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Fiery second half performance pushes Big Red past Wittenberg

Gaby Mehringer

Denison overcame a 10-point second-half deficit by outscoring Wittenberg 35-12 over the final 16 minutes of the half.  The result was a 60-47 win for the Big Red, extending their winning streak to 10-games while avenging their only North Coast Athletic Conference loss of the season.

On December 12, Wittenberg kept Dension off-kilter enough to come away with a 50-40 win.  The Big Red shot only 26 percent from the field while committing a season-high 24 turnovers.  Throughout the first half of Saturday's rematch, it was looking like the sequel would end the same.

The Tigers shot 46 percent in the opening half and led 28-22 thanks to 12 first half points by Taylore Bundy.  Denison struggled to find much of an offensive flow over the first 20 minutes as they were 7-of-30 from the field and just 1-of-13 from beyond the arc.

Wittenberg scored seven of the first 10 points in the second half before an Emily Krumpe jumper and a Gabrielle Nottage 3-pointer cut the deficit in half.  The Tiger lead shrunk to one after a nice inside move by Jordan Holmes with 2:23 left in the third.  With the score tied at 41-41, Kellie Arter sent DU into the fourth quarter with some momentum after a 3-pointer off a pass from Nottage.

The fourth quarter started slowly for both teams as the first field goal of the period came until the 4:09 mark when Nottage completed a nifty dribble-drive into the paint that was finished with a bank shot high off the glass.  Akilah Fletcher followed with a bucket down low, putting Denison up 49-42 with 3:28 remaining.

The final dagger was be provided by Arter with her fourth 3-pointer of the contest that lifted the Big Red to a nine-point lead with 2:41 to play.

In the second half, it was Wittenberg who shot only 23 percent from the field while committing eight turnovers.  Denison connected on 12-of-25 shots from the field in the second half and was 5-of-8 from beyond the arc.  All of Arter's team-high 14 points came in the second half.

Holmes finished with nine points, 18 rebounds and two blocked shots while Fletcher came off the bench to finish with 11 points in 21 minutes.  Denison also did a nice job at the charity stripe, going 16-of-22 (.727) as a team. 

Bundy paced Wittenberg with 17 points while Sidney Mayle chipped in 13 points off the bench.

Denison improves to 17-3 overall and is 10-1 in the NCAC.  Wittenberg falls to 5-12 and 4-6 in conference play.  The Big Red now owns a full two-game lead in the conference standings thanks to Wednesday's win over second-place DePauw.

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