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.