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Women's Basketball cruises past Cincinnati Christian

Lauren Longbrake  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Lauren Longbrake | Photo by Jace Delgado

CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Denison women's basketball scored the first 12 points of the game and received 15 points off the bench from junior Lauren Longbrake as the Big Red traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio on Saturday afternoon and handed a 60-45 defeat to Cincinnati Christian at the Eagles' Jill Render Court.

Highlighted by a rebounding advantage of 49-32 and 26 bench points compared to CCU's five, the Big Red took control during the opening minutes when they jumped out to a 12-0 lead thanks to five combined points from junior Lauren Hofer.

Entering the second quarter with a 15-7 advantage, Denison gave the ball back to Hofer who put the Big Red back in front by double digits, 17-7, with less than nine minutes to play before halftime.

Hofer's bucket sparked an 8-0 scoring run for DU, which included baskets from Longbrake, Shonta Lockett, and Zyah Beal. Denison entered the break with a 25-13 lead.

Denison continued to hold a 12 point lead in the third quarter following a jumper from Valesha Province, but the Eagles scored seven of the next nine points on baskets from Gabby Suarez and Kamiylah Bomar to trim the CCU deficit to 29-22. Outscoring the Big Red 19-13 in the third quarter, the Eagles cut Denison's lead to 38-32 entering the fourth.

Despite Cincinnati Christian's 19 points in the third and trimming Denison's lead to three with 5:40 to play, the Big Red tallied nine of the next 10 points over the next four minutes of play and finished the quarter on a 15-3 scoring run that was led by five points from Aliyah Hunter. The win moved Denison to .500 on the season at 6-6. The loss dropped CCU to 6-9 on the year.

Longbrake tallied her team-high 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting and added six rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Hofer followed DU in scoring with 12 points and chipped in five rebounds. Province finished with eight points and three assists, while Alison Schafer totaled seven points and a game-high 10 boards.

Cincinnati Christian received a game-high 16 points from Suarez while Autumn Westmoreland added seven points and six rebounds. Bomar tallied nine points and tied with Dan'shae Hill to lead the game with four steals each.

The Big Red have won four of their last five games and will return to Livingston Gymnasium on Thursday, January 3 when they welcome NCAC-rival Kenyon College for a 7:30 p.m. start.