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Big Red break away from Bishops to open 2018

Lauren Longbreak |  Photo by Craig Hicks
Lauren Longbreak | Photo by Craig Hicks

DELAWARE, Ohio – Led by Lauren Hofer's career-high 17 points, Denison women's basketball traveled to Delaware, Ohio on Wednesday evening and defeated Ohio Wesleyan University, 63-55, at Branch Rickey Arena.

The Big Red took advantage of a first half where they held the Bishops to 11-percent from three-point territory and converted 9-of-11 from the charity stripe. Holding an 18-17 lead with 6:54 remaining in the second quarter, Denison's Lauren Longbrake totaled three consecutive points before a three from junior Valesha Province put DU up 24-17 at the 5:31 mark.

Finishing the quarter on a 17-7 scoring run, the Big Red tallied the final two buckets of the half, including a layup from Lucy Bancone with five seconds remaining to take a 35-24 advantage into intermission.

Leading the Bishops 40-30 with 6:21 remaining in the third, Denison lengthened their lead with a jumper from Shonta Lockett and a three from senior Brittany Atkinson. The Big Red finished the quarter with a 12-6 scoring run, all of which came from points off the bench, including a bucket from Longbrake to a 52-36 lead into the final frame.

Ohio Wesleyan made one final push as Claire Sterling buried back-to-back layups to only trail DU 60-50 with 1:24 remaining in the game. OWU followed with another triple from Tia Karras, but the Big Red connected on three of their final four free throws to secure their first win of the New Year.

Hofer added four rebounds to her 17-point effort, and Longbrake totaled 13 points and four boards. Atkinson went a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe as she finished with 10 points.

Tia Karras led the way for OWU with 16 points and two assists, while Sterling finished with a double-double on 10 points and 14 rebounds. Morgan King also chipped in 12 tallies.

DU will stay on the road this Saturday, Jan. 6 when they travel to Meadville, Pa. to take on Allegheny College at 1 p.m.

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