DU Drops Summit League Opener at USD
Pioneers with four players in double figures in loss to Coyotes
Dec. 30, 2017
VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of Denver men's basketball team put up a fight but couldn’t overcome a double-digit first-half deficit on Saturday, losing 82-71 at South Dakota in its Summit League opener. The loss dropped the Pioneers to 6-9 (0-1 Summit League) while the Coyotes improved to 13-4 (1-0 SL).
Getting to the line was the difference in the game: USD outshot DU 37-12 at the charity stripe.
The Crimson and Gold had four players finish in double figures, led by Daniel Amigo’s 17 points. The El Paso, Texas native also pulled down a game-high eight rebounds in the contest.
Ade Murkey kept his double-digit scoring streak going, tying a career high with 12 points.
Jake Pemberton added 14.
Last year’s Summit League Newcomer of the Year Matt Mooney turned in a game-high 20 points for USD.
Both teams traded buckets in the opening six minutes, with neither building more than a three-point lead over the other. Pemberton and Jake Krafka had it going early, with the duo combing for 10 of the Pioneers’ first 14 points.
A 3 from Pemberton put DU up one by the under-12 media timeout, upping his total to eight on the afternoon. The junior was aggressive to start, taking six shots within the first eight minutes of play.
A 10-4 run from South Dakota gave it a five-point lead at 26-21.
The Coyotes kept the lead in double figures the rest of the half, taking a 12-point advantage into halftime.
Pemberton and Amigo kept the Crimson and Gold in it, each scoring eight points in the first 20 minutes of action.
Mooney had it rolling for USD, tallying 13 points in the period on an efficient 5-for-7 shooting.
In the second half, Denver cut the South Dakota lead to nine after a beautiful offensive rebound and put-back from Amigo made it 51-42.
A great transition score from Pemberton to Amigo made it a two-possession game at 53-47 in favor of the Coyotes.
But as soon as Denver made it close, USD quickly answered to push its lead back into double figures.
The Pioneers got it back to within 10 after a free throw from Amigo made it 68-58.
DU never came any closer than that the rest of the way, locking up the victory for South Dakota.
One Step at a Time
The Crimson and Gold showcased that they weren’t overmatched in this game on the road against last season’s regular-season champion. Denver needs to find ways to continue to develop its players to get some strong minutes from a bench unit that will be counted on now that league play has begun. Once it does that, the Pioneers will cause a lot of problems to Summit League teams going foward.
Denver heads home for a contest against Fort Wayne on Jan. 6. Tip-off set for 1 p.m. MT and can be seen on Altitude.
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