The Denver PIoneers picked up a nice 12 point win over Western Illinois at Magness Arena on Thursday night. Despite a strong start from Denver, Western Illinois would make things close and the game was as tight as a 1 point Denver lead with 6:30 to go, but the Pios would get a layup 12 seconds later to extend the lead and they never looked back from there. It was a promising return to Magness after a good road trip that was almost great and has Denver sitting at 3-4 in the Summit League, only a half game out of a third place tie.
It was exactly the kind of game the Denver Pioneers men’s basketball team needed. An 11-0 run to start the game took some of the pressure off after Thursday night’s heartbreaking loss to Omaha – and despite several comebacks from Oral Roberts, the Pios held strong and left Tulsa with a 73-64 win.
With 2.1 seconds to go, it looked like Denver was going to steal an OT road victory at Omaha. Jake Pemberton had just made a three and Denver had a 74-71 lead – Omaha would need a miracle three to tie it… and as you can see in the picture above, Omaha’s Daniel Norl made that miracle three (banked in no less!) and sent the game to a second OT. Denver had a chance in that second OT, and hung around, but in the end Omaha pulled away and Denver ended up with its most frustrating loss of the season.
Not surprisingly, it was a long afternoon in Brookings, South Dakota for the Denver Pioneers. The Jackrabbits proved why they are the league favorites and atop the conference standings – they are dang good. Mike Daum had 34 points and David Jenkins added 27 in a game that Denver was never in from the start.
There weren’t a lot of reasons to be hopeful heading into Thursday night’s game at North Dakota State. Denver had lost five in a row against DI opponents, was 0-2 in the Summit League, and oh yeah, they hadn’t won at North Dakota State ever. So it made sense to see that the Pios were a 10.5 point underdog at tip off, some may have even wondered why the spread wasn’t higher. But it seems we all underestimated this scrappy Pioneers squad – despite all of the points mentioned above, they went into Fargo and came away with a 67-61 victory where they lead almost the entire way. Continue reading Denver Holds On For Huge 67-61 Victory Over North Dakota State
With Denver reeling and the next four conference games on the road, this felt like a game that the Pioneers needed to win. Instead, they came out flat and made numerous mistakes while committing 17 costly turnovers that gave Fort Wayne an easy 19 point victory. It was a frustrating game to watch and is Denver’s fifth consecutive loss against DI opponents (the Pios did beat DII Colorado Mesa on December 28), with the road not getting any easier from here.
Once again, Denver got off to a bad start in a big road game, and once again, it was too much for them to overcome. Jake Pemberton and Joe Rosga had big scoring days, but Denver turned the ball over an incredible 28 times, which gave them almost no chance to win tonight. The turnovers were so bad that they completely cancelled out the 42-30 rebounding advantage that Denver had – it was an ugly performance at a time when it would have been very nice to see some improvement.
Denver held their own for much of the game, and even got the deficit down to three points in the second half, but Stanford proved to be too much for the Pioneers tonight. Despite a couple of standout performances, Denver once again had trouble with turnovers and free throw shooting, something that has plagued the team all year, and something that prevented Denver from completing the comeback this evening.
It’s been an up and down season for the Denver Pioneers – and tonight was one of those down nights. Northern Colorado got a combined 50 points from Andre Spight and Anthony Johnson and easily defeated the Pios by 20 points. It’s a game that Northern Colorado was clearly the favorite in, but to see them come away with such an easy victory is a little disappointing after Denver’s superb effort against USC Upstate.
Denver finally got over their second half yips and put away USC Upstate 84-69 on Saturday afternoon in Magness Arena. It was a well rounded performance from the Pios and was a refreshing change from the back to back second half collapses that we have seen this month. The shooting was strong in both halves, with Denver actually shooting 63% from the field in the second half alone (compared to an amazing 72% in the first half), which was great to see from the Pioneers.