Defense leads men's basketball to victory over Denison

Jamel Barnes Jr.

RICHMOND, Ind. – The Earlham College men's basketball team outscored Denison 36-27 in the second half to pull away late in the game for a 56-49 victory.

The Quakers defense was the difference in the game. Earlham held the Big Red to 18 of 54 shooting for 33.3 percent but held them to 0 of 16 shooting from behind the arc. The Quakers also shot nine more free throws resulting in 19 of 27 from the stripe. Denison attempted 18 free throws and hit 13 of them.

Junior Jamel Barnes Jr. scored the first 11 points for the Quakers as they took a 11-5 lead seven minutes into the contest. Both teams did not score for the following four minutes as the score remained 14-7 during the duration of the four minutes. Earlham led 17-9 with four minutes to go in the first half before Denison went on a 13-3 run to close the half and take the lead 22-20.

Earlham led 48-47 with 02:32 to play in the game. The Quakers went to the free throw line eight times in the final two minutes and converted on all eight attempts. Up to this point in the game, Earlham had shot 11 of 19 from the free throw line.

Senior John Sakaleros scored eight of his ten points in the second half to help lead the Quakers to their second straight victory to open the season. The starters accounted for 51 of the team's 56 points and had balanced scoring. Senior Kenneth Stalling Jr. had eight points and 10 rebounds. Barnes Jr. finished with a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Chainey Zolman also had 10 points in the game.

Denison won the battle of rebounds by a margin of six, turnovers by two, points off turnovers by eight, second chance points by five, points in the paint by 12, fast break points by two and bench points by six.

For the Big Red, Kevin Cheng added 12 points while Will Hunter scored 10 points.

The Quakers have not opened a season 2-0 since the 2007-08 season.

Earlham will be back in action next Tuesday, November 19 at Wabash College. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.