Late Run Not Enough As Navy Defeats Denver, 79-71

The final score was a familiar one as Denver lost 79-71 for the second time in three games. However, the path to that final score was far different than the one the Pios took when they played a tough Florida Gulf Coast team to the final minutes in a true road game on Friday night. In this contest the Pioneers came out shockingly cold and were out of it before the dust even had a chance to settle. The obvious bright spot came from Joe Rosga, who had a career high 33 points, including a barrage of 20 in the last 8:18 to lead the rally that would end up falling short.

The first half got off to about as bad of a start as Denver could have imagined. Halfway through the first half the Pioneers had scored only 2 points and found themselves behind by 14 points. It was a deflating start for a game that should have been close, and even though Denver was able to go back and forth with Navy for the rest of the first half, the damage had already been done and Denver was staring at a 37-22 deficit as they headed into the locker room. The first half shooting was so dismal that only Joe Rosga and Jake Holtzmann had field goals. Christian Mackey had also already picked up four fouls and the team committed 15 turnovers as a group. Simply put – it was a bad half – there’s no other way to say it.

Unfortunately, most of the second half would go the same way. The Midshipmen would continue to slowly build up their lead until they were eventually ahead by 25 points, 55-30 with 13:27 to go. It is to Denver’s credit that they continued to fight, and they eventually whittled the lead down to 10 points with 3:02 to go, prompting fantasies of a record comeback and crazy celebration… alas, it was not to be. Hasan Abdullah and Shawn Anderson would make the free throws to close it out for Navy and they ended up taking home a 79-71 victory.

It was a frustrating loss for Denver, Daniel Amigo fouled out after playing only 12 minutes and despite scoring 12 points, Elvin Rodriguez once again did not have any assists. It’s not a good box score to look at – other than Rosga, Denver just didn’t get the performances needed to beat a mediocre team like Navy. Though Rosga’s performance does deserve another mention, he tried his best to will the team to victory in the later part of the second half, and had he been given a few more minutes, he might have done it. In the end though, it goes down as another loss, and Denver is now 2-4 after six games, not where they or the fans wanted or expected them to be. It’s tempting to say that this was the third game in three days for Denver, but it was the third game for Navy in three days as well, so that should have cancelled out. At this point, we just have to wait and see what happens in the next game, at some point I expect to see a breakthrough as a team, and it doesn’t seem to have come yet.

That next game is against Wyoming on Wednesday, November 29 at 7 PM at Magness Arena. As I said before the game against Navy, and it goes even more so for this game – this is a chance for Denver to take a step in the right direction and get the season back on track. Wyoming is a good team, they beat South Dakota State handily this season and won on the road at Oregon State. Denver will be an underdog at home, and rightfully so,  but it’s another chance to prove themselves against what looks to be superior competition. After the start to the season, I think many Denver fans would be happy with a solid effort and complete game, even if they can’t pull out a victory over the Cowboys.


4 thoughts on “Late Run Not Enough As Navy Defeats Denver, 79-71”

  1. We knew this game would be a very sloppy one, with both teams playing their third game in three days. But the morning people at Navy are the wrong team to play as the third game in three days. Since all students are on scholarship at service academies, Navy has 22 players on its roster, and the always-in-shape Midshipmen played more than half of them today, pressing the whole game to tire out DU and make them very unstable. DU played right into the Navy trap, with a putrid, poor-shooting, turnover-laden foul-fest in the first 30 minutes – some of the worst basketball I’ve seen at the college level.

    Only in the last 10 minutes of the game did DU show their character to claw back the deficit, as Rosga took over the game. Perhaps it was poetic justice for Rosga, who was all set to go to Navy’s arch-rival, Army, out of high school before he was medically rejected from West Point. DU then stepped in to take Rosga as a freshman.

    Anyway, this DU team really needs to learn ball security.

    No team is going to win a game win the 19 turnovers gave up today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To think, I almost flew south for the Homewood Suites Classic. Thanks for the analysis each day Chris. Big test for the coaching staff to get kids confident they can succeed if we compete.


  3. Is there a Cyber Monday ticket promotion? For the past several years I’m able to get tickets for friends and family members for Christmas. No sign of it anywhere on, facebooks or twitters. Did I miss something or is this just another classic example of DU marketing leaders asleep at the wheel.


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