After a two-week COVID-19 delay, Denver (1-13, 0-7) took to the court in Hamilton Gym to face the North Dakota Fighting Hawks (6-14, 5-6) Friday afternoon. Starting DU center Robert Jones returned to action from a leg injury but forward Tristan Green missed the game due to COVID-19 protocols. Denver came back from a slow start to take the lead a number of times during the game but, ultimately, could not stop the Fighting Hawks in overtime.
DU started the game with 0-5 shooting from the field and trailed 0-6 to start the game. As is their custom, Denver trailed 14-3 after the first six minutes of the play. The score stood at 20-8 at the ten-minute mark following a 3-point make by UND’s Ethan Igbanugo. After a total of 19 personal fouls on both teams, the contest slowed to a snail’s pace. UND held the advantage, 30-20, with five minutes remaining in the first half but Denver made a push. In the final five minutes, a Jase Townsend 3-point shot and a layup by Robert Jones pulled DU within five points, trailing 34-29 at the break. The half ended with a total of 26 personal fouls being called.
A 14-0 run, partially carried over from the first half, was capped by a Sam Hines layup and an Eric Moenkhaus 3-point shot to give DU its first lead, 35-34. DU held the advantage, 43-42, five minutes into the second half. Hot-shooting Eric Moenkhaus was 4-6 from 3-point range to help Denver lead, 57-51, with ten minutes to go. The teams continued to trade leads but ND’s Mitchell Sueker sunk two free throws with five minutes to go for a North Dakota 66-63 lead. In the final four minutes of regulation, a Jase Townsend four-point play pulled Denver within two points, 73-71, with 2:23 remaining. Tyree Inhenacho responded with a jumper and built on the UND lead, 75-71, with 1:20 remaining. A Taelyr Gatlin three-point shot with :22 seconds remaining tied the game, 75-75. DU got the ball back with :04 seconds left in regulation but could not get off a shot.
— Denver Men's Hoops (@DU_MHoops) February 5, 2021
In overtime, the teams traded points until the Fighting Hawks Bentiu Panoam canned a 3-point shot to give UND a 1-point lead with 2 minutes remaining in OT. The Pioneers missed a shot and turned the ball over while North Dakota went 4-4 from the line to seal the win, 85-82.