-point lead into the intermission. Briggs King and Alex Longi took over the final portion of the half with five and four points, respectively.
Denison used the momentum from its late first-half run to build a 36-28 lead in the early stages of the second frame. Allegheny battled back once again and, with 6:48 left in regulation, took a 43-42 edge after a Brian Holland layup. The Gators erased an eight-point deficit with an 11-2 run that spanned nearly five minutes.
However, the Allegheny lead was short lived as Denison rattled off nine-straight to regain an eight-point advantage with 1:26 to play. A Ryan Stanko three inside the final minute shrunk the deficit to five, but a pair of free throws from King and John Cheng secured the nine-point victory. Longi and King both chipped in four points over the final 5+ minutes, while Robby Weingart and Cheng added three and two, respectively.
The Big Red went 23-for-57 (40.4 percent) from the floor, while Allegheny was 19-for-53 (35.8 percent). DU also held a 38-33 edge on the glass and committed a season-low seven turnovers, while forcing the Gators into 13 giveaways. The Denison reserves outscored the Allegheny bench 24-4.
King posted his third double-double of the season after scoring a season-high tying 15 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Longi led all scorers with 18 tallies to go along with eight rebounds, while David Meurer grabbed six boards.
Stanko and Brandon Smith each had 13 points to lead Allegheny. Smith and Clark Tritto also logged eight rebounds each.
With the win, Denison improves to 7-8 overall and 3-5 in the NCAC, while the Gators fall to 3-12 and 0-8 in conference action. The Big Red returns to the court on Wednesday when they travel to Hiram for an 8 p.m. tip-off.