Category Archives: Men’s Basketball

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 a total of 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

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

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

Pioneers Suffer Self-Inflicted Loss to Abilene Christian University – 67-61

Photo: Courtesy of Jason Evans

The Pioneers fell at home 67-61 to the Abilene Christian Wildcats. Sure, the Wildcats are a solid team but it was Denver’s turnovers and free throws that put the Pioneers in a hole – and they could never climb out.

The Pioneers had a whopping 10 turnovers in the first half of play and put up a paltry 21 points to Abilene Christian’s 30 at halftime. Denver shot 33.3% for the half while turnovers continue to plague the Pioneers. Some of this can be explained because Rodney Billups substituted liberally during the first half with many of the new incoming freshmen. Still, it was a collective hole that was dug by freshmen and program veterans alike. Continue reading Pioneers Suffer Self-Inflicted Loss to Abilene Christian University – 67-61

Pios push #11th ranked K-State into last minute, falling 64-56 in gutty road effort

Denver gave #11th ranked K-State all they wanted in Manhattan, Kansas. Photo: Tim Thompson

The Denver Pioneers, going in as 19-point underdogs, played their hearts out in 64-56 road loss at 11th-ranked Kansas State before 9,412 fans at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas. Denver held the Wildcats to only 38% shooting, but could not contain KSU senior guard Barry Brown, whose 25 points led all scorers.

Video highlights here:

The Pioneers had cut KSU’s lead to just four points, 60-56, with 1:21 to play on a pair of free throws by DU junior Ade Murkey, but the Wildcats made some key plays down the stretch, including a Kamau Stokes steal and a Xavier Sneed dunk to escape the upset bid by the Pioneers. K-State was an NCAA final eight team last season, with all of the Cats’ key players returning for this season.

The Pioneers were led by senior Joe Rosga’s 18 points, while senior Ronnie Harrell, Jr. and Murkey both chipped in with 14 points apiece. The Pioneers last led the game 38-37 with 13 minutes to go, and with the Wildcats shooting just 12-27 at the free throw line, DU was able to keep the game close down the stretch, out-rebounding KSU on the defensive glass, 30-29, although DU did give up 17 turnovers in the game.

The Pioneers are now 1-1 on the young season, and will face Abilene Christian on Thursday.

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New Faces Propel Denver to Opening Win 62-50

Photo: Courtesy Jason Evans

After an uneven first half that ended 27-27, Denver graduate transfer Ronnie Harrell, Jr. and sharp-shooting freshman Jase Townsend led Denver with 18 and 16 points respectively for the night to pull away from the Maine Black Bears. DU had 29 points off the bench as the coaching staff substituted liberally during the contest, playing all five new freshmen in the game. Denver out-shot Maine 42% to 31% but was out-rebounded 40-37 for the night and was doubled up, 14-7, on the offensive boards. Continue reading New Faces Propel Denver to Opening Win 62-50

Time for DU Hoops to Step Up – It’s Been Done Before

Two Denver teams take to the pitch and court this week, one as a collegiate soccer force and the other on the basketball fringes.

Seven years ago, there was no reason to expect DU men’s soccer to be a national power. Based on geography and history, they had no reason for high expectations – or a tradition of success to follow. But, in short order, led by head coaches Bobby Muuss and Jamie Franks, DU men’s soccer has emerged as a consistent national power. With a mind-set to play anybody, anywhere, anytime using a ‘fighting soccer’ mentality – they have established a solid culture of winning. Continue reading Time for DU Hoops to Step Up – It’s Been Done Before

DU Men’s Basketball Season Preview: High expectations for Denver Hoops

Photo: Courtesy of DU Basketball Twitter

It finally could happen – a postseason appearance by Denver in March Madness for the first time EVER or even a trip to the NIT. This Pioneer basketball team could, realistically, make history this season under third-year head coach Rodney Billups.

So, its fair to call us dumb  – until proven otherwise. Sure, DU has come close before but Denver hoops historically rolls out a middling team that disappoints the few times they have approached the summit (pun intended). But this year is different – and we’ll give you realistic reasons for hope. Continue reading DU Men’s Basketball Season Preview: High expectations for Denver Hoops