Feb. 26, 2016
About Denver: The Pioneers come into Saturday’s game with an even 14-14 overall record and 6-9 in Summit League play. Denver defeated South Dakota on the road, 76-71 on Feb. 21, 2016 in the last men’s basketball game at the DakotaDome. DU will enter the Summit League Tournament as a No. 6 or No. 7 seed based on Saturday’s results. The Crimson and Gold are led by Joe Rosga, who is averaging 12.3 points a game. Nate Engesser is averaging 11.8 points, while Marcus Byrd is adding 10.6 points and C.J. Bobbitt and Byrd are leading the team in rebounding pulling down 3.6 a game. This will be the last home game for Denver’s three seniors, Byrd, Engesser and Bryant Rucker who will be honored pregame. DU has six players averaging over 20 minutes per game. Denver was picked to finish eighth in the Summit League by league coaches, media and SIDs.
About North Dakota State: North Dakota State comes into Saturday’s contest with an 18-11 overall record and an 8-7 mark in Summit League games. The Bison are coming off a loss at South Dakota State, 71-59 on Feb. 25, 2016. NDSU is led by Paul Miller who is averaging 16.5 points per game, who has been out since Feb. 4. A.J. Jacobson averages 13.1 points per contest. Kory Brown is chipping in 10.5 points and grabbing 6.6 rebounds per game. NDSU was picked to finish second in the Summit League by league coaches, media and SIDs.
The Match-up: This is the 12th meeting between the teams. North Dakota State leads the all-time series 9-2. NDSU defeated DU in their first meeting of the season 75-49 in Fargo on Jan. 3, 2016. The Bison defeated the Pioneers in their last meeting in Denver on Feb. 12, 2015, 73-69 in overtime in a game that featured Brett Olson drilling a half-courter at the buzzer to send the game to extra time.
Broadcast Info: Saturday’s game will air on ROOT Sports with Jerry Schemmel (PBP) and Greg Lackey (Analyst) on the call. The game can be heard on Mile High Sports Radio AM 1340 with Raj Sharan calling all the Pioneer play-by-play action. The game can also be streamed via audio only on Pioneer Vision. For information on how to subscribe to Pioneer Vision please visit DenverPioneers.com.
Nifty Nate: Senior Nate Engesser is averaging 11.8 points a game on 51.2 percent shooting from the field. Engesser has tied his career high twice this season on Nov. 15, 2015 against Lipscomb and Dec. 13, 2015 against Weber State scoring 26 points. The senior has four games this season where he has drained six 3-pointers. Engesser knocked down a career-high seven 3-pointers against Belmont on Nov. 26, 2014. Engesser set career highs in assists (6) and steals (3) vs. Western Illinois on Jan 14, 2015. He tied his career high in assists by dishing out six against Omaha on Feb. 7, 2015 and steals (3) at Santa Clara. Engesser grabbed a career-high seven rebounds at Western Illinois on Feb. 21, 2015. The senior played in his 100th career game against South Dakota on Jan. 28, 2016.
Byrd’s Eye View: Redshirt senior Marcus Byrd is averaging 10.6 points on 49.8 percent shooting from the field. The redshirt senior is tied for the team lead in rebounds averaging 3.6 a game. Byrd scored a career-high 28 points at IPFW on Feb. 13, 2016. The Highlands Ranch native made a career-best eight 3-pointers, which tied for third most in a single game in team history also at IPFW. Byrd dished out a career-high eight assists against Lipscomb on Nov. 15, 2015. Byrd has played a career-high 40 minutes on three separate occasions. The redshirt senior tied his career-high with eight rebounds at Oral Roberts on Feb. 19, 2016 and three blocks at Omaha on Feb. 6, 2016. Byrd played in his 100th career game at San Diego on Dec. 9, 2015. Byrd is three made 3-pointers shy of moving into the top 10 all-time in DU history.
The Long Ranger: The Pioneers have at least one 3-pointer in 313 straight games, dating back to Feb. 2, 2006.
Jumping Joe: Freshman Joe Rosga started his first college game of his career against Milwaukee and played a team-high 36 minutes, while scoring nine points. Rosga dropped in a season-high 23 points against Eastern Washington on Dec. 20, 2015. The freshman had a season-best five assists vs. IPFW on Jan. 9, 2016. Rosga set a career best with four steals on Dec. 13, 2015 against Weber State. Rosga is averaging 12.3 points, 2.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds on the season.