Denver men’s basketball improves to 12-8 (4-3 conf.)

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Coming off a high-powered win against North Dakota State University (NDSU) at home on Jan. 14, DU men’s basketball (12-8; 4-3 Summit League) took to the road for two games, hoping to continue their winning streak. Despite a strong effort, the Pioneers fell 97-88 to the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks (11-10; 4-4 Summit League) on Jan. 18, but they were able to defeat Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) 78-74 on Jan. 21.

The Pioneers scored more points than they did against NDSU the week before, but were outpaced by the Mavericks’ offense in their first game of the week. It was the most points DU has scored all season (88), but it was also the most they’ve allowed (97). Omaha has been the Summit League’s second highest scoring team all year, so their strong performance is no surprise.

Despite pulling close at several points during the game, in fact outscoring Omaha in the second half, the Mavericks still managed to maintain control. DU actually shot more efficiently than Omaha, but Omaha was better from the three and the free throw lines.

However, the silver lining is that backup sophomore guard Bradley George (Houston, Texas) had a career-high 17 points off the bench and sophomore Joe Rosga (St. Paul, Minnesota) and junior Daniel Amigo (El Paso, Texas), who was Summit League Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 8, continued their standout seasons with game-high point totals.

Jan. 21’s game against IUPUI (9-12; 3-4 Summit League) was unsurprisingly more low-scoring, especially after the last couple huge offensive efforts from the Pioneers. DU rallied from behind in the second half to win 78-74. It’s the first time that the Pioneers have won at IUPUI in four meetings in Indianapolis.

IUPUI led at the half, but DU Head Coach Rodney Billups and his team were able to adjust to take the lead midway through the second half. The lead went back and forth, but strong defense at the end and conversions at the free throw line kept DU in the driver’s seat until the end of the game.

Rosga led DU with 19 points, including three three-pointers, but the game was a team effort with sophomore forward C.J. Bobbitt (Harker Heights, Texas) and junior guard Jake Pemberton (Highlands Ranch, Colorado) coming in clutch at the end of the game.

The Pioneers’ next match is at home at Magness Arena against South Dakota State University (9-13; 2-5 Summit League) at 7 p.m. on Jan. 25. DU is currently tied for second in the Summit League standings.

Madeline is a sophomore international studies major with minors in French and political science from Fort Collins, Colorado. She loves sports—especially baseball (she's a beleaguered Colorado Rockies devotee)—books, music and all other things entertainment. After college, Madeline hopes to work either in politics or diplomacy.

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