All posts by 5BWest

Pioneers Beat Wyoming in OT Thriller, 90-87

LARAMIE, Wyo. – The University of Denver (4-7, 0-0) men’s basketball team started to put all the pieces together tonight in an 90-87 overtime win against the University of Wyoming. It had been 20 years since DU earned a win in Laramie and it could not have happened at a better time.

Denver led the game for 31:53 minutes but their halftime lead melted during the second half, eventually leading to overtime.  In the final minute of overtime, after trading leads in extra time, a tip-in by Donoven Carlisle gave Denver the lead once and for all, 86-84.  A missed three point shot by Wyoming was rebounded by Joe Rosga. Rosga was fouled and made two free throws to give DU a 4-point advantage. Once again, Wyoming missed another 3-point attempt and Rosga got the rebound.   Again, the veteran senior sunk two more free throws to give DU a 6-point lead with three seconds to go. Wyoming sank a desperation 3-point shot at the buzzer and the game ended 90-87, Denver. Continue reading Pioneers Beat Wyoming in OT Thriller, 90-87

Denver comes up short against Air Force, 73-65

Denver (2-7) shot 31.4% for the first half and committed 9 turnovers to fall behind Air Force (4-5),  26-23, at the half. Despite the cold shooting by the Pioneers, the teams exchanged leads during the first half – until the final minute. The teams were knotted at 23 each following a Joe Rosga jumper with 30 seconds to go – but a jumper and a free throw by Air Force’s Scottie Lavelle gave the Cadets a 3-point advantage at the break.

Denver started slowly again in the second half. After 8 minutes, Air Force had built a 10 point lead, their biggest advantage of the night, capped by a 3-point jumper by Keaton Van Soelen. With 7:17 minutes to go, DU freshman guard Joseph Lanzi caught fire with a 3-point jumper to cut the AFA lead to 6 points. Two minutes later, Lanzi delivered again from the arc to cut the deficit to 5 points. A minute later, Lanzi hit a layup at 4:19 to make it 57-54. Lanzi capped his barrage with a final 3-point shot at 2:19 but DU could not make stops down the stretch to close the gap. Air Force hit 11 of 11 free throws in the final 1:09  to coast the rest of the way to a win. Continue reading Denver comes up short against Air Force, 73-65

North Dakota series goes to the dogs

A  photo published by the Grand Forks Herald has put the University of North Dakota in hot water. An alert reader examined a published photo (above)  of a corridor in Ralph Engelstad Arena. Closer examination showed a poster on the door leading into the UND hockey locker room. The poster states, “Beat DU or…we will paddle this pup” with a picture of a distraught dog. The alert reader sent a copy of the poster to the Grand Forks ASPCA and the Grand Forks Herald. Continue reading North Dakota series goes to the dogs

Denver Volleyball Swept out of NCAA’s 3-0

Make it five straight NCAA appearances for the Denver Pioneers (27-3) without winning a set. However, by almost any measure, this year’s team was the best in Denver volleyball history. Denver fell 3-0 to Utah in the first round of the NCAA’s in Provo, Utah. While Denver did not win a game, they are clearly on the right track and battled a solid Utah side.

Freshman outside hitter Graceyn Tippens filled in for the injured Katarina Marinkovic so DU was missing a vital cog in their front line heading into the match. Still, all credit goes to Utah for grinding down the Pioneers in a tight match. Continue reading Denver Volleyball Swept out of NCAA’s 3-0

Denver Boone Pins have finally arrived

Want your own Denver Boone pins to display your Pioneer pride? Perfect to pin on vests, blazers, jackets and hats. These high quality pins are 1″ in height and cost only $10.00 a pair on Ebay. $2.00 from each sale will be donated to the new DU Spirit Fund and $4.00 will go to a needy camper(s) at next summer’s Rodney Billups basketball camp.

Denver Boone is the beloved unofficial mascot of the University of Denver. The mascot was created by Disney studios in 1968 – 50 years ago. Continue reading Denver Boone Pins have finally arrived

Wounded Pioneers Fall to Bears, 88-72

Photo: Courtesy of twitter –

The Denver Pioneers (2-5) got rolled in the first half, minus three starters, en route to a Northern Colorado Bears (4-1) 88-72 victory. The score was a lopsided 48-29 at the halftime break and the Pioneers substituted liberally down the stretch, getting all five freshmen on the floor during the contest. In the first 20 minutes, the visitors went 9-17 from the arc and shot over 50% to build up a huge lead at Magness Arena and coasted with a double digit lead nearly the entire night.

DU junior Ade Murkey was the star of the night with 31 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists – his career best as a Pioneer. Freshmen guards Taylr Gatlin and Jase Townsend has 8 and 6 points respectively while freshman big man David Nzekwesi showed some soft hands and power inside with 7 points. The energy from the bench definitely improved after what must have been an ugly half-time meeting with coaches and Denver players responded with a respectable second half. Continue reading Wounded Pioneers Fall to Bears, 88-72

Sleepless in Seattle: Denver drops two at the Elgin Baylor Classic

Photo: Courtesy of

There were few happy endings for the Denver Pioneers at the Elgin Baylor Classic as they dropped their final game to Fairfield and could only win one game out of three at the tournament. Despite the outcome, there were some positive signs for the Pioneers (2-4) but plenty of room to improve.

Absent three starters (Joe Rosga and Jake Krafka – rolled ankles, Tory Stewart-Miller – injured wrist), there were three to four freshmen on the floor for Denver most of the tournament – and the first-year players contributed along the way. Like most freshmen, their offensive consistency and interior defense were off-and-on all weekend but Joe Lanzi, David Nzekwesi, Jase Townsend, Taylr Gatlin, and Alperin Kurnaz got meaningful minutes and contributed in extended action. Continue reading Sleepless in Seattle: Denver drops two at the Elgin Baylor Classic

Denver Volleyball earns return trip to NCAA Tournament

Denver volleyball (27-2) was on the bubble. After dropping the Summit League conference tournament final to the University of South Dakota, the Pioneers had to anxiously wait at head coach Tom Hogan’s house Sunday evening. The Pioneers were rewarded for their outstanding season, undefeated in conference play, and will have an opportunity in the first round to avenge their regular season loss against the University of Utah.

Continue reading Denver Volleyball earns return trip to NCAA Tournament

Resilient Pioneers Top Friars, 3-1

Photo: Courtesy Kelly O’Connor

Following last weekend’s  Minnesota-Duluth series, the Pioneers (7-3-1, 3-3-0-0) had every reason to collapse when the Providence Friars (7-4-1, 4-2-0) tied the game 1-1 in the third period. With the visitors enjoying a significant face-off advantage, shots-on-goal, and penalty-minutes-served advantage, Denver overcame it all and responded with flying colors with two opportunistic goals in the third period to win, 3-1. And, again, Devin Cooley was a rock in goal for the Pioneers with 39 saves. Continue reading Resilient Pioneers Top Friars, 3-1

Seattle and Denver Follow Similar Path Seeking Hoops Relevance

When the University of Denver and Seattle University basketball teams meet Friday at 1:00 MT at the Elgin Baylor Classic in Seattle, each program will be fighting for relevance, trying to break a cycle of low past expectations, turn around campus ambivalence and snap the reins of ill-fitting conferences.

But, that only happens with wins and significant fan bases. All made more difficult in large metropolitan areas with many other entertainment options and fan interests – and few natural league rivals. Continue reading Seattle and Denver Follow Similar Path Seeking Hoops Relevance