Big Red sinks Quakers in home opener

Lucy Bancone  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Lucy Bancone | Photo by Jace Delgado

GRANVILLE, Ohio – Denison women's basketball stayed undefeated on the young season by defeating Earlham College, 68-61, on Saturday afternoon at Livingston Gymnasium.

Denison built its lead in the first half behind an 11-0 run in the first quarter. Senior Brittany Atkinson tallied seven of her season-best 11 points during the scoring run and gave the Big Red an 18-10 lead after the first. DU then ended the half on a 10-4 run that saw jumpers fall from junior Lucy Bancone and sophomore Alison Schafer to give Denison a 33-21 advantage at intermission.

Leading by as many as 16 points in the third, the Big Red held the Quakers to 5-for-13 from the field in the fourth quarter while sophomore Addie Buzas totaled seven of her team-high 14 points in the final period. Earlham shrunk the deficit to 54-52, with 5:26 to play, but a 3-pointer from Valesha Province gave DU a 57-52 lead with 4:42 remaining. Buzas finished a layup just 32 seconds later then stole the Quakers' next possession to connect at the rim once again.

Denison made 5-of-6 fourth-quarter free throws in the final 1:22 of play to sew up the win.

Denison led for more than 38 of the game's 40 minutes highlighted by a 16-point lead in the third quarter. Buzas added a season-high nine rebounds to go along with her 14 points. Atkinson contributed 11 points off the bench for the Big Red while Bancone tallied a season-best nine points.

Earlham's (0-1) Mariah Flynn led all scorers with 15 points and Zoe Curtis added 14.

The Big Red (2-0) returns to action on Sunday, Nov. 19 when they host ninth-ranked Trine University at 3 p.m. to close out the 2017 Denison Classic.  Trine held off Kenyon, 52-42, in Saturday's second game of the Denison Classic.