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Late 3-pointer halts Big Red comeback bid

Claude Chandonnet  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Claude Chandonnet | Photo by Jace Delgado

WOOSTER, Ohio--  Danyon Hempy's 3-pointer with 3.7 seconds remaining sent the College of Wooster to a 73-70 win over the Denison Big Red on Saturday at Timken Gymnasium.  The Fighting Scots have won 14 of its last 15 contests and improve to 17-4. Denison drops to 11-10 with the loss.

The Big Red trailed by 10 points with 13 minutes to play the game but managed to chip away at the Fighting Scots' lead.  A 7-0 run that was capped off by a desperation 3-pointer by Matt Doyle as the shot clock expired made it a three-point game with 11:39 to play.

Doyle struck again, this time with a triple from the corner as he was falling out of bounds on DU's next possession to make it 57-55 Wooster with 10:17 to play.

The final 10 minutes were nip-and-tuck featuring more misses than makes.  Offensive rebounding became the favored currency and both teams would capitalize down the stretch thanks to maximum effort on the glass.

Trailing by six with just under five minutes to play, Denison's Maxwell Siwik battled for his team's second-straight offensive board and scored on the put-back, trimming the deficit to 65-61.

A miss at the other end, Wooster's Trenton Tripton took a 3-pointer that missed the mark.  Doyle gathered the rebound and Jack Coulter cashed in from beyond the arc to make it a 65-64 game with 3:53 left.

Wooster missed for the seventh-straight time from the field marking a 5:50 drought.  Denison continued to take advantage inside as Doyle scored on a driving layup to give DU its first lead at 66-65 since early in the first half.

Wooster's Alex Baptiste was fouled by Siwik with 2:29 remaining.  He split the pair to tie the game at 66-66.  Johnny Vernasco responded with a quick bucket in the paint and seconds later, Hempy canned a jumper from just outside the free throw line to tie the game at 68-68.

Denison went back to its bread and butter as Collier found Siwik on a backdoor cut to go up 70-68 with 1:43 to play.  Wooster also looked inside to their big-man, Baptiste.  His low post move tied the game at 70-70 with 1:20 remaining.

On Denison's next possession, Wooster clamped down, forcing Doyle to take a wild turnaround jumper as the shot clock expired.  The Scots took over with 46 seconds left.  Spencer Williams' jumper from 15 feet was off the mark and both teams scattered for the rebound. Collier got one hand on the ball and attempted to throw it off Baptiste, who was the closest Wooster player in the vicinity.  Instead, Baptiste took possession giving Wooster the ball back with 14 seconds left.

After a timeout by Wooster, Reece Dupler found Hempy open at the top of the key.  The sophomore drilled the 3-pointer with 3.7 seconds left on the clock, putting his team on top 73-70.

Denison inbounded the basketball at the far end and got it to Collier who quickly crossed half court and fired a shot that was just left of the cylinder.

The win by Wooster avenged a 75-61 loss to Denison on Nov. 29 in Granville. 

Siwik led all scorers with 21 points in a team-high 32 minutes.  He was 9-of-18 from the field while also leading the team with six rebounds.  Doyle added 17 points while going 7-for-14 from the floor.  Coulter scored 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting from long range and Claude Chandonnet contributed nine points, all from beyond the arc in the first half.

Wooster held a 31-29 advantage on the boards and shot 51 percent from the field, compared to 48 percent by Denison.   The Big Red only got to the free throw line six times and were 3-for-6 on charity tosses.  Wooster was 6-of-10 from the free throw line.

Four players scored in double figures for Wooster, led by Hempy's 17 points. He was 7-for-10 from the floor.  Baptiste added 15 points and led all players with nine rebounds.

Denison falls to 7-7 in the North Coast Athletic Conference with the loss placing them in a tie for fifth place in the conference standings with Wabash College.  Hiram lost to DePauw this afternoon and sits one game in front of the Big Red and Little Giants at 8-6.

The Big Red will hit the road on Wednesday, February 7 when they travel to Greencastle, Indiana for a 6 p.m. tipoff against DePauw.

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