Denver (1-10, 0-4) faced Oral Roberts University (8-6, 5-1) Saturday afternoon in a rematch. Once again, Denver was ice cold from the field and turned the ball over 16 times in the nine-point loss to ORU. Despite the final result, Denver continues to show resilience, continually battling back from deficits to make games close in the final minutes but unable to finish games with a ‘W’.
Denver fell behind early, 7-0, and trailed 11-3 after five minutes. Kevin Obanor led the early charge for the Golden Eagles with 6 points. Denver shooting went ice cold over the next five minutes and ORU raced out to a 20-11 lead ten minutes into the contest. Denver battled back with an 11-1 run, capped by a 3-point bomb from Roscoe Eastmond which knotted the score 21-21. The Golden Eagles responded with an 8-0 run of their own with four minutes remaining in the half to lead 29-21. A 3-point shot by ORU along with two steals and a flurry of DU turnovers allowed the Golden Eagles to build a double-digit lead as the half ended, 38-26. The Pioneers shot a miserly 25% for the half and committed 11 turnovers. Jase Townsend led DU with 12 points but Denver struggled to score.
Denver started the first three minutes of the second half strong with an Eric Moenkhaus 3-point shot and Sam Hines, Jr. lay-up, Denver drew within three, 47-44, with 14:46 remaining. ORU, the second-best 3-point shooting team in the country, got hot beyond the arc raining three’s and extended their lead once again to ten points, 60-50. DU’s Sam Hines, Jr. took charge with some big points as the Pioneers stormed back, capped by a Jase Townsend jumper to make the score 68-66, ORU, with 5:46 remaining. The Golden Eagles had another run but the Pioneers pulled within five points in the waning minutes. A Jase Townsend three-point basket drew DU within four points, 84-80, with 55 seconds remaining but Denver could get no closer with the contest eventually settling at 91-82, ORU.
Denver was plagued by cold field goal shooting (52.9 vs 45.2%) and turnovers (16-13) and never led in the contest. The bright spots for DU were Jase Townsend (35 points, 5 rebs.) and the play of freshmen Eric Moenkhaus and Sam Hines, Jr. . Moenkhaus (8 points. 2 steals) added valuable energy in the second half and Sam Hines had a double-double (16 points, 10 rebs) along with three blocks and one steal.