Denver Rides Second Half Explosion to 80-65 Win Over Bison

Photo: Courtesy of Georgia Peachy

It looked like the same struggling Pioneer squad (6-14, 1-5) the first 20 minutes Wednesday night, trailing 36-30 at halftime at Magness Arena. But, this time, Denver took over a half of basketball – giving the fans a glimpse of what was expected at the beginning of the season. DU outscoring North Dakota State University 50 to 29 the final 20 minutes of the contest to coast to their first win of 2019. 

The keys to the game were simple:

  • Shoot 50% from the field (53.6%)✔️
  • Hold NDSU under 40% shooting (39.3)✔️
  • Hold NDSU 3-point shooting to 30% or less (28%)✔️
  • Hold NDSU to 70 points or less (65)✔️
  • Keep turnovers at 10 or less (10)✔️
  • Hit free throws (14 of 17/82.4%)✔️
  • Win the rebounding battle (36-32)✔️

Denver came out on fire to start the second half. In two and a half minutes, a jam by Ade Murkey tied the contest at 38-38. The teams traded buckets but Denver slowly started to pull away from the Bison. A Joe Rosga layup at 10:58 gave DU a 6 point lead, 54-48. Then, the DU defense ratcheted up and the air show began. Lay-ups by Donoven Carlisle, Ronnie Harrell, Jr., and Joe Rosga pushed the Pioneer lead to a dozen with 6:35 to go. With 4:28 to go, a dunk by Abiola Akintola got the DU bench on their feet.  The dunk fest continued a minute later with a Donoven Carlisle dunk followed a minute-and-a-half later by a Tory Stewart-Miller slam to cap the night. Denver coasted the final minute of play for the win.

Denver students were rewarded with a win and free holiday hangover t-shirts from DU basketball.

Four of Denver’s starters finished in double figures – Ade Murkey (18), Joe Rosga (17), Tory Stewart-Miller (10) and Ronnie Harrell, Jr. (15). The fifth starter, Donoven Carlisle, led DU with 10 rebounds.

It is too early to say the Pioneers have turned the corner tonight. But they showed fans and themselves what they can do when they play together with energy.



2 thoughts on “Denver Rides Second Half Explosion to 80-65 Win Over Bison”

  1. NDSU may not be Duke, but we’ll take it. I loved the DU effort level tonight – steals, strips, defending hard, which led to rebounds, scoring and dunks, and a 15-point league win. If DU plays that hard on defense in future games, more wins will come.

    Also good to see a solid student turnout tonight. Most were probably there for the t-shirt giveaway, but many of them stayed around and saw a very good DU performance.

    Finally, we also saw the king of balanced scoring that DU can put up when they get double-digit scoring from Rosga, Harrell, Stewart-Miller and Murkey in the same game, sharing the rock.

    Let’s see if they can build on it!

  2. Finally. Finally an effort to be proud of at home. That was fun. It was a step forward. A small step, but a step nonetheless.

    Pios took over the game in the 2nd half and never looked back. The effort level was there, especially defensively, turnovers were controlled, and the team showed some chemistry and poise. There are some good athletes on this team, and if they commit themselves to the task at hand, they can be very good and fun to watch.

    I hope this W serves as a springboard rather than a one-off, get-your-hopes-up type thing. We’ll see. Next up is Oral Roberts on Sunday at home. I bummed to have to miss this one due to being out of town but hope to read about another DU victory.

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