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Wooster spoils DU's upset bid

Garrett Collier scored 13 points with 3 assists against the Fighting Scots.
Garrett Collier scored 13 points with 3 assists against the Fighting Scots.

Denison led for a majority of the second half, but an 11-3 run by Wooster over the final 3:05 led the Fighting Scots to an 82-75 win over the Big Red.

The Big Red led by as many as 12 points with 15:11 to play but the Scots started chipping away due in large to the play of Wooster freshman Reece Dupler who scored six of his game-high 18 points over a critical three-minute stretch in the second half where Wooster cut the Denison lead down to two with 7:10 left.

After a Dupler jumper, Denison came right back with a 3-pointer from Andrew Castagnetti but that was answered by Wooster's Spencer Williams eight seconds later, taking the air out of a large crowd of 1,150 inside Livingston Gymnasium.

Denison made their hay at the free throw line all afternoon, going 26-of-28 for the game and after two Jett Speelman free throws with 3:20 left the Big Red held a 72-69 lead.  On Wooster's next possession, Mitch Balser found Reece Dupler on a nice backdoor cut to cut the Denison advantage to one.

Denison tried to force the ball inside to Speelman only to have it stolen by Balser on their next trip down the floor.  Balser got out in transition and find Williams who nailed the pull-up mid-rage jumper that gave Wooster its first lead at 73-72 since there was 4:16 left in the first half.

Things got worse for Denison after a missed 3-pointer by David Meurer allowed the Scots to get back quickly on offense.  Balser followed with the shot of the game, a triple from the elbow that put Wooster on top 76-72.

Trailing by four, Denison missed its next five shots from the field, allowing the Fighting Scots to put the game away for good.

Duepler scored 18 points and was 9-of-11 from the field to lead Wooster.  Five players reached double-figures for the Scots as Williams and Milt Davis finished with 14.  Dan Fanelly battled foul trouble through much of the game but still scored 12 points in only 17 minutes.  Balser finished with 11 points and six assists.

Denison was led by Speelman who finished with 16 points.  He was 10-for-10 from the free throw line and 2-of-4 from 3-point range.  Garrett Collier and Matthew Bauer each scored 13.  Bauer was 5-for-5 and also added four rebounds.

Wooster shot 59 percent from the field for the game thanks to going 17-for-26 (.654) in the second half.  Denison shot 39 percent (20-for-52), but 11 offensive rebounds helped DU hang tough.

With the loss, Denison falls to 12-9 overall and 7-7 in the North Coast Athletic Conference.  Wooster improves to 16-5 and they are 12-2 in conference play.  The Big Red has four regular season conference games remaining on its schedule.  They will enter the home stretch on Wednesday night when they travel to Kenyon for an 8 p.m. tip-off against the Lords.

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