DENVER - University of Denver men's basketball senior guard Brian Stafford (Walnut Creek, Calif.) scored 25 points and hit six three-pointers, leading the Pioneers to a 76-57 rout of Louisiana-Monroe at Magness Arena on Saturday.
"Overall I'm happy," head coach Joe Scott said. "We followed up Thursday's victory with another good win that puts us at 20 wins. It puts us in position for a one-game season next Sunday. I think we are getting better and improving right now. That's what you want to be doing. We've got to show that next Sunday."
Freshman guard Brett Olson (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) added 15 points, four assists and five three-point baskets for the Pioneers (20-8, 10-5 SBC). Sophomore forward Chris Udofia (Irving, Texas) had eight points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
Stafford went 8-for-11 from the field, 6-for-9 from three-point range and 3-for-3 from the free throw line. Stafford, who played in his record 121st game with the Pioneers, moved into fifth on the SBC's all-time three-pointers made list with 257 in his career.
The Pioneers tied a decade-long Magness Arena record by hitting 16 three-point baskets in the victory, going 16-of-34 (47.1 percent) from beyond the arc. Denver also hit 16 three-pointers against UMKC on Dec. 12, 2002.
Denver went 26-of-47 (55.3 percent) from the field, including a 15-of-23 (65.2 percent) effort in the second half, and went a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw stripe. The Warhawks (2-25, 1-13 SBC) shot 47.6 percent (20-of-42) from the field and 45.5 percent (5-of-11) from three-point range.
After jumping out to an early 12-6 lead following a three-pointer by Rob Lewis (Colorado Springs, Colo.) at the 15:25 mark, the Warhawks went on a 7-0 run to take its second lead of the game with 13:22 remaining in the half. The Crimson and Gold regained the lead on a pair of free throws from Udofia with just under 10 minutes left in the half.
The game saw its third tie with just over eight minutes left in the first half, when ULM's Fred Brown knotted the score at 20-20. Olson responded with a three-point basket, sparking a 17-9 DU run to end the half to take a 37-29 lead to the break.
The Pioneers broke the game open with a 19-5 run to with Stafford and Olson providing the spark. The duo combined for four three-point baskets and 12 points as Denver took a 56-34 lead with 11:51 remaining in regulation. The Warhawks would not get any closer than 16 points, as the Pioneers went on to knock down four more three-pointers in the final 11 minutes of action.
Denver finishes its regular season at home against North Texas on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. MT. The game will be broadcast live on Pioneer Vision, as well as AM 1510 or FM 93.7. Fans can also follow the action via a live blog available at DenverPioneers.com.
NOTES: Denver tied a season-high in assists, dishing out 22 in the win over ULM...with his four-block performance against ULM, Chris Udofia surpassed Eric Dow (1995-98) for fourth place in DU's single season blocked shots (68)...Stafford surpassed UALR's Alan Barksdale (1998-01) for fifth place in Sun Belt career three-point field goals made (257)...Denver now has three players - 1. Erik Benzel (322), 4. B.J. Pratt (265), 5. Brian Stafford - in the SBC's top 5 for career three-point field goals made...Stafford became DU's all-time leader in games played with 121, passing former teammates Kyle Lewis and Nate Rohnert...the Pioneers improved to 7-0 all-time against the Warhawks in Denver...in the last five games, the Pioneers have shot a combined 55.0 percent (132-of-240) from the field, hitting at least half their shots in each game...with DU's win and Florida Atlantic's loss today, the Pioneers clinched a bye into the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.