Pioneers Make Statement; Throttle Coyotes 84-68
Rosga and Pemberton combine for 45 points
Jan. 27, 2018
DENVER – Behind a pair of powerful performances from Joe Rosga and Jake Pemberton, the University of Denver men’s basketball team made its biggest statement of the year, knocking off first-place South Dakota 84-68 in Magness Arena. The Pioneers’ big win jumped their record to 10-12 (4-4 Summit League) while the Coyotes dropped to 18-6 (6-2 SL).
DU has now rattled off three straight victories, its longest streak since a six-game one last season.
Rosga jumped to 21st on the all-time list thanks to a game-high 23-point effort. The Minnesota native was deadly from deep, knocking down five 3s as part of a 9-for-13 day from the field.
Pemberton came up big for a second straight game, scoring a season-high 22 points for the Crimson and Gold.
Jake Krafka turned in his best game of his collegiate career, tying a career high with 12 points in 14 minutes. The 6-foot-7 forward came off the bench and provided big plays at critical times on numerous occasions in the second half, highlighted by a clutch 3-pointer with four minutes left on the clock.
Ade Murkey added 10 points, his fifth game in the last six with double-digit points.
Rosga dominated in the first 10 minutes as Denver came out ready to play, taking an 18-3 lead by the 11:48 mark in the first half. The junior from Minnesota was the spark, scoring 13 of the Pioneers’ first 18 points on the day. Rosga had it dialed in from all three levels, scoring on the drive, mid-range and from deep.
The 11 3s made tied a season high for the Pioneers.
DU didn’t stop there, raising its lead to 22, the largest of the night, after a layup from Murkey at the 4:16 mark. The terrific play was the result of some hot shooting and stellar defense being played at the other end.
South Dakota, though, fought back late, cutting into the Crimson and Gold lead, going into the half down only 14 at 42-28.
Rosga and Pemberton were magic in the first 20 minutes, combining for 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting, including 7-for-11 from 3.
Denver had it going on the other end, holding the Coyotes to 36.4 percent shooting in the half.
In the second half, USD opened fast, bringing the Pioneer lead to nine after a 3 from Triston Simpson at the 14:49 mark.
The Pioneers immediately countered with a two-hand dunk from Daniel Amigo, triggering a mini 7-0 run, extending their lead back to 16.
DU held its ground from there, never letting USD get any closer than 11 the rest of the way, locking up the statement win.
The Crimson and Gold head out to Fort Wayne, Ind. for a quick one-game trip next weekend. Denver will play the Mastodons on Saturday, Feb. 3. Tip is set for 12 p.m. MT.
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