DU men’s basketball (1-1) relied on sharp shooting (56% to 34.4%) scoring spurts from three (7-14) and Tommy Bruner (14 points) to take a 51-32 lead into the second half against the Cal Poly Mustangs. The Pioneers owned the lead for the full 20 minutes. Coach Wulbrun went deep into his bench with 9 players logging minutes, 7 players made the scoresheet.
Denver carried over the hot shooting to the second half and extinguished any hope of a Mustang comeback. DU held the Mustangs at bay, 71-54, in the first ten minutes of the second half. DU got in the bonus with 9 minutes left, opening up the floor for the Pioneers. A scoring run by the Mustangs pulled the game to a 14-points but Touko Tainamo countered with a putback and Jaxson Brenchley made a fast break bunny to extend the lead to 83-65. Denver was able to coast down the stretch and was never seriously threatened.
This was a total team effort at Hamilton Gym. Touko Tainamo nearly secured another double-double with 13 points and 9 rebounds (along with 2 blocks). Utah transfer Jaxson Brenchley had 14 points and 3 rebounds. Isaiah Addo-Ankrah had a great all-around game with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal – going 3-6 from beyond the arc to open up the floor. Ultimately, it was Tommy Bruner, Denver’s do-it-all point guard, who fueled the victory with 28 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal.
The Pioneers shot a blazing 55.1% on the night along with 10 of 21 from downtown. Denver also owned the boards 41-30 and went 84.6% from the charity stripe. Denver never trailed. All-in-all, an outstanding opener.
Next up for Denver is a road trip to play in the Jaguar Classic in Mobile, Alabama with three games in five days. Denver opens with Nicholls on Monday (6:00 pm MT), SIUE on Wednesday (5:00 pm MT) and Southern Alabama on Friday (2:00 pm MT).