Having previously lost three of their last four road games, the Pioneers were determined to scrape out a road win against Oral Roberts. However, trailing by 10 late in the first half, DU had to call on their top players to take over the game.
Denver battled back in the first half’s waning moments, closing Oral Roberts’ advantage to 35-34. Junior guard Jake Pemberton’s (Highlands Ranch) emphatic three pointer at the buzzer gave DU momentum heading into the next half.
The high volume scorer played an efficient game, as Pemberton collected a team-high 20 points on 6-12 shooting, as well as going a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line. The lengthy 6-foot-4 guard also contributed six rebounds and four assists in his 37 minutes of playing time.
The Pioneers’ field goal percentage jumped from 44.4 percent in the first half to 72.4 percent in the latter half. Three pointers from sophomore guard Joe Rosga (St. Paul, Minnesota), sophomore forward C.J. Bobbitt (Harker Heights, Texas) and sophomore guard Thomas Neff (Arvada) powered Denver to its highest scoring half of the season (59 points) and a 93-69 win.
Junior center Daniel Amigo (El Paso, Texas) continued his breakout season, posting 20 points on 7-9 shooting. He also hit 5-6 free throws, collected three rebounds and finished with zero turnovers.
The Pioneers returned to Magness Arena looking for revenge against Fort Wayne, a team which previously defeated Denver on Jan. 7.
The match turned into a defensive struggle, as neither team shot higher than 42 percent from the field. Unlike their last game, DU secured the lead going into halftime 35-29.
Only receiving four bench points on the night, the DU starters were tasked with carrying the team. Amigo again had a great night down low, finishing with 22 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
The teams traded leads in the second half but eventually found themselves tied with under one minute left in regulation. Fort Wayne was unable to score on their final possession, giving the Pioneers the ball with only 29 seconds left. However, Rosga’s shot attempt in the final seconds was blocked, sending the tense game to overtime.
With both teams tallying four points apiece in the overtime period, DU again had the ball for the final possession with the game tied. Rosga tossed up a floater from the right wing but was off the mark. Both teams scrambled for the rebound, as Neff scooped the ball in the paint and handed it off to Amigo.
Unable to find a clear shot, he spotted Bobbitt at the top of the three point line. With the clock striking zero, Bobbitt’s left-handed three pointer drilled in the basket, giving DU a thrilling 76-73 win over their conference rivals.