Photo: Courtesy of Jason Evans
The Pioneers fell at home 67-61 to the Abilene Christian Wildcats. Sure, the Wildcats are a solid team but it was Denver’s turnovers and free throws that put the Pioneers in a hole – and they could never climb out.
The Pioneers had a whopping 10 turnovers in the first half of play and put up a paltry 21 points to Abilene Christian’s 30 at halftime. Denver shot 33.3% for the half while turnovers continue to plague the Pioneers. Some of this can be explained because Rodney Billups substituted liberally during the first half with many of the new incoming freshmen. Still, it was a collective hole that was dug by freshmen and program veterans alike.
Denver went 0-8 from the line in the second half – to seal their well deserved fate. Abilene Christian canned 10 3-pointers for the night which prevented any hope of a Pioneer comeback (Denver had 9). For the game, the visitors shot 81% from the line and Denver shot 18% – miserable by any standard. At least Denver won the battle of the boards 33-26.
Joe Rosga and Ronnie Harrell, Jr. had 12 points each. Abiola Akintola’s 8 points started a second-half Denver surge but he went 0-6 from the line at critical times during the second half to thwart any hope of a Denver comeback.
Coach Rodney Billups has emphasized the need for Denver to hold their home court and losses like this surely thwart any confidence built during the Kansas State road contest. The best fans can hope is that this is an outlier. Still, so many times in the past, fans have seen this before.
The Pioneers take to the court again on the road against the University of Seattle on Friday, November 23rd.