Denver Faces Western Illinois with Conference Tournament Berth on the Line

On Thursday night, Oral Roberts clobbered Western Illinois 113-70, leaving Denver and Western Illinois with a final regular-season play-in game for the final seed to the Summit League Tournament.

The final men’s basketball home game of the season is set for Hamilton Gym Saturday at 1:00 p.m. MT. The finale pits Denver (6-23, 2-13) against Western Illinois (5-20, 2-13). Kobe Webster (17.3 ppg.), Zion Young (13.4 ppg.) and Ben Pyle (11.8 ppg. and 5.2 reb.) lead the Leathernecks. The Pioneers counter with senior Ade Murkey (18.1 and 6.0 rebs.), sophomore Jase Townsend (17.1) and freshman Robert Jones (8.7 ppg. and 4.6 reb.).

Denver is averaging 68.9 ppg. as a team with 14 turnovers, losing by a -7.9 margin. Western Illinois is averaging 75 ppg. as a team with 10.9 turnovers, losing by a -6.0 margin.

Denver fell 86-80 in Macomb, Illinois earlier this season. Denver trailed by one point, 79-78, in the final minute but the Leathernecks closed out the game.

A win would give Denver the 8th seed in the Summit League Tournament.

And, the two teams that are tied for the least wins to ever advance to the NCAA Tournament? Florida International in 1995 and the University of Central Florida in 1996, each with 11 wins.

Either way, this is senior Ade Murkey’s last home game in a Pioneer uniform. No doubt, Murkey has been the team’s MVP with consistent play and strong leadership, keeping a young squad together during another challenging season.

8 thoughts on “Denver Faces Western Illinois with Conference Tournament Berth on the Line”

  1. If DU can’t beat a 2-13 Western Illinois team at home, they don’t deserve an SLT berth. Get it done, boys.

    Go Pios.

  2. 338 vs343 to see who is not the worst team in a very bad conference! Yippee! Should be great!

    Does a win save the coaches job?

    Who cares? ( well I did reply, but I’m bored and
    Just killing time until I watch the hockey game on tv)

  3. As this season of frustration and disappointment winds down, the chance to play for a berth in the conference tournament is at least something these players can shoot for (pun intended). I really hope DU can get the job done and avoid the ignominy of finishing last in the conference two years in a row. I especially hope the team plays well enough to win Murkey’s last home game as a Pioneer. He’s played his ass off all year and deserves a winning sendoff.

    I can’t help but think if the Pios can’t manage a W tomorrow, Billups is out.

  4. Tomorrow’s game is the epitome of college hoops. Every player at least wan to play in its conference tournament. True DU fans would pack the house tomorrow. Dunker says we win by 10.

  5. I like DU’s chances. While the results have not been ther, the effort has been all year. I’d like to see Ade Win his final home game.

  6. I will go support the seniors today and anticipate a victory. The beauty of college basketball is that should DU win, they could band together and upset a team or two in the conference tourney (even if a longshot). At least that makes it fun and gives the players something to strive for despite a lackluster season. Unless DU somehow runs the table and makes the tournament I don’t see how Billups keeps this job.

  7. Can’t say it was pretty but they got it done! Will need a hell of an effort to beat the top seed but March is mad for a reason

    1. Also stopped by the Men’s tennis match against BYU afterwards. That was fun/intense. They won 4-3 on a 7-6 third set tiebreaker with a match point after a code violation on BYU. Wow

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