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Rosga's Game-Winner Lifts Pioneers Past Bears

Dec. 17, 2016

  MBB v Northern Colorado (17 DEC 16) - Highlights
  MBB v Northern Colorado (17 DEC 16) - Post Game>
  MBB v Northern Colorado (17 DEC 16) - Rosga Game Winner
  MBB v Northern Colorado (17 DEC 16) - Murkey Dunk

BOX SCORE  

DENVER -
The University of Denver men's basketball team once again used an explosive second-half performance to rally for a win on Saturday, knocking off Northern Colorado 73-70 after Joe Rosga made a game-winning 3 with one second left in regulation. The victory pushed the Pioneers to 6-5 on the season, the first time they have been over .500 this year.

DU's winning streak now sits at three-games after the Saturday victory in Magness Arena.

Thomas Neff led the way, scoring a season-high 15 points in the thrilling win, highlighted by making four 3s in the contest.

Rosga's game-winner was the only made basket of the day for the St. Paul, Minn. native, who finished with a season-low four points but made the shot that mattered most in the game.

The Bears were led by a game-high 22 from DJ Miles.

Jordan Davis added 14 points, three rebounds and three assists for UNC.

Both teams traded baskets to start the afternoon, resulting in Denver holding at two-point edge at the first media timeout in the opening half.

Tight play continued coming out of the timeout with neither team again able to get the advantage over the other. Things started getting chippy after Northern Colorado's Miles was called for an intentional foul, giving Duke Douglas a chance to tie things up at 12-12 at the 12:05 mark.

The Pioneers were able to build their lead to five after a 3-pointer from Jake Krafka - his first points of the contest - but the Bears clawed right back with quick scores from Miles and Davis.

A late surge in the closing minutes gave UNC a four-point advantage at the break, 28-24. The 24 points with the third lowest in the first half this year for DU.

Denver struggled to make shots in the first 20 minutes, finishing the half at only 29 percent (9-of-31).

A foul-infested start to the second saw Northern Colorado race out to 10-point lead - it's largest of the game -- after a Jon'te Dotson 3, his fifth point of the game.

But a 3-pointer and dunk from Jake Pemberton and Ade Murkey changed everything and brought new life into the Pioneers with 14 minutes to go, sparking energy into the fans in Magness Arena.

Denver continued to attack, both offensively and defensively, seizing the momentum to take its first lead since midway through the first half at 45-43 after a pair of made free throws from Bradley George, capping off a game-changing 14-2 run.

The Bears, though, battled back with their own mini run, tying things back up at 59-59 with 2:45 left in regulation.

Things got wild near the end, with both teams going back and forth with each other. First, Krafka connected on a 3 to put the Pioneers up one with a minute left, then UNC countered with a long 3-pointer from Chaz Glotta 20 seconds later.

The game looked to be heading into overtime after a 3-pointer from Dotson tied it up with 20 seconds left, but Rosga delivered the final blow, knocking down his only made shot of the game to put DU up three with one second left and seal the win. 

Not How You Start...
For a third straight game Denver struggled in the first half offensively, scoring only 24 points. But once again, Coach Billups and his staff made the right adjustments and watched their squad answer the call and erupt for 49 points in the second half. That makes five out of the last seven games that the Pioneers have now scored at least 40 points in the final period. 

Up Next
DU continues its five-game homestand, with a match-up with Arkansas at Pine Bluff on Monday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. MT.

 

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