Rosga Shot Sends Bears into Hibernation, 73-70

Photo: Joe Rosga (#2) is greeted by coaches after hitting the game winner

University of Northern Colorado’s Jon’te Dotson hit a 3-point dagger to knot the contest at 70 apiece. That gave the Pioneers (5-6) 20 seconds to do the obvious – give the ball to Joe. Rosga got the ball, sized up his defender and dribbled above the top right arc as the clock ran down. In a single stroke, the ball found nothing but net as the clock hit 1 second, scoring three quarters of his point total (4) for the game on DU’s final shot.

Denver’s first half shooting was as icy as the 6 degree University Park neighborhood temperature. Shooting a miserable 30% at intermission, Denver trailed the University of Northern Colorado Bears (3-7) 28-24. Luckily, the Bears could only muster 40% shooting – so the game promised to be close.

Daniel Amigo ran into quick foul trouble in the first half with two quick foul calls and his time on the floor was limited – he eventually fouled out at 1:51 of the second half. The Bears had even more foul problems than Denver with three players fouling out of the contest – Jordan Davis, Ibrahim Sylla, and Kai Edwards. The Pioneers benefited in the second half with UNC in the penalty and hit 22-27 free throws (81.5%) for the game to move past the pesky Bears. And, 9-20 from beyond the arc (40.9%) didn’t hurt – especially Joe Rosga’s final stroke to knock out the UNC Bears.

All afternoon, it felt like Denver struggled with their lineup combinations to neutralize UNC’s driving offense and pesky defense. UNC’s backcourt of D.J. Miles and Chaz Glotta gave Denver fits with their speed and quickness. Denver played 11 deep and freshman Jake Krafka provided a big spark off the bench with 11 points and some critical free throws down the stretch. Abiola Akintola also added energy and size off the bench as well. Thomas Neff led DU with 15 and Jake Pemberton scored 11.

After the game, Rodney Billups said, “I am happy we won. We finally got that one in the books (first home win) in front of  our fans and family.” On the Rosga game-winner, Billups talked about his thought process, “Let’s not take a timeout and let them (UNC) set up defense…let’s just play and grow up a little bit. Let’s just make a play. I am happy where we are.(6-5),” Billups secured his first win at Magness and the Pioneers moved above 500 for the first time this season.

Next game Monday at 7:00 PM MT vs Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Magness Arena.

6 thoughts on “Rosga Shot Sends Bears into Hibernation, 73-70”

  1. I’ve got to say, I hate it when teams just dribble around as the clock winds down and launch a long 3 without even trying to run some kind of play, but it worked this time so I’ll try not to complain too much. 🙂

    DId anyone else notice the Northern Colorado superfans that were sitting opposite the UNC bench? I give credit to them for being into the game, but they seemed to really be annoying the Denver fans around them, so there was some nice schadenfreude seeing them head back to Greeley disappointed.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Every team has some games when your shots just aren’t falling in, and even your best players aren’t having good games, as through 39 minutes and 59 seconds, Joe Rosga had a single point to his name. DU was having one of those games…

    Yet, the Pios emerged victorious by Rosga making the crucial shot at crunch time.

    Billups knows DU could have very easily lost this game. Yes, his team grew up and closed out the win. But this was a UNC team DU should have beaten badly at home – more work to do!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It looks like Amigo is now tied for #14 among all division 1 players in fouls per game. He really needs to improve on that – when he’s out there and not in foul trouble he can do some great things, as we saw against Air Force. But when the fouls come early, like they did this afternoon, it just shuts him down which really hurts the team.

    In that Air Force game he didn’t get his second foul until there was only 1:38 left in the game.

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  4. Daniel Amigo is by far the most improved player on the Pioneers, and it’s added an amazing height dimension that DU hasn’t really had since the Yemi Nicholson days of more than 10 years ago.

    Given his propensity to pick-up early fouls, I think some opponents target Amigo intentionally as well. He obviously wants to establish control of the lane on the defensive side early, so you can’t blame him or the coaches for wanting to put up his 6-10 body wall there and force opposing teams to kick-out and shoot from the perimeter.

    That said, Amigo also tends to get some reach-in type fouls that may be more controllable with experience and discipline. Amigo may be a junior, but he didn’t get much playing time his first two years, so he’s still developing rapidly. The other thing DU can do here is perhaps play Christian Mackey more minutes early in games to help keep Amigo’s fouls down. Finally, DU needs more players with some height to keep the burden on him from getting too high – perhaps that’s something they are working on for next season.

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