TEDDY AUMAN– The Big Red came up huge on Senior Night.
At the beginning of the game the four seniors, Maxwell Siwik, Johnny Vernasco, Garrett Collier and Sheldon Freeman were called and preceded to the center of the court to be acknowledged for their commendable commitment to the basketball program. The game that followed was a demonstration of the hard work these seniors put in at Denison.
The Big Red defended their home court in a door busting performance during Saturday’s game against Allegheny to improve their record on the season to 12-11 (8-8 NCAC).
After dominating the Gators on both sides of the court, the final score read 90-59 in favor of the Big Red. Denison’s execution both offensively and defensively forced Allegheny to struggle mightily on offense, contributing to the 31-point blowout.
Certainly, Denison’s relentless effort on the defensive end allowed for them to force turnovers and get the Gators out of their comfort zone.
Siwik ‘18 and Collier ‘18 lifted their team early and allowed the Big Red to seize control of the game with statement performances on both ends of the floor. After each converted on a lay-up and a three pointer, Denison lead the Allegheny Gators 15-9 at the 14 minute mark.
Shortly thereafter, Denison then pulled ahead 20-9 and would continue to build on their lead. Denison shot an impressive 13-26 from the field in the first half, and Siwik ‘18 and Collier ‘18 led the way on Senior Night to earn a 46-30 halftime lead.
The Big Red would continue their success into the second half without letting their foot off of the gas pedal en route to a comfortable 90-59 victory.
To speak to the outstanding defensive performance that Denison displayed on the court, they held Allegheny starters to only 28 points the entire game.
The Allegheny Gators have struggled throughout the season with a record of 5-7 (2-13 NCAC) and they found no answers to their struggles after visiting the Big Red.
As impressive as a 90-59 victory was for Denison, perhaps the most special moment of the game was when the Seniors were called to the center of the court.
“It was a really cool moment to share with Coach Malone, my family and the teammates. It’s something personal for me and I honor this with the people who have made the biggest impact on my life,” said Siwik ‘18.
Siwik ‘18, the team’s leading scorer, lead the way with 18 points on his special night. Reflecting on his senior season he says, “We came into the season not sure where our offense was going to come from, and I honestly wasn’t sure what my role would be. Coach Malone gave me a lot of confidence and believed in me,” said Siwik ‘18.
The Big Red coaching staff sure has brought the best out of Siwik ‘18 thus far this season. For a player averaging just two points per game the previous season to make a jump to averaging the 16th most points per game in the NCAC with 15 points per game is remarkable.
Siwik ‘18 is just one of the many players that helped make Denison a powerful basketball name in the NCAC over the past 4 years.
As we say goodbye to our seniors, this win and everything that came along with it was certainly memorable.
They are in action next away on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. against Hiram before returning home for the final game of the regular season on Saturday at 3 p.m. against Wabash.