Category Archives: Men’s Basketball

Denver Dusts Western Illinois, 77-44

Finally.

Denver (13-12, 4-8) has waited all season for a game like Thursday night. A bench-emptying, confidence-building 33-point win. The Pioneers hit on all cylinders to race out to a double-digit lead in the first half. Denver kept the pressure on the visitors for the final 20 minutes to earn a dominant 77-44 win over the Western Illinois Leathernecks (14-9, 7-5) at Hamilton Gym. Continue reading Denver Dusts Western Illinois, 77-44

Second Half Fade Bites Denver, 70-60

Denver traveled to Kansas City to take on the UMKC Roos Saturday night. Yet again, it was a poor second half that doomed the Pioneers, leading by three at the break, but emerging with a final score of 70-60.

Despite four early turnovers, the Pioneers led 7-4 four minutes into the first half. A Lucas Kisunas lay-in gave DU a 12-8 lead at the ten minute mark. A flagrant foul on DU’s Lukas Kisunas, his third, led to a Roos free throw and a narrow 23-22 DU lead at 3:36. The teams traded points and the half ended in DU’s favor, 30-27, as a last second Roos shot missed the cylinder. Denver shot 34.8% to 25% for the Roos in the first twenty minutes.

Denver held the advantage until UMKC took the lead on a layup at 16:25, 33-31. UMKC extended their lead over the next six minutes and Denver trailed by five at the ten minute mark as Bruner canned a pair of free throws. Denver pulled within one point on a pair of Marko Lukic free throws, 46-45, at 8:50. Unfortunately, that was as close as DU could get down the stretch. Over the next six minutes, the Roos doubled up DU 7 to 14 on points to hold an 8 point lead. Back-to-back dunks by brothers Precious Idiaru and Promise Idiaru sunk Denver’s hopes with less than two minutes remaining, 64-52. UMKC coasted the final minute with the score ending 70-60, Roos.

Denver was thin down the stretch with injuries to Touko Tainamo and Pedro Lopez-Sanvicente and Lukas Kisunas in foul trouble. Shemarri Allen, Raquandis Mitchell and Allen David Mukeba battered DU inside. UMKC had 38 points in the paint and held DU to 1-11 from behind the arc. Tommy Bruner and Tevin Smith led DU with 19 and 17 points respectively.

Denver will try to snap their three game losing streak against Western Illinois on Thursday at 7:00 pm MT at Hamilton Gym.

ORU Uses Massive Second Half to Overwhelm DU, 102-61

After what can only be described as a tragic week, Denver men’s basketball (12-11, 3-7) traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma to take on the very best of the Summit League – the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (18-4, 9-0). Denver kept their composure in a solid first half against ORU but their emotional reserve ran dry the final 20 minutes. The Pioneers were outscored 59 to 22 in the half, falling in a final score of 102-61. Continue reading ORU Uses Massive Second Half to Overwhelm DU, 102-61

DU Basketball Player Arrested in Connection with Fatal Automobile Crash

University of Denver basketball sophomore forward Coban Porter was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of vehicular homicide and reckless driving in connection with a 1:54 AM two-vehicle crash at University Boulevard and Buchtel Blvd. in Denver, according to Denver Police and the Denver Post.  One driver died at the scene. Continue reading DU Basketball Player Arrested in Connection with Fatal Automobile Crash

South Dakota State Dominates Down the Stretch, 76-61

Denver men’s basketball (12-9, 3-5) traveled to Brookings, S.D. to take on perennial Summit League power South Dakota State Jackrabbits (10-9, 5-2). Going into the game, Denver had to hold down the Jacks star guard Zeke Mayo, the Jackrabbits leading scorer and rebounder. Mayo torched DU in the first half but it was a poor final ten minutes that doomed the Pioneers, 76-61. Following the loss, Coach Jeff Wulbrun said, “We didn’t perform the way we wanted to. The last minutes we didn’t execute well.” Continue reading South Dakota State Dominates Down the Stretch, 76-61

Denver Dominates South Dakota on the Road, 75-60

Denver (12-9, 3-5 Summit League)   used an explosive second half to down South Dakota (8-11, 3-4 Summit League) Thursday night in Vermillion, South Dakota. The Denver squad used hot shooting, rebounding dominance, team defense and a healthy Tevin Smith to spur the convincing road win. This was the team many fans expected when conference play began. The win marks Denver’s second consecutive conference win, their first on the road this season. Said head coach Jeff Wulbrun after the game, “Anytime you get a road ‘W’, it is a great thing”. Continue reading Denver Dominates South Dakota on the Road, 75-60

Denver Takes Down North Dakota, 78-71

It was a critical win for DU men’s hoops Saturday afternoon as they battled North Dakota and a slew of three-point makes (15/39) at Hamilton Gym Saturday afternoon.

Denver built an early 10-2 lead, fueled by a 8-0 run, triggered by Tyree Corbett to start the game. At the midway point, DU’s Lukas Kisunas pushed Denver’s lead to 25-14. Three-point makes by UND cut the lead to six points with three-and-a-half minutes remaining until break, 33-27. UND trays narrowed the lead- 37-34, DU at half. Nine offensive rebounds by the Fighting Hawks kept the score close along with eight made threes to only one for DU – yet Denver responded to each UND push.

The two teams traded points over the first ten minutes of the second half. With eight minutes remaining, Denver held to a slight lead, 63-60, but the Pioneers could not put the Fighting Hawks away with their 13 made three’s to stay in contact. UND’s Matt Norman pulled the Hawks within one, 66-65, with a hook shot and a missed free throw. DU countered with a small four point run and with 3:52 remaining, DU owned the ball and a five point lead. After DU ran clock, a pair of Tyree Corbett charities put DU up by seven, 72-65 with two minutes remaining.

Denver held strong down the stretch as Touko Tainamo went to the line to regain a seven point lead with less than 40 seconds left. UND countered with a bucket but Marko Lukic responded at the free throw line to put the finishing touches on the final score,78-71, DU.

As a team, DU out-rebounded UND 40-33 in a show of toughness. Tevin Smith continues to make progress from injury with 20 points and 5 rebounds. The star for the Pioneers was Tyree Corbett with 10 points and 15 rebounds, cementing the win. Matt Norman paced UND with 18 points.

During the four game skid, Jeff Wulbrun stated that the team “did a lot of self analysis and we needed greater effort- especially on the defensive end. We needed to compete.” Wulbrun also got to see some smiles when he entered the locker room. Hard to call any single conference game a ‘must win’ but Saturday’s victory should go a long way in restoring confidence to the Pioneers.

North Dakota State Cruises Past DU, 90-70

Thursday night DU men’s basketball added to their dreadful three game conference losing streak, all by double digits. The game featured a DU team, once 8-1 and brimming with confidence, fall behind early and fade in the second half. NDSU never trailed in the game and led by as many as 27 points. The win extended the Bison winning streak to four games and Denver fell to 1-5 in conference play.

Sports are oftentimes as much about confidence as skill. Denver trailed by six points before half at Hamilton Gym when NDSU’s Boden Skunberg drained a three point heave at the buzzer. That basket sapped the energy and confidence from Hamilton Gym.

The Bison opened up the second half with seven straight points and it was game over.

The Bison went 10-27 while DU went 5 of 10 from three. The Pioneers are giving up shots from distance – especially timely baskets from distance which stop momentum and drain confidence. But overall it will be improved overall defense, perimeter and low block, which will lift DU out of this funk. And, of course, a solid dose of confidence would help as well.

Touko Tainamo, Tevin Smith and Tommy Bruner all finished with 13, 11 & 12 points respectively. Smith appears to be rounding back into form after a leg injury.

Denver has a chance to get back on track against last place North Dakota Saturday afternoon at Hamilton Gym.

Twenty-two Turnovers Kill Pioneer Hoopsters in 91-74 rout at Western Illinois

It was a dreary Saturday afternoon in the cornfields as the Denver Men’s Basketball team turned the ball over a season-high 22 times, helping Western Illinois to a chippy 91-74 rout over the Pioneers in Macomb, Illinois.

The loss pushed Denver to losses in seven of its last eight games against D-I foes, with the Pios falling to 10-8 on the season and 1-4 in Summit League play.

“We need to be lot better,” said an exasperated DU coach Jeff Wulbrun after the game on radio. “We’re not giving the effort level we need to be successful…We’re giving up too many points on defense — we’re averaging 80 points [given up to opponents] a game in league play. That’s not acceptable and that really comes down to effort…We’re not playing up to our capabilities, and we’re playing with a lack of discipline. We [the coaching staff] have never had this happen at any of the places we’ve been [before Denver], and we’re going to find five guys who can play the right way.  We’re going to impact some changes by the time we get back to Denver.”

DU again started slow and sloppy,  racking-up 12 first-half turnovers, and Western led 37-25 at the half.  While the Pioneers never led the game after the first minute of the contest, the Pioneers did make a second-half run behind the hot shooting of of Tommy Bruner, and were able cut the Western lead to just five points at 62-57 with 7:32 left in the second half.  However,  the Leathernecks responded with a 10-0 run of their own after that that took only a couple of minutes, and the WIU rout was on as the Leathernecks coasted on to the 17-point win.

Western’s Trent Massner had a game-high 29 points, edging-out teammate Alec Rosner’s 28-point performance to lead the Leathernecks.  Massner also showed a lack of sportsmanship when he needlessly dunked on the Pioneers with a few seconds remaining in the rout (with Western already up by 15 points) something Denver will probably remember for the next time these teams meet later this February in Denver.

For Denver, Tommy Bruner and Tuoko Tainamo each had 19 points, and Tyree Corbett chipped-in with 16 points for the Pioneers to lead the offense. The Pioneers shot well from three point range, knocking down five of 11 long range attempts and lost the game with a 37-31 rebounding advantage, collecting 11 offensive boards in the game.

DU’s Tevin Smith (from Danville, Ill.) had his best game since his injury with 10 points. He and fellow Illinoian Justin Mullins (Oak Park, Ill. — 6 points) both enjoyed the Illinois-based fan support from family and friends making the drive to Macomb, making some noise for the Pioneers on an otherwise pretty terrible afternoon at Western Hall.

DU returns home to face North Dakota State on Jan 12 at 7pm at Hamilton Gymnasium.