Pios push #11th ranked K-State into last minute, falling 64-56 in gutty road effort

Denver gave #11th ranked K-State all they wanted in Manhattan, Kansas. Photo: Tim Thompson

The Denver Pioneers, going in as 19-point underdogs, played their hearts out in 64-56 road loss at 11th-ranked Kansas State before 9,412 fans at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas. Denver held the Wildcats to only 38% shooting, but could not contain KSU senior guard Barry Brown, whose 25 points led all scorers.

Video highlights here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCSach7GrHA

The Pioneers had cut KSU’s lead to just four points, 60-56, with 1:21 to play on a pair of free throws by DU junior Ade Murkey, but the Wildcats made some key plays down the stretch, including a Kamau Stokes steal and a Xavier Sneed dunk to escape the upset bid by the Pioneers. K-State was an NCAA final eight team last season, with all of the Cats’ key players returning for this season.

The Pioneers were led by senior Joe Rosga’s 18 points, while senior Ronnie Harrell, Jr. and Murkey both chipped in with 14 points apiece. The Pioneers last led the game 38-37 with 13 minutes to go, and with the Wildcats shooting just 12-27 at the free throw line, DU was able to keep the game close down the stretch, out-rebounding KSU on the defensive glass, 30-29, although DU did give up 17 turnovers in the game.

The Pioneers are now 1-1 on the young season, and will face Abilene Christian on Thursday.

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8 thoughts on “Pios push #11th ranked K-State into last minute, falling 64-56 in gutty road effort”

  1. The most promising part of DU’s game was defense – and that is great news. Offense comes and goes but ‘D’ can keep you in every gams.

  2. Cam Griffin makes his return to Magness as part of Abilene Christian staff. He should be playing db in NFL. Superior athlete.

  3. Really proud of the Pios, they were in this game the whole way. Summit is officially put on notice. As has been noted by others in prior posts, there is serious athleticism on display at times that we haven’t seen from a DU roster. Need to use this game as a genuine springboard and continue to develop individually and collectively. Serious optimism is back.

  4. There were a few times late in the 2nd half where if we made a bucket, the heat would have really been on KSU. A 2:1 TO ratio favoring KSU is bad enough, but many of our 17 turnovers led to uncontested layups. That was probably the ball game. KSU’s horrid foul shooting did help us stay close.

    1. Good point, Dunker. Taking care of the ball has always been an issue for Billups’ teams in the three years he’s been here, and it was really quite acute last year. Teams who are quicker than DU (like K-State) will really benefit from turning over the Pios, and I am hoping that as DU’s teams become more athletic, that the turnover problem will even out a bit, since DU’s quickness is improving. But DU losing 17 balls last night was tough to watch at times – it was clearly some nerves along with a very quick opponent, but had DU only given up 9 or 10 last night instead of 17, they might have pulled off an upset.

      That said, the foul shooting problem crippled K-State last night at only 44%. D-I colleges typically shoot around 69% in free throws (that’s what DU shot last night at the line) and it has been pretty much that way since the mid ’60s. NBA and WNBA free throw shooting is about 75%. Few college coaches spend much time on practicing FTs since the performance levels tend to be so constant and they would rather coach other things.

  5. I just picked up tickets to Sunday’s soccer matchup, seeing Andre play for the first time, supposed to be sunny and 40s, not bad.

  6. Man eliminate a couple of dumb turnovers down the stretch and this easily comes down to the last possession. Great showing though overall by the Pios. Hopefully this builds some confidence that they can compete for the Summit this year.

    Mods, guests can’t post in the live chats. Any chance you could change this? I can’t use WordPress for a couple reasons

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