HIRAM, Ohio -- Senior Garrett Collier scored a career-high 27 points on Wednesday night as the Big Red surged past Hiram College in the second half to defeat the Terriers, 78-60, at Price Gymnasium.
Following a first half where Collier and sophomore Jack Coulter helped Denison end the half on a 7-2 scoring run, the Big Red carried a 31-28 advantage into intermission.
Entering the second half, DU stayed hot as junior Matt Doyle buried a three and then Johnny Vernasco added a layup at the 17:59 mark to give Denison a 36-30 lead. On the next possession, Hiram's Kelvin Jones missed a layup, leading Coulter to back-to-back three-pointers on the next two possessions, giving the Big Red a 10 point lead, 42-32, less than a minute and a half later.
After DU's 11-4 scoring run, Hiram totaled the game's next four points on a bucket from Jones and a pair of Paul Ortiz free throws. Trailing the Big Red by six with 15:15 to play, Fred Brou pushed Denison ahead to 45-36 when he connected from three-point land. A bucket from Doyle followed after multiple Terrier turnovers to put Denison up, 47-36.
Over the next 3:11 of play, Hiram went on a 7-0 scoring run, forcing Denison to take a timeout. Out of the break, Vernasco and Collier buried consecutive shots from the perimeter helping the Big Red go 4-of-5 from triple and turn in a 19-6 scoring run over the next 4:07 to take a 66-51 lead at the 6:03 mark.
The Terriers brought it back within 13, 71-58, with less than two minutes remaining, but a three-point play from Maxwell Siwik and a pair at the charity stripe for Collier allowed the Big Red to finish the night on a 7-2 run and stay in the hunt to host a North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament game next Tuesday, Feb. 20.
Ortiz led the Terriers with 13 points and Jones totaled a double-double on 11 points and 11 boards. Dye helped Hiram off the bench with 10 points.
Denison will close out the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 17 when they host Wabash College for a 3 p.m. tilt with the Little Giants.