By Will Hamburger
Special to the Denisonian
The Big Red women are coming off a solid week in which they won 66-61 against Wooster on Saturday but lost a heartbreaker in overtime to an evenly matched Oberlin Opponent 62-54.
Denison fought hard against Oberlin on Wednesday but ended up coming just short in overtime. The Big Red were down by 8 points at halftime and Oberlin obtained its largest lead of the game at 11 points with 13:03 left in the second half. Denison was able to claw its way back into the game and force overtime but the women ran out of energy in overtime as they were outscored 15-7.
Defense and rebounding proved to be a major strength yet again for the ladies throughout this past week. Against Oberlin the women were able to hold the opposing offense to just 34.8% shooting overall and seized a staggering 49 rebounds. In the road victory against Wooster on Saturday the women were able to force the fighting scots to shoot just 33.9% and nab 41 rebounds.
A major player in the success of the Denison’s defensive and rebounding prowess is sophomore Jordan Holmes, who averages 12 PPG, 13.8 RPG and 119 blocks on the season with a scorching shooting average of 63.2%.
When asked about Denison’s recent success on the defensive end the sophomore star responded with the following, “We try to focus on playing fundamental basketball for 30 seconds. When the shot clock runs down we try to force our opponent to either turn the ball over or throw up a wild shot.”
In addition to playing great team defense this weak, the Big Red women were able to shoot the ball very well against a Wooster team that is still fighting to capture its first conference win (0-12 NCAC).
Kellie Arter played particularly well against Wooster en route to a 25-point outburst on 5-8 shooting from three-point range and 9-15 overall. The upperclassmen leader is having a spectacular season with averages of 11.8 PPG and a remarkable shooting percentage of 40.7% from 3-point land.
Even though the young Big Red team is playing well defensively with hot shooting from all over the court, the women still show their inexperience at times with 17 turnovers against Oberlin and 21 against Wooster. This type of play almost enabled Wooster to come back against Denison and capture just their second win on the season.
Maintaining control of the basketball has to be a focus for the Big Red as the Regular season comes to a close on Feb. 21 against conference opponent Allegheny at home.
Holmes maintains that the focus coming into the final stretch of the season is to “fix the mistakes that we made. In particular we are concentrating on playing our style of game by focusing on the little details. We just need to play together as a team and limit our turnovers.”
Denison has just three games remaining on their schedule for the regular season. Games at home include Wednesday February 11th against Kenyon and the season finale against Allegheny on Feb. 21 in addition to an away on Feb. 18 at Hiram