Pioneers Ride Balanced Attack to defeat Leathernecks, 84-70

All five Denver (10-7, 2-2) starters were in double figures and Western Illinois’ (6-10, 3-2) leading scorer Garret Covington was held to only 17 points as the Denver Pioneers used a second half surge to bury the Leathernecks.

Denver followed all the coaches’ keys to win the game – holding Western Illinois to only 70 points, holding the Leathernecks to 36.5% on FG shots, winning the rebounding battle 36-29, and turning over the ball only 12 times. Joe Rosga rocked the stat sheet with 25 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists and fueled Denver’s second half surge. Daniel Amigo had 13 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists. Daniel Amigo committed only one personal foul, his lowest foul total of the season, and neutralized Western’s big man – 6’11” Brandon Gilbeck.

The game started slowly with the teams trading punches. Denver led 10-8 five minutes into the game. Layups by Christian Mackey, Thomas Neff, and C.J. Bobbitt highlighted the next five minutes as DU moved out to a 24-15 advantage. A pair of 3-point shots by Jeremiah Useosefe and a 3-point play by Garrett Covington closed Denver’s advantage to 34-30 at the 5 minute mark. Lay-ups by Joe Rosga and Daniel Amigo gave Denver a 43-37 lead with :16 seconds left in the first half. That score held.

In the first five minutes of the second half, Denver turned the ball over three times and missed three layups but solid defense allowed the Pioneers to maintain a 3 point advantage, 49-46. At 12:17, Garret Covinton converted a 3-point play and Western took the lead 51- 49 – it felt like another Pioneer game that would come down to the final shot. But, Joe Rosga would have none of it. At 12:37 Rosga hammered home a three point shot to grab the lead back and 30 seconds later, with the shot clock running out, landed another 3-point fall-away to take a 55-51 Pioneer lead. A Thomas Neff 3-point shot and a layup by C.J. Bobbitt kept the Leathernecks at bay, 60-54. A dunk by Duke Douglas at 8:07 gave DU their first double digit lead and breathing room, 65-54. The teams traded points the rest of the way as DU countered each bucket or free throw by the Leathernecks with points of their own to close out the contest 84-70.

Rodney Billups called the contest, “A team effort in the locker room, at practice, and on the court. We are so much better with (Amigo) on the floor – when he’s locked in. Defensively we are much better. When we have an offensive threat by the basket, we are a better team.”

The next game is Saturday at 4:00 pm vs. North Dakota State at Magness Arena.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Pioneers Ride Balanced Attack to defeat Leathernecks, 84-70”

  1. The MVP of the game for me was Jake Pemberton, whose defensive intensity frustrated and hounded Covington into a sub-par shooting performance, which helped keep the whole WIU team off balance. At one point, Covington was so pissed off at Pemberton that he took a technical foul. While foul shots and turnovers are still an issue for DU, it’s good to see them playing better defense. Scoring more than 80 points is also the kind of basketball that people will come out and watch if the Pios can sustain it. Now the league-leading NDSU Bison come to town. DU needs to focus and defend home court…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Very nice win, Amigo also missed four or five bunnies, he easily could have had ten more points.

    NDSU held on at South Dakota, that was a very nice win for them. Denver is going to need a really strong game to beat the Bizzzon I think.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s