RICHMOND, Ind. – The Quakers outscored the Big Red 36-27 in the second half as Denison men's basketball opened their 2019-20 campaign with a 56-49 loss at Earlham College on Wednesday evening in Richmond, Ind.
Despite outscoring the Quakers 28-16 in the paint, Denison was held to 33.3-percent shooting from floor.
Trailing by as many as eight points in the first half, 17-9, the Big Red closed out the opening frame with a 13-3 scoring run that saw six different DU players contribute to their 22-20 lead at the break.
In the second half, Denison and Earlham combined for six ties and two lead changes, starting with a 5-0 scoring from EC's John Sakaleros, Chainey Zolman, and Jamel Barnes, Jr. to put the Quakers ahead 25-22 with 17:57 remaining in the game.
After the Quakers broke a 35-35 tie on back-to-back free throws from Sakaleros and a bucket by Zolman, the Big Red climbed back with four-straight points from freshman Jack Olson to tie the game at 39-39 with 7:21 to play.
Trailing 43-40 with less than six minutes remaining, sophomore Kevin Cheng connected on a layup at 5:19 to cut DU's deficit to one, but Earlham built their lead back to four on the next play when Kenneth Stalling, Jr. tallied a three-pointer to put the Big Red behind, 46-42.
With 2:32 to play, senior Fred Brou cut Earlham's lead to 48-47 on a layup, but the Quakers closed out the night with a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe to hand Denison their first loss of the season. The win moved EC to 2-0 so far in 2019-20.
Cheng led the Big Red with 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting while adding three assists and a steal. Freshman Will Hunter followed with 10 points and three rebounds while Brou led Denison with nine rebounds and chipped in six points. Olson and Freeman Brou also added six points each while combining for 14 rebounds.
Barnes, Jr. led all scorers with 18 points and added 10 rebounds for a double-double. Sakaleros and Zolman each tallied 10 points while Stalling Jr. collected 10 boards and chipped in eight points.
The Big Red will return to action this Friday, Nov. 15 when they host the Polar Bears of Ohio Northern in their home opener. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.