GRANVILLE, Ohio – The Earlham College women's basketball team nearly erased a 12-point deficit at halftime, but Denison University held the lead for a 68-61 win over the Quakers in the season-opener for Earlham on Saturday afternoon.
The Quakers took a 10-7 lead late in the first quarter when Mariah Flynn connected on a jumper with 3:08 to play. The Big Red closed out the quarter on a 9-0 run, however, and led 18-10 after 10 minutes of play. Denison continued that momentum through the second quarter, outscoring Earlham 15-11 to take a 33-21 lead into halftime.
Denison maintained its edge throughout the majority of the third quarter, forcing first-year head coach Shauna Watson to call a timeout at the 1:38 mark with her team trailing 47-36. The Quakers responded well as a jumper from Zoe Curtis, a layup from Camryn White and a triple from Kyndall Spears cut the deficit to 47-43 after three quarters.
Three minutes into the fourth quarter, and old-fashioned 3-point play from Flynn got Earlham within two points at 53-51. Unfortunately for the Quakers, an 8-1 run from the Big Red over the next four minutes put the game out of reach.
Earlham shot 10 percent higher (42.6-to-31.9) than Denison in the game, but took 18 less shots from the field. The hosts held a slight 46-38 edge in rebounding as well as making six more free throws.
Individually, Flynn finished with 15 points and eight rebounds for Earlham. Curtis added a career-high 14 points while White dished out five assists. Kayla Bowling added four steals off the bench.
Addie Buzas led Denison individually with 14 points and nine rebounds in 21 minutes. Brittany Atkinson added 11 points off the bench.
Earlham dips to 0-1 with the loss and faces Kenyon College tomorrow (Sunday) at 1 p.m.