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Second half surge sends DU past Worcester State

Alison Schafer  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Alison Schafer | Photo by Jace Delgado

NEW YORK -- Denison women's basketball used 20 third-quarter points and double-digit efforts from Alison Schafer, Lauren Longbrake, and Shonta Lockett to erase a three-point deficit at the half and defeat Worcester State 64-52 on Friday evening in the opening round of Hunter College's Tip-Off Tournament in New York, N.Y.

Led by 50 percent shooting in the first and third quarters and 13-of-14 (92.9%) shooting from the charity stripe for the night, the Big Red ended the first period with an 18-17 edge after junior Lauren Longbrake and senior Lucy Bancone combined for DU's final five points of the frame.

Worcester State countered in the second quarter with 5-of-7 from the free throw line and a pair of threes from Calli Korbey and Sam Maglione, who finished with 13 points in the first half, to put Denison in a 32-29 deficit entering intermission.

Coming out of the break, the Big Red opened with eight of the first 10 points in the third quarter on layups from Schafer and junior Lauren Hofer, along with a pair of free throws from Bancone to retake the lead at 37-34.

After Worcester State's Brittany Herring followed with a basket at the 6:12 mark in the period, Longbrake followed with eight points over the next 2:08 of play as Denison went on a 10-0 scoring run to extend their lead to 47-36. The Big Red outscored the Lancers 20-8 in the third and held WSU to 21.4 percent shooting and forced six turnovers to carry a 49-40 advantage into the final frame.

Despite a jumper from WSU's Korbey to begin the fourth, Schafer chipped in six-straight points to put DU back up by double-digits, 53-43, with less than seven minutes remaining.

After Zyah Beal connected on consecutive free throws with 1:54 to play, Denison garnered their largest lead of the night (19) at 64-45. A late three from Maglione and layups from Korby and Kaitlyn Berkel were not enough for the Lancers to make a final push as the Big Red earned their first win of the season and moved to 1-1 overall. Worcester State suffered their second loss of the season and fell to 2-2.

Schafer tied for the game-high with 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting and added three steals and three assists. Longbrake followed with 13 points and Lockett came just one rebound shy of a double-double with 10 points and nine boards. Hofer chipped in eight points and added five rebounds.

The Lancers received 16 points from Maglione while Berkel and Kate Surprenant combined for 16 points and added seven rebounds each.

The win sends Denison to Saturday's (Nov. 17) Hunter Tip-Off championship game with tournament-host Hunter College at 2 p.m. The consolation game will take place at 12 p.m. between Worcester State and St. Joseph's College of Long Island.