Jackrabbits Slip Past Denver, 69-58
Three Pioneers score in double figures
Jan. 11, 2018
DENVER – The University of Denver women’s basketball team held tough with South Dakota State, ultimately leading for 19 minutes. However, a big second half propelled South Dakota State to victory, 69-58 inside Hamilton Gymnasium.
DU falls to 10-8 and 1-2 in the Summit League, while SDSU improves to 13-4, 3-0 in league play.
Three players from the Crimson and Gold scored in double figures, including team-leading Briana Johnson who dropped in 13. Not far behind was Claire Gritt who scored 12 points and Jordyn Alt who added 10.
Alt led the team with seven rebounds, while Johnson guided the team with five assists.
As a unit, Denver shot 30.9 percent (17-for-55) from the field and 36.4 percent (8-for-22) from downtown. The squad grabbed 32 rebounds, forced 18 turnovers and had 11 steals.
The Pioneers quickly took a 4-0 advantage to start the game, as the freshman duo of Gritt and Grace White got the squad going.
Quick to respond, the Jackrabbits fired back with a 7-0 run, taking the lead from the Crimson and Gold thanks to a 3 from Macy Miller.
Striking back with a run of its own, DU responded with a 12-2 run, highlighted by treys from Alt and Samantha Romanowski.
Denver held the advantage at the end of the first, 18-14 as Alt chalked up five points.
Into the second, South Dakota State started a 7-4 run, but an Alt triple returned momentum to DU.
Despite SDSU cutting the margin to only two, a layup from Carie Weinman put the Pioneers back up by four, 27-23.
The Jackrabbits kept within two points, until an Alt jumper from mid-range finally pushed the margin back to four with a minute until the break. However, a South Dakota State bucket from Miller put the Jackrabbits back within two at the half.
Leading the way for the Crimson and Gold at the break was Alt with 10 points. The senior was 57.1 percent (4-for-7) from the field and a perfect 100 percent (2-for-2) from 3-point territory.
As a team, Denver was 35.5 percent (11-for-31) from the field and 33.3 percent (3-for-9) from deep. The squad had grabbed 16 rebounds, handed out eight assists and forced six steals through the first 20 minutes of action.
Coming out of the half, SDSU play inspired, scoring nine unanswered points, retaking the lead for the first time since the first period.
After being held scoreless for the first four and a half minutes of the third, Gritt finally got the DU offense going with a 3.
Despite the Jackrabbits going up by five, 41-36, the Pioneers refused to play discouraged and back-to-back 3s from Alt and Lauren Loven put the team back up by one.
At the end of the third, Denver continued to hold the edge by one point, 44-43. However, South Dakota State’s Tylee Irwin ignited a 9-3 run to retake the lead with a quick layup to start the fourth.
With 5:20 left to play, Ciera Morgan went 1-for-2 from the charity stripe and had the Crimson and Gold only down by four. On their very next possession the Jackrabbits had no problem answering, adding two more from Miller.
A Miller lay-in with less than four minutes to play gave SDSU its biggest advantage of the game with eight points, but a Johnson free-throw cut it back to seven on the other end.
Looking to close the door, Guebert connected with another shot from downtown, extending the Jackrabbit lead to 10, 61-51.
A big 3 from Johnson kept DU within eight, but that was as close as the Pioneers could get.
The Pioneers return the court on Saturday, as they host North Dakota State at 2 p.m.
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