One thing that the Denver Pioneers have been lacking early in the 2016-17 season is consistency.
They have looked impressive in their two wins over the San Jose State Spartans and the Sacramento State Hornets, but they were unable to build off those wins and string together consecutive victories. In fairness, all four of their losses have been by 12 points or less.
Denver has been competitive, but have come out on the losing end more times than not.
On Saturday, the Pioneers had an opportunity to notch a big road win, as they took on the Weber State Wildcats. Led by Jeremy Senglin, the Wildcats have also struggled out of the gate, and both teams entered Saturday’s tilt with matching 2-4 records.
To open the first half, Weber State went on a 14-4 run over the first seven-plus minutes, and it looked as though they would be in firm control as the game progressed. Denver fought their way back, and it was a back-and-forth affair that came right down to the wire.
With 12 seconds showing on the clock, and the game tied at 55-all, Denver sophomore Joe Rosga rose to the occasion. He hit a jumper to give the Pioneers a two-point lead, 57-55. The Wildcats had one last chance to tie or win the game, but Senglin’s three point attempt was off the mark.
Denver came away with the hard-fought win over Weber State on the road, 57-55.
Weber State opened the game on a 14-4 run, capped off by a layup by Dusty Baker at the 13:09 mark. Denver would end their drought shortly thereafter, as C.J. Bobbitt hit a jumper to get Denver back on track.
Bobbitt’s jumper kicked off an 11-0 run for the Pioneers, erasing the Wildcats’ ten point advantage, and Denver led 15-14 when all was said and done.
After Weber State’s ten-point lead in the first half, neither team led by more than five points the rest of the game. The game was tied at 32-all after the first half, and the second half was filled with more back-and-forth action.
With 2:59 to play in the game, Kyndahl Hill hit two free throws to give Weber State a 55-53 advantage. Bobbitt hit a jumper for Denver under a minute later to tie the game at 55-all, and the decision would come down to the final 12 seconds.
Rosga connected on a jumper with 12 seconds on the clock, giving Denver the 57-55 lead. After Weber State took a timeout, Senglin attempted a three point jumper that would have given the Wildcats the lead.
It was off the mark.
Denver grabbed the rebound and ran out the clock, securing their 57-55 win over Weber State on the road.
C.J. Bobbitt led the way for Denver, recording a double-double off the bench, scoring a team-high 17 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. Joe Rosga added 8 points of his own, none more important than the two points that gave Denver the win.
Big man Daniel Amigo chipped in with 12 points and 5 rebounds in 29 minutes of action.
Jeremy Senglin scored a team-high 15 points for the Wildcats, but was just 5-of-19 from the floor in the loss. Kyndahl Hill recorded 15 points and 12 rebounds.
As a team, Weber State shot just 30.2% (16-of-53) from the floor, in comparison to Denver shooting 48.1% (25-of-52).
With the win, the Denver Pioneers (3-4, 0-0) have given themselves another boost of momentum as the season progresses. They will look to string together back-to-back wins for the first time this season on Wednesday night when they take on the Texas A&M Aggies in College Station, TX.
The loss was the third straight, and fifth in the last six games, for the Weber State Wildcats (2-5, 0-0). They will look to get back on track on Wednesday night, when they pay a visit to Provo, UT to take on the BYU Cougars.
– T. Bennett