Caitlin Gannam | Clarion

DU Women’s Basketball took on University of Colorado Colorado Springs Saturday night, Nov. 4, in Hamilton Gymnasium in the squad’s lone exhibition game. The Pioneers ran away from the Mountain Lions in the second half, to win 80-64.

The Pioneers had a dominant performance against UCCS in the exhibition contest. Leading the way for the Crimson and Gold was junior guard Samantha Romanowski (Mountlake Terrace, Wash.), who tallied 24 points shooting 50 percent from the field and 60 percent from behind the arc.

As a team, Denver shot 40.8 percent (29-71) from the field, including an impressive 43.2 percent in three-point range. Good ball movement played a key factor in the stellar shooting from the three, resulting in game-high 20 assists for the team. Defense also played a big role in the Pioneers victory. In the game, the squad picked up 12 steals and held the Mountain Lions to 36.1 percent shooting.

Freshman guard Claire Gritt (Arlington Heights, Ill.) had a memorable first outing for Denver basketball, recording 15 points and five assists. Gritt showcased her all-around ability on the floor, setting up several teammates for good looks at the rim on numerous occasions.

Near the end of the first quarter, Romanowski broke a 12-12 tie to give Denver a two-point lead which continued impressive play to the rest of the half. The Mountain Lions opened the second quarter with back-to-back baskets to build a four-point advantage on the Pioneers before sophomore guard Lauren Loven (Scottsdale, Ariz.) added a three to make it a one-point contest at the seven-minute mark.

As the game continued in a fight for the upperhand, senior forward Jordyn Alt (North Oaks, Minn.) tied the game at 31 with a pair of free throws with 1:20 until halftime. Romanowski nailed another 3-pointer late but UCCS tied it up at the break with a triple of their own.

The Pioneers dominated in the second half, starting with a Romanowski 3-pointer that set the tone for the rest of the evening. Romanowski’s second 3-pointer in the third, as part of a Denver 8-0 run, gave the Pioneers their first double-digit lead of the game at 45-34.

Sophomore forward Madison Nelson (Dover, Minn.) joined Gritt as the duo each connected from deep behind the three-point line, helping extend the DU lead to 20.

UCCS cut the lead to 15 with just under four minutes to go in regulation but never saw more of a glimpse of victory, Pioneer basketball went on the grab the victory.

Denver will return to the court on Friday, Nov. 10 as the Pioneers battle Air Force in the season opener. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.