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No. 1 DePauw tops Big Red in NCAC opener

Nicole Coggins scored 8 points in the loss to DePauw.
Nicole Coggins scored 8 points in the loss to DePauw.

Alex Gasaway and Ellie Pearson each recorded a double-double as the top-ranked DePauw Tigers opened North Coast Athletic Conference play with a 61-39 win over Denison on Saturday in Granville.

The Big Red jumped out to an early 9-4 lead behind a three-pointer from senior Nicole Coggins and a layup by sophomore Mary Margaret Habel.  Trailing 14-12, the Tigers went on a 15-0 run that spanned just over five and a half minutes to take a 13-point lead.

A pair of free throws by Aubrey Rogers and a Kinsey Bryant-Lees jumper shrunk the deficit to nine with 3:30 to play.  However, three-straight buckets by DePauw to close out the half sent the visiting team into the locker room with a 33-18 advantage.

DePauw scored on three of its first four possessions to take a 41-20 lead early in the second.  DU whittled the deficit to 16 behind a Coggins triple, but the high-powered Tiger offense proved to be too difficult to slow down as the visiting team walked off the court with a 22-point victory.

DePauw dominated down low, holding a 53-24 advantage on the glass.  They had 22 second chance tallies and scored 38 of their 61 points in the paint.  The Big Red committed a season-low nine turnovers, and turned 12 Tiger giveaways into 13 points.

Coggins paced Denison with eight points and six rebounds, while Kyli Parker had seven tallies and three steals off the bench.  Habel also chipped in six points and four boards.

Gasaway had 17 points and 14 boards, both game highs, to go along with three blocks.  Pearson chipped in 13 tallies and 12 rebounds, while Kate Walker scored 11 points and dished out six assists.

Denison falls to 4-3 and 0-1 in the NCAC, while the Tigers improve to 6-0 and 1-0 in league play.  The Big Red returns to the court on Wednesday when they host conference rival Ohio Wesleyan at 7:30 p.m.