Denver Outlasts Kansas City in 3 OT’s, 85-83

Denver Men’s basketball (10-5, 1-1) returned to the court Thursday night against UMKC (5-10, 1-1). Denver desperately needed a home conference win to snap a two-game skid and it took three overtime periods to settle the final score. What was once a defensive struggle in the first half, turned into the Tommy Bruner show as a Tommy Bruner 3-point shot found net with 1:09 remaining in the third overtime period to land on the final score. The co-star on the night was UMKC’s Shemarri Allen who finished with 34 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Bruner finished with 29 points, 4 assists, and 13 of 13 from the charity stripe to hold the charging Roos at bay.

Denver led 26-22 at halftime in a defensive struggle as both teams shot in the low 30% from the field. Denver held the lead for most of the half and built their margin by out-rebounding the Roos, 20-13.

Denver was coasting in the second half, at 10:39, after Tyree Corbett hit a jumper to give the Pioneers a 43-31 lead. Kansas City came charging back as DU went cold and Shemarri Allen started to drive the lane for points and then, hit timely three-point makes from the perimeter. With 34 seconds left in regulation, Mitchell RayQuawndis was fouled on a 3-point shot and hit all three charities to draw within two points. With 17 seconds remaining, Shemarri Allen was fouled while attempting a shot behind the arc and canned all three of his opportunities to pull within one point. A pair of Bruner free throws gave DU a 3-point lead with 4 seconds remaining. UMKC’s Allen hit a running three-point shot at the buzzer to send the game to overtime, 66-66.

Overtime was all about Allen and Bruner willing their teams to win. In the first overtime, Touko Tainamo gave DU a 2-point lead 71-69 with 53 seconds left but Allen countered again to knot the score, 71-71.

A Touko Tainamo 3-point make gave DU the lead in the second overtime with 53 seconds remaining to put DU up by one but UMKC countered again with a free throw (and miss) by Jeff Ngandu to knot the score at 76 all. DU could not generate a shot in the final 16 seconds and the game stretched into another 5-minute period.

In the third OT, the teams traded buckets until a Shemarri Allen layup put UMKC up 83-82. Bruner countered with an ice-in-his-viens 3-point make to give DU a two-point lead with 1:09 remaining, 85-83. Denver forced two missed layups by Kansas City in the final minute with Lukas Kisunas and Tyree Corbett making key blocks and rebounds in handing the Pioneers their first Summit League conference win.

In addition to Tommy Bruner’s outstanding performance, freshman Justin Mullins added 12 points and 9 rebounds. Touko Tainamo had another outstanding game with 22 points along with 9 points each from Lukas Kisunas and Tyree Corbett.

Oral Roberts, the Summit League favorite in preseason polls, comes to Hamilton Gym Saturday at 1:00 pm MT.



3 thoughts on “Denver Outlasts Kansas City in 3 OT’s, 85-83”

  1. Tough game for you to recap with so many amazing twists and turns. Good job. Brunner at the point was spectacular. If not on the court for us, we are a turnover machine against athletic teams like KC. Dunker worried he will wear down. The theatrics of Corbett’s block at the buzzer and his dribbling down the court and dunking was a SportsCenter moment. Way after buzzer obviously, but the spontaneity made it special. Now let’s defeat Oral on Saturday.

  2. That was a must-win game in which DU was favored, and the Pios got it done and survived the pressure. Bravo.

    That said, the game was closer than it should have been, and DU had a lot of poor shooting, too many turnovers, player under-achievement and yet, still came out with the W. Good teams win games when they don’t play well, and the Pios stepped up.

    Need to play better vs. Oral Roberts to have a shot at winning.

  3. Exhausting. But thrilling! Those are tough games unless the officials are top notch. So many of the ebbs and flows were directly related to the officials willingness to call the grabbing, holding, etc. It rattled us the first half when we were looking for calls and shooting while expecting to be challenged at the rim. We settled down in the 2nd half and adjusted. And we looked good. Then it got crazy and we were trying to just hold on. It was remarkable that we elevated our game in the OT’s and battled. UMKC wants and needs it to be crazy. We like a flow. We like to execute. It was a tough game and kudos to UMKC. That guard of theirs was great. But Tommy B. triumphed, and our willingness to get down and dirty and fight is a good sign for the next few weeks. Tribute at the end to honor Bruner’s career points was classy. Jeff Wulbrun is a class act and continues to impress. We’ve come a long way Baby!!

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