Coming into the New Year, the Denver Pioneers were on quite the roll.
Following their 80-58 loss to the Texas A&M Aggies back on December 7th in College Station, TX, the Pioneers had reeled off six straight wins to close out the 2016 calendar year. They pushed their record to 9-5 overall, and opened up Summit League play with a 77-73 win over the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles.
On Wednesday night, Denver put their win streak on the line once more, as they welcomed the South Dakota Coyotes to town for some mid-week Summit League action.
The game saw 14 lead changes, and eight ties, and it would come right down to the wire.
With 1:58 to play in the game, Trey Burch-Manning grabbed an offensive rebound for the Coyotes and got a layup to fall, giving South Dakota the lead for good. Timely free throw shooting in the final minute sealed the deal for the visitors.
South Dakota put an end to Denver’s six game winning streak with their 75-69 win over the Pioneers.
From start to finish, Wednesday night’s tilt was a back-and-forth affair. Neither team was able to put considerable separation between them, leading to a finish that came down to the wire.
Daniel Amigo put Denver ahead by one, 65-64, with a layup on a second-chance opportunity with 2:16 left to play in the game. After a missed three by Carlton Hurst on the other end for the Coyotes, Burch-Manning got a layup of his own to fall to put South Dakota ahead for good.
After a turnover gave the Coyotes the ball back with 1:21 to play in the game, the Pioneers were forced to foul whenever the Coyotes touched the ball in the final minute.
Austin Sparks and Triston Simpson each hit a pair to give the Coyotes a 70-65 lead with under 30 seconds on the clock. Sophomore guard Matt Mooney hit five of six attempts from the free throw line in the final 19 seconds to put the game on ice for South Dakota.
It took some work, but South Dakota put an end to Denver’s six game winning streak with their 75-69 victory on the road.
Mooney scored a game-high 23 points to pace the Coyotes, while also adding in 7 rebounds. The sophomore went 6-of-9 from the field on the night, and 4-of-7 from three point range.
Carlton Hurst added 11 points, while Trey Burch-Manning added 7 points and 11 rebounds in the win.
Once again, Joe Rosga led the way for Denver, scoring a team-high 14 points to pace a balanced scoring attack for the Pioneers. Four players, including Rosga, scored in double-figures, and six players had at least 6 points in the loss.
Daniel Amigo (13 points, 10 rebounds) recorded his sixth double-double of the yer, while C.J. Bobbitt (12 points, 10 rebounds) recorded his second such performance.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday in SUmmit League action. The South Dakota Coyotes (11-7, 2-1) welcome the IUPUI Jaguars to town, while the Denver Pioneers (9-6, 1-1) head out on the road for a game against the Fort Wayne Mastodons.
– T. Bennett