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Denison grinds out win at Oberlin

Taylor Lindquist

Denison forced 12 second-half turnovers which helped them pull off a 45-44 come-from-behind victory at Oberlin in North Coast Athletic Conference from Philips Gym on Wednesday evening. With the win, DU has now won 16 of their last 17 games, including 11 straight.

The Yeowomen didn't trail for the first 46+ minutes of the game, leading by as many as six early in the second quarter. A key defensive serious for the Big Red swung the momentum in their favor as they forced a shot clock violation with 6:01 left in the third. Denison was able to cash in on that turnover with a Gabrielle Nottage layup to cut the margin to 27-24.

Junior Jordan Holmes closed the gap to one with a bucket on DU's next trip down the floor. On the ensuing possession, Holmes came away with a steal which eventually resulted in a Nottage jumper that gave the Big Red their first lead of the game at 28-27 with 4:27 on the clock.

The Nottage bucket started a string of nine lead changes over the final 4:27 of the third. With 38 seconds to go, freshman Valesha Province converted from short range to put Denison back on top 36-35. After coming away with a steal inside the final 10 seconds, Tyler Parlor had her pocket picked by Gaby Mehringer who scored at the horn to give the Big Red a 38-35 edge through 30 minutes.

After playing from behind for the majority of the first three-quarters, the Big Red led for the entire fourth period. Oberlin's Caroline Hamilton made it a 40-39 contest with 6:27 left in regulation before both teams went on an over three-minute scoring drought. Holmes ended the skid by splitting a pair at the foul line before an Oberlin turnover and jumper by senior Kellie Arter gave the Big Red their largest lead of the game at 43-39. Now in front 45-41, Hamilton buried a triple to shrink the deficit to one with 11 seconds on the clock.

After drawing a foul with 8.6 seconds to play, DU was forced to in bound the ball once again at center court. Nottage secured a lob pass that could have resulted in an easy layup that would have given Oberlin a chance to tie the game. However, the junior made a veteran decision and pulled the ball back out as Denison was able to run out the final seconds to secure the one-point win.

Holmes led all scorers with 12 points to go along with 14 rebounds, seven blocks and five steals. With her seven blocks, Holmes is now tied for third on the Division III list with 440 career rejections. Nottage chipped in eight points, while Arter had seven tallies. Senior Taylor Lindquist dished out three assists and came away with two steals.

Hamilton led Oberlin with eight points and five assists, while four other Yeowomen recorded six points apiece. Parlor pulled down 12 rebounds, while Olivia Canning blocked four shots.

As a team, Denison forced a season-high 20 turnovers and posted double-digit steals (10) for the fifth time this season. The Yeowomen held a 38-27 advantage on the glass, while the Big Red scored 17 points off turnovers and turned 12 offensive rebounds into 10 points.

Denison improves to 18-3 overall and 11-1 in the NCAC, while Oberlin falls to 10-11 and 4-8 in league action. The Big Red will look to continue their winning streak on Saturday (Feb. 6) when they host Wooster on Senior Day. Tip-off from Granville is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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