After opening the game with a barrage of three-pointers, the Yellow Jackets cooled off significantly.
And when Ardmore (Okla.) continued to launch from behind the arc and hit from all over the floor, Denison wasn’t able to match the onslaught from the outside.
Combined with turnovers that kept the Jackets from getting into a rhythm offensively, Ardmore came away with an 82-70 win in non-district action at Denison.
Tarrence Gaines had 25 points, 14 rebounds, three steals and three assists, Nate Uber chipped in 10 points, Keleon Vaughn scored seven points and Zaelin Wimbish and Asa Osbourn each added six points for Denison (10-9), which plays at Aubrey on Tuesday night.
Dion Brown had 18 points, Jordyn Brown scored 17 points, Elijah Franked added 11 points and Joamarre Williams and E.J. Cohee each finished with nine points for Ardmore (6-2), which made 12 three-pointers to the Jackets’ six and led by double digits for the final quarter and a half.
The closest the Jackets would get in the final eight minutes came in the final score thanks to an 11-4 run to end the game.
Ardmore’s largest lead came at 71-50 in the middle of the fourth as the Jackets went through a more than four-minute stretch where they didn’t make a basket — just six free throws accounted for their offense — before Denison started chipping away in the final two-plus minutes but the outcome had already been decided.
Uber scored Denison’s first seven points of the third quarter but Ardmore went up by 11 after Dion Brown’s three-pointer following a steal.
Caleb Heavner’s baseline drive got the Jackets’ deficit down to 47-40 in the middle of the frame but the Tigers used a 12-3 run led by Dion Brown and Franks for a 16-point lead late in the quarter.
Gaines converted a three-point play with 11 seconds that looked like it could be a spark heading to the fourth quarter but DeDe Coleman hit a deep three — his only points of the game — at the buzzer for a 62-46 advantage.
Ardmore took its first lead of the game with an 8-2 burst in the first two minutes of the second quarter. Jordyn Brown and Cohee hit back-to-back threes for an 18-16 margin.
Denison briefly took the lead back at 22-21 on a Vaughn layin. But the Tigers then went on a 9-0 run, capped by a Dion Brown three-pointer.
The Jackets responded with a 7-0 run as Gaines hit a three and Osbourn scored the final four points to pull Denison within 30-29 with 1:26 remaining in the half.
Ardmore opened its margin back up to 40-31 at half-time with an 8-0 burst — Dion Brown converted a three-point play and then hit the Tigers’ sixth and final three-pointer of the half — and Franks made a turnaround baseline jumper at the buzzer.
The Yellow Jackets started hot from the outside as their first three baskets were three-pointers by Vaughn, Uber and Gaines to take a 9-6 advantage.
It was a quick combined 15 points before both offenses then went quiet. Neither team made a basket until Cohee hit a three-pointer from the right corner with 1:45 to go in the quarter.
In the meantime Denison had built a 14-6 lead on four free throws from Gaines and one by Uber and led 14-10 and the end of the opening eight minutes despite not making a shot for the final five minutes of the quarter.