DENVER - University of Denver senior guard Chase Hallam (Mesquite, Texas) scored 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting from the floor and tied a career high with five steals in only 21 minutes, leading the Pioneers to a 75-50 victory over Texas San Antonio at Magness Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Sophomore Royce O'Neale (Killeen, Texas) tallied his second double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds for Denver (7-7, 3-1 WAC), and recorded five assists without a turnover. Sophomore forward Marcus Byrd (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) finished with a career high 12 points, and junior forward Chris Udofia (Irving, Texas) added 10 points in 20 minutes
"I thought our execution was good. We moved the ball well," head coach Joe Scott said. "It started with our defense. Our defense was very good today. We got steals, easy buckets, and it seemed like Royce got every rebound. We were ready to play today. It seems like guys are coming into their own, and we are 6-2 in our last eight games and 3-1 in league play."
The Pioneers shot 53.1 percent (26-for-49) from the field and went 14-for-30 (46.7 percent) from three-point range, while scoring 25 points off of 16 turnovers by UTSA (4-10, 0-4 WAC).
The Roadrunners shot just 32.7 percent (16-of-49) from the floor and 15.4 percent (2-of-13) from beyond the arc after entering the game as the WAC's leading three-point shooting team with a 8.3 per game average.
With Denver trailing 4-3 early in the game, DU went on a 26-2 run and didn't allow a UTSA field goal over a 12:26 stretch to open a 29-6 lead. Denver flustered UTSA with its defense, forcing 11 first half turnovers, including five by Hallam in the first 7:23 of the game.
Udofia led the Pioneers with 10 first-half points, as Denver shot 52.0 percent (13-for-25) from the field in the opening stanza, while holding UTSA to 26.1 percent (6-for-23) and 0-for-7 from three-point range. DU took a 39-19 lead into halftime.
Denver opened the second half on a 21-4 run to extend its lead to 60-23, and the Pioneers stretched it to as many as 40 with 7:46 to play.
Jeromie Hill paced UTSA with 13 points and nine rebounds.
The Pioneers return to action Thursday when they travel to Moscow, Idaho, to take on the Idaho Vandals at 8:05 p.m. MT. Denver then heads to Seattle for a Saturday matinee at 4:30 p.m. MT, which will air live on ROOT Sports.
Notes: Denver dished out 24 assists on 26 made field goals against UTSA, giving the Pioneers assists on 44-of-49 in the past two games...the 24 assists were the most by Denver since dishing out 25 against Louisiana-Monroe on Dec. 19, 2009...UTSA, which entered the game making a WAC-high 8.3 three-pointers per game, did not hit a shot from beyond the arc until the 4:12 mark in the second half...the Pioneers tied their season high with 14 three-pointers, matching the total against Nebraska-Omaha on Dec. 15...Denver improved to 4-0 this season and a combined 14-1 over the last two seasons when hitting 10 or more three-pointers...Chase Hallam moved into a tie for third place on DU's steals list with 163 in his career, and entered Denver's top 10 in career three-point shooting with 134 made...all seven of DU's wins this season have been by at least 11 points.
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