Denver (1-4) played by far their best game of the season Wednesday night but fell to the University of Northern Colorado (3-1), 83-75. DU played the highly athletic Bears tough all night long but could never knock out the visitors who nailed 10 of 20 three’s (50%) for the game to DU’s 4 treys.
The Pioneers started the game hot with a 9-0 run and ended the first five minutes up 16 to 5 at Hamilton Gym. Five missed free throws in a row from UNC allowed DU to maintain their advantage for the next five minutes but several 3-point bombs from the NBA distance drew UNC closer. A pair of free throws from UNC’s Daylan Kountz pulled the score even, 26-26, at 4:35. A three-point shot from Kountz a minute later gave UNC the lead, 32-29. UNC controlled the pace, finishing the first half with the lead, 40 to 32. The Bears shot a sizzling 58% from 3-point range on 7-12 shots. Jase Townsend had 12 points to pace the Pioneers.
Denver came out strong in the second half on a 12-3 scoring run, led by Jase Townsend and Robert Jones, with solid shooting and close-range scoring to pull even, 44-44 with 16:07 remaining. Denver continued to hang with the Bears with a whopping 36 cumulative fouls in the first 30 minutes of the game. The teams stood 55-54 with Denver leading with 10 minutes to go.
UNC started to pull away as Daylan Kuntz and Bodie Hume scoring led UNC to a 67-59 lead with 4:30 to go. Tristan Green fouled out at 3:59 and Robert Jones fouled out with :59 seconds remaining as the Bears lead grew to 77-68. The teams traded buckets and fouls as the game ended, 83-75.
Denver only had 12 turnovers to the Bears 19 but 6 extra threes by the Bears helped to make up the difference. DU destroyed UNC in the paint, 44 points to 24, but was outrebounded by 8 for the contest. The teams split time evenly with the lead during the game.
Jase Townsend finished with a career-high 33 points and 4 rebounds. Robert Jones chipped in with 15 points and 6 rebounds before he fouled out in the waning moments. Frank Ryder scored 10 points in relief of Jones during the game along with 5 rebounds.