GRANVILLE, Ohio – The Mount Union women's basketball team dropped a non-conference game against Denison on Wednesday night from Livingston Gymnasium with a final score of 63-61.
The Purple Raiders (2-3) were led by sophomore Bailee Kuhn (Elida/Elida) who recorded career highs of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Kuhn was accompanied on offense by freshman Elena Rauhe (Seven Hills/Padua Franciscan) who had 10 points of her own coming off the bench.
The Big Red (4-3) would strike first but strong defense from the Raiders would keep the opening quarter within a point. Two long threes from Rachel Tinkey (Canfield/Canfield) would get momentum going for the game. At the end of the first, the score was 13-10 with Denison on top.
Starting the second quarter, the Big Red and Raiders would go bucket-for-bucket as Denison would contain their lead over Mount Union. Within the final five minutes in the half, offensive rebounds allowed Mount Union to score a lot of second chance points down low. A quick nothing-but-net three followed by a steal and fast break allowed Mount Union to tie it up at 26-26. Denison would get two buckets in the final minute to go into halftime leading 30-26.
Offense down low would be crucial for the Raiders as 10 of their 17 third quarter points would come from down on the blocks. Trailing by 10, a steal from Casey Morrissette (Wakeman/Firelands), causing her to draw a Denison foul would send her to the line and make both shots. A defensive stop would allow the Raiders to drive down the court, secure an offensive rebound and give long-range shooter Tori Rappach (Warren/Howland) an opportunity to cut the lead in half with a deep three. Big Red wouldn't go out quietly as a last-second layup would take the game into the fourth quarter with a 50-43 Big Red advantage.
Mount Union's fourth quarter defense would slow things down for Denison and force them to take long jumpers that wouldn't quite fall. After nearly four minutes of play, the Raiders would cut Denison's lead to 54-52 by going 4-for-4 from the foul line, a long ball and an inside jumper. Denison would bounce back just as fast and kick their lead back up to seven. Mount Union's senior leaders would push the defense, capturing steals for the Raiders resulting in another offensive run to get within one possession at 61-59 with 3:20 remaining. Rauhe would hit a pair of free throws to make it a one-point game with just 51 ticks left on the clock. Denison would split a pair of shots at the line with 22 seconds remaining in the game that would end with a 63-61 win for the Big Red.
The Purple Raiders will next host the Wilmington Fightin' Quakers as they open up OAC play at home on Saturday, December 2 at 3:00 pm.