CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - University of Denver men's basketball sophomore Brett Olson (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) scored 16 points, including six in the final two minutes, leading the Pioneers to a 63-57 victory at Northern Iowa in the Ramada Worldwide BracketBuster at McLeod Center on Saturday night.
Olson added five rebounds, three steals and two blocks, including one with seven seconds remaining that led to a dunk by senior Chase Hallam (Mesquite, Texas) to seal the victory for the Pioneers (18-8, 13-2 WAC).
"It was a great college basketball game," said head coach Joe Scott. "Northern Iowa is a very good, well coached team. We weathered the storm in the beginning. Our guys showed a lot of resilience and maintained it until the end. It was a very good win for us."
The win was Denver's seventh straight and snapped Northern Iowa's six-game winning streak. The Pioneers finished their road schedule with an 8-6 mark, just the 10th winning road record in team history. The eight road wins also matched the most in DU's NCAA Division I history, equaling the total in 1942-43.
The Panthers (17-12, 10-6 MVC) were on fire to start the game, hitting 6-of-7 from the field to take a 16-2 lead just five minutes in.
The Pioneers, however, kept their composure and stormed back with a 16-0 run, sparked by three three-pointers by Love, and held UNI to 6-of-17 to end the half, as DU took a 32-25 lead to halftime.
In the second half, the teams traded baskets, but UNI clawed back to within one point as late as 2:19 remaining.
With the shot clock winding down on the following possession, Olson drove the baseline and banked a floater off the glass with 1:56 remaining. Olson stole the ball on UNI's next possession, and Love converted a pair of free throws.
After UNI guard Marc Sonnen hit a three-pointer that cut DU's lead back to 57-55 with 1:27 remaining, UNI head coach Ben Jacobson was assessed a technical foul, and Olson hit those free throws as well as two more to give Denver a 61-55 lead with 30 seconds on the clock.
UNI's Jake Koch scored on a layup and Sonnen stole the ensuing inbounds pass, but Olson blocked his shot, got the rebound and Hallam sealed the game with a dunk.
Denver shot 50.0 percent (21-of-42) from the field, 38.1 percent (8-of-21) from three-point range and 92.2 percent (13-of-14) from the free throw line in the game.
The Panthers received 18 points from Seth Tuttle, and Sonnen had 12 points. UNI shot 42.6 percent (20-of-47) from the field, 37.5 percent (6-of-16) from beyond the arc and 84.6 percent (11-of-13) from the charity stripe.
The Pioneers return home to host the final three games of the regular season, beginning with New Mexico State on Saturday, March 2 at 4 p.m., which will air live on ESPN3 and Altitude.
Visit denverpioneers.com for complete coverage of all 17 of DU's Division I athletic programs.
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