Photo: Courtesy of Jason Evans. DU’s David Nzekwesi drives to the hoop
The defensive effort was solid, but a brutal shooting display by the Pioneers Saturday afternoon left Denver with five consecutive losses to end the non-conference portion of their schedule. Shooting just 38% from the field and missing 18 free throws, DU still took the Cowboys to OT but DU could not finish the job. The Cowboys reeled off a 9-point run to start OT and the game was, essentially, over.
Denver got off to a solid start in this game as the teams were knotted at 19 each ten minutes into the game. Following two Jase Townsend free throws with 3:15 to go in the first half, Wyoming reeled off a running hook, jump shot and slam dunk to take a 34-26 advantage into the halftime break.
After halftime, the teams traded baskets with Jase Townsend closing the gap to one point, 39-38, before the Cowboys reeled off 7 consecutive points. But Denver fought back once again. A jumper from David Nzekwesi at 7:20 drew the teams even. Three minutes later, an Owen McGlashen 3-point jumper gave Denver a 5-point lead but the Cowboys countered and moved back in front of Denver once again by 4 points with 1:58 to go. Free throws by Jase Townsend and an Ade Murkey lay-up with :53 seconds to go knotted the game at 58 all and carried the contest into OT.
Cold shooting by Denver to start OT sealed the Pioneers fate, final score 72-66
Sophomore Jase Townsend is an emerging star for Denver with 24 points and 4 rebounds. Ade Murkey added 13 points and 8 rebounds. A motivated David Nzekwesi had his best game of the season to-date with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Denver had 15 turnovers to Wyoming’s 12. Denver had one of their better defensive games, holding Wyoming to 24 points in the paint, 40% shooting and 25.9% from 3-point range.
“We work on our free throws every day”, said Jase Townsend following the game. “We are not going to get down on ourselves. We’re going to get in the gym (and continue to practice). Our mindset this year is to just play hard the entire 40 minutes. We’re going to keep our head up and get ready for conference play.” As for the play of Denver’s ‘bigs’ freshman Robert Jones and David Nzekwesi who both played strong games, “David stepped up big time today. Robert gets on the boards. We need both of those guys starting conference play.”
Summit League play begins against North Dakota State Sunday, December 29th at 3:30 pm MT.