Denver Powers Past Eastern Michigan, 60-54
Johnson goes for 18 points in return to California
Nov. 24, 2017
LOS ANGELES – The University of Denver women’s basketball team needed a late push, but the Pioneers got things done with a 60-54 win over Eastern Michigan on Friday afternoon inside Gersten Pavilion.
DU moved to 3-2 on the season, while the Eagles fell to 2-3. The Crimson and Gold also earned their first back-to-back wins since the 2015-16 season.
Trailing 47-41 with only seven and a half minutes to play in the fourth, Denver went on a 19-7 run for the rest of the quarter. Over that time, Briana Johnson scored seven points, while Carie Weinman added six.
The fourth period was huge for the Pioneers, as the squad went 53.8 percent (7-for-14) from field goal range and 66.7 percent (4-for-6) from behind the arc.
Johnson ended up leading the way for DU, as the Carson, Calif. native chalked up 18 points, shooting 66.6 percent (6-for-9) from the field and 100 percent (2-for-2) from 3-point range. In her return to California, Johnson also grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists.
As a team, the Crimson and Gold forced 21 turnovers, raked in 35 rebounds and had 10 assists. The team shot 33.9 percent (20-for-59) from the field, 37.5 percent (9-for-24) from the arc and 78.6 percent from the charity stripe.
The Pioneers quickly jumped out to an 11-2 run to start the game, as Nelson led the way with seven points over the first three minutes.
The DU offense continued to roll in the first, as Johnson connected on a pair of free throws to extend the margin to 12, 16-4.
After the Eagles went on a 7-0 run, a Johnson trey ended the streak and put Denver up by eight.
By the end of the first, EMU had cut the Crimson and Gold’s edge to only five, 19-14.
After Eastern Michigan got within one in the second quarter, Weinman drained a huge 3, the Pioneers first basket of the period.
Shortly after the Eagles cut the lead to two, Abi Curtin hit a 15-foot jumper with two minutes to play until halftime.
The DU offense fell cold in the second, as the team shot just 21.4 percent (3-for-14) from the field and 20 percent (1-for-5) from behind the arc. At the break, Denver led 27-22.
Nelson led the way for the Crimson and Gold with 10 points in the first half, shooting 50 percent (4-for-8) from the field and from 3-point territory (1-for-2).
Into the third, Nelson continued to feel it, as the sophomore connected on her second triple of the game and the first Pioneer bucket of the half.
EMU again got within one 32-31, but a Gritt 3 with four and a half minutes left in the quarter extended the DU edge to four.
The Eagles tied it up with a 6-2 run towards the end of the third, but Gritt answered with a lay-in.
Eastern Michigan took its first lead of the game, 41-39 at the start of the fourth with a layup from Tori Easley.
EMU continued to score in the quarter, building a six-point edge after only playing two and a half minutes.
However, Johnson ignited the Denver sidelines with an old fashion three-point play, followed up by a trey on the next possession tying the game at 47.
The Pioneers took back the lead, 50-48 with a 3 from Weinman with less than five minutes to play. After forcing a turnover on Eastern Michigan’s next possession, DU hit back-to-back treys from Gritt and Weinman.
The Eagles cut the distance to six, 60-54 with 10.4 seconds to play but the Crimson and Gold’s advantage was just too much.
The squad returns for the second game of the LMU Thanksgiving Classic tomorrow, as the take on Miami (OH) at 2 p.m. MT.
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