DU Locks Down NDSU in Win
Pioneers pick up first-ever win in Fargo; have four players in double figures
Jan. 11, 2018
FARGO, N.D. – The University of Denver men's basketball made a statement on Thursday, picking up its first road win of the year. The Pioneers (7-10, 1-2 Summit League) took down North Dakota State (9-8, 1-2 SL) 67-61 in Scheels Center, snapping a two-game losing streak.
The victory marked the first time that DU has ever won in Fargo.
Joe Rosga led the way with a team-high 15 points, one of four Crimson and Gold players to score in double figures.
Ade Murkey tied his career high with 12 points on the evening.
Daniel Amigo narrowly missed out on his sixth double-double, finishing with 13 points and nine rebounds.
Both teams battled to an 8-8 tie in the first five minutes of the contest. Denver did it by starting with a small-ball lineup that replaced Amigo with Abiola Akintola.
Some great plays by Murkey helped power the Pioneers to a four-point lead at the 11:36 mark. The Minneapolis, Minn. native had it dialed in on the offensive end, scoring six of DU’s first 15 points.
The Crimson and Gold upped its lead to nine after a nice find from Pemberton to Amigo resulted in a layup, giving the senior his seventh point of the half.
Denver closed strong in the half, going into the break leading 35-22.
Defense played a major factor in the opening period, with the Pioneers limiting North Dakota State to just 36 percent shooting.
Murkey was a difference-maker in the first 20 minutes, leading DU with 10 points. He did it playing an aggressive style and attacking the rim and making open pull-up jumpers from around 15 feet.
In the second half, the Crimson and Gold opened fast, getting its lead to as many as 19 less than a minute in the period on a 3-pointer from Jake Krafka, his second make from beyond the arc.
The Bison made their move, closing to within seven with a 10-0 run late that made it 61-54 in favor of Denver.
But the Pioneers dug deep and came up with crucial stop after stop, forcing NDSU to foul to have to extend the game. Rosga, who entered the contest ranked ninth in the NCAA in free-throw percentage, came up clutch and made his shots at the charity stripe, securing the win.
Strength of the Team is the Team
DU’s team-first mentality was totally on display tonight. The Crimson and Gold had numerous players step up and make plays that don’t normally get in the stat sheet, whether it was Akintola battling down on the low block on defense, Krafka launching himself into the crowd to save a ball, Rosga diving for loose balls to help Denver get an extra possession. When the Pioneers play like that, they are a very tough out for any team in the Summit League.
DU closes out the first half of a four-game road trip in Brookings, S.D. against South Dakota State. Tip is set for Saturday at 1 p.m. MT.
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