Photo: Courtesy of Georgia Peachy
Fort Wayne (17-10, 9-3) played Denver (7-19, 2-10) Valentines night and it was the same old story. In the first half, Denver allowed the Mastadons to shoot 48.5% from the field and gave up 10 3-point shots (50%) to give the visitors a commanding 15 point lead at the break, 45-30.
The second half, the teams traded buckets but it was too late for the Pioneers who could never whittle the deficit below 11 points.
Fort Wayne clearly scouted the Pioneers who are ranked 351/351 in NCAA 3-point defense. Over half of Fort Wayne’s shots (33 of 65) from the field were from downtown and the Mastadons converted on 16/33 for 48.5% for the contest.
The player of the game was the silky smooth John Konchar making his final visit to Magness Arena. He filled up the stat sheet with 29 points, 14 assists, 7 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks in 38 minutes. He was clearly the best player on the floor and, maybe, the finest player in the Summit League.
Both teams had four players in double figures. Jase Townsend led Denver with 18 followed by Ronnie Harrell, Jr. (15), Ade Murkey (15) and Abiola Akintola (11). DU’s bench won the scoring battle 35-11 but it was the combination of 3-point bombs from Fort Wayne and the stellar play of John Konchar that overpowered the Pioneers.
The Pioneers go on the road for their next two games (South Dakota, North Dakota) before returning to Magness for a pair of games (Western Illinois, Omaha). Denver is 1-12 on the road this season. Denver is one game back of North Dakota, Western Illinois and South Dakota for the final spot in the Summit League Tournament.