GRANVILLE, Ohio-- Wittenberg entered the game with a perfect 7-0 record and strongly stated its case for Top-25 consideration after an 86-55 dismantling of the Denison Big Red on Saturday at Livingston Gymnasium.
Both teams entered the game tied for first place in the North Coast Athletic Conference with perfect 3-0 records in league play. The Tigers asserted themselves on the defensive end early and that led to some instant offense. DU missed seven of its first eight shot attempts and trailed 18-4 five minutes into the game.
The Tigers pushed the lead to 23-8 with 12 minutes left in the first half and that's when the Big Red came alive. An 11-0 run by Denison powered by five points from Maxwell Siwik made it a 23-19 game with nine minutes left in the first.
The Tigers bounced right back, countering with a 15-3 run to go up 37-22 entering the closing minutes of the first half. A basket by Wittenberg's Chris Sloneker with 36 seconds remaining sent the Tigers into the intermission with a 46-26 lead.
In the second half, Wittenberg put the game away early with a 16-2 run to open the period.
Five players scored in double figures for Wittenberg, led by Mitch Balser's 18 points and five assists on 6-of-11 shooting. Balser was deadly from beyond the arc, going 5-of-6 from 3-point range. Senior center Chad Roy followed with 13 points and five rebounds in 22 minutes.
The Tigers were 32-for-58 from the field (55 percent) and were 11-of-21 from three (52 percent). They held a 35-30 advantage on the glass and committed 14 turnovers to Denison's 20. The Tigers also manufactured 26 points via Big Red turnovers.
The Big Red continues its five-game homestand on Tuesday, Dec. 12 when they host Capital University at 7 p.m. The Denison Sports Network broadcast will begin at 6:45 p.m.