Men's Basketball


Late Run From Eagles Key as Pioneers Fall, 79-71

Nov. 24, 2017


FT. MYERS, FLA. – The University of Denver men's basketball team battled hard but came up just short in the final minutes on Friday, falling 79-71 to Florida Gulf Coast in a wild one in a packed Alico Arena. The Pioneers’ record dropped to 1-3 on the season while the Eagles improved to 3-2.

DU was closer than the final score indicated, keeping the game close the entire contest in large part due to solid defense and rebounding against a more athletic FGCU squad. The Crimson and Gold outshot the Eagles 50.9 percent to 48.1 from the floor and won the rebounding battle, 34-28.

Daniel Amigo led the way, notching his second double-double in 2017-18 and finishing with a team-high 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Jake Pemberton dropped in a season-most 15 points in the loss, which included knocking down three triples.

Christian Mackey chipped in with 10 points off the bench, also a season high.



Zach Johnson powered the FGCU attack, scoring a game-high 20 on just nine shots.

Denver opened with a hot start, taking a four-point lead thanks to the play of Amigo. The El Paso native scored six of the Pioneers’ first eight points of the contest on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting from the field.

The big man’s dominant opening 10 minutes continued, scoring 10 of DU’s first 12 points as they kept it within four points after withstanding an early Florida Gulf Coast run.

The Eagles found some separation midway through the first half, pushing their lead to nine at the 8:37 mark after a deep 3 from Johnson, giving him five points in the contest.

However, a 10-2 Denver run made it a one-point contest at 26-25 FGCU. The run was capped off by a pair of free throws from Pemberton, upping his total to five in the first 20 minutes of action.

The Pioneers grabbed their first lead since 8-6 after a rebound and put back from Mackey with 4:14 remaining in the period.

Florida Gulf Coast bounced back though, taking a three-point advantage into the break, 35-32.

DU’s zone defense made an impact in the half, forcing the Eagles into some contested 3s from deep.

Amigo was a factor in his first 20 minutes on the court, scoring a game-high 13 points on an efficient 6-of-9 shooting. The big man also handed out two assists as well.

Both teams traded baskets to start the second half, with FGCU taking a five-point lead at the first media timeout.

Denver tied things up at 49 all after a clutch layup from Pemberton in transition, giving the senior a season-high 10 points in the game.

Some key shots from Mackey and Pemberton kept the game tied at 57 all going into the under-eight media timeout. The Pioneers kept finding a way to get good looks on offense, knocking down 10 of their first 18 attempts in the half.

DU refused to go away, showing their resolve after a big basket from Ade Murkey made it a one-point game with 4:35 remaining in regulation, his first points of the evening.

A late 12-5 run after that by Florida Gulf Coast put this one away, giving them the 79-71 victory.

Step in the Right Direction
The Pioneers put forth their best effort yet this season, giving fans a glimpse of what can come down the road,­ but costly turnovers proved to be the difference in this one, resulting in a 24-7 advantage for the Eagles in points off of turnovers.

Up Next
The Crimson and Gold continue the road trip in Florida with a meeting against St. Francis Brooklyn on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. MT at Alico Arena.

Fans interested in making a donation to the men’s basketball program can do so by CLICKING HERE. Your contribution will make a direct impact on the success of YOUR Pioneers. Thank you in advance for your unwavering support of our student-athletes and their quest for excellence.  

Student-Athlete Alumni Giving Challenge:
In 2017-18, the University of Denver is holding an alumni giving challenge in an effort to increase student-athlete alumni participation in the Denver Athletics Annual Fund. The sport program with the highest percentage of alumni participation will receive an additional $10,000 of support through the generosity of an anonymous donor. Former student-athletes can make a gift online, by calling 303-871-2388 during normal business hours or by sending a check to:

Athletics Development Office
Attn: Kaley Rickert
2201 E. Asbury Avenue 
Denver, CO 80208


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