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DU wins OT thriller with Oberlin

Jett Speelman scored 32 points in DU's 89-81 OT win over Oberlin.
Jett Speelman scored 32 points in DU's 89-81 OT win over Oberlin.

Jett Speelman scored a career-high 32 points to lead Denison to an 89-81 overtime win over Oberlin College from Livingston Gymnasium in Granville, Ohio. 

Denison led from the opening field goal of the game until Oberlin's Randy Ollie tied the game with a pair of free throws with 2:55 to play in regulation.  The final 90 seconds of the second half had enough back-and-forth to make a tennis player dizzy.  Oberlin's Jack Poyle fired the first shot when he snared his own rebound off a missed 3-pointer and quickly drilled a follow-up trey from the corner, giving his team its first lead of the night at 69-68.

At the other end, Speelman countered with his fourth 3-pointer of the game, giving a two-point lead back to the Big Red.  Unfazed by Speelman's big shot, Oberlin's Nathan Cohen drove to the lane and dished to Matt Walker who buried an open triple from the elbow with 52 seconds left.

Oberlin called a timeout leading by one.  Out of the timeout, nearly everyone in the gym knew where the ball was going and it still couldn't be stopped as Speelman knocked down another 3-pointer to take back a two-point lead.

The Yeomen's next possession resulted in a Zach Myers put-back off of his own miss with 12 seconds left that tied the game at 74-74.  With their final shot, Denison went back to Speelman who missed from just inside the arc as the final horn sounded.

In overtime, David Meurer provided a jump-start when he connected on a 3-pointer on Denison's first possession.  With the game tied at 79-79, Denison's deadliest 3-point shooter of 2015-16, Darius White, cashed his sixth trey of the game with 1:50 remaining.  Oberlin's Poyle tried to answer but Matthew Bauer was there with his ninth rebound of the game.  A bucket by Speelman at the other end gave DU a five-point lead with 1:12 to play.  The game would be sealed on the next Oberlin possession when Poyle's pass was stolen by Garrett Collier.

Denison went 5-of-6 from the free throw line over the final 38 seconds to clinch the victory.

Speelman's 32 points came on 9-of-18 from the field.  He was 5-of-8 from beyond the arc and was 9-of-10 from the free throw line.  That is the most points scored by a Denison player since Dimonde Hale scored 35 points at Washington & Jefferson on Nov. 15, 2012.

White followed with 22 points by going 7-of-16 from the field and 6-of-13 from 3-point range.  He is shooting 50 percent from long range this season.  Meurer tallied 17 points and three steals in 35 minutes.  Bauer led Denison on the glass with nine rebounds while Johnny Vernasco provided two points, five rebounds and two blocked shots in only 10 minutes off the bench.

Oberlin's 6-10 center, Ollie, led the way with 20 points and eight rebounds.  He was 8-of-11 from the field and 4-of-5 from the stripe.  Poyle scored 19 points while Walker and Cohen added 14.

The Big Red shot 42 percent (28-of-66) as a team while Oberlin checked in at 45 percent (32-of-71).  DU was 15-of-38 from 3-point land, marking the second time this season Denison has connected on 15 3-pointers in a single game.

Denison improves to 5-3 overall and 2-1 in the North Coast Athletic Conference while Oberlin drops to 6-3 and 2-2 in league play.  The Big Red will return to the hardwood on Saturday when they host Wittenberg at 3 p.m. inside Livingston Gymnasium.

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