DENVER – The University of Denver men’s basketball team closed out its four-game homestand with a statement win on Saturday, topping USC Upstate 84-69 in Magness Arena. The Pioneers climbed back to .500 on the year at 5-5 while the Spartans slipped to 3-9.
DU really showcased some good offense on the day, handing out 24 assists on 35 made shots. Good ball movement was the key which also resulted in a season-high 67.3 shooting percentage for the team.
Daniel Amigo led the way with a team-high 21 points on 10-of-12 shooting, his fourth game this year with at least 20. The Texas native also pulled down eight rebounds and dished out three assists.
Joe Rosga added 14 points and four rebounds. Rosga now needs only six points to become the 35th player in program history to score at least 1,000 points in his collegiate career.
Both Jake Krafka and Jake Pemberton each had their passing game on display, with each finishing with a season-high six assists. For Krafka, that now makes two games this year with at least five assists in a contest.
Both teams battled to a tie going into the first media timeout. Pemberton and Amigo provided the offense early, scoring the first nine points.
Denver got a four-point lead over the next four minutes thanks to some good stops on the defensive end which allowed for them to get some points in transition.
The Pioneers found some separation after a 17-8 run pushed their lead to 13 with five minutes remaining in the period, capped off by a bucket from Elvin Rodriguez, ending his two-game scoreless streak.
DU held the lead the rest of the half, going into the break leading 41-28 after a layup from Luke Neff with two seconds closed out the first 20 minutes of action.
Shooting was the name of the game for the Pioneers, who were on fire, going 18-for-25 (72 percent) in the period.
In the second half, the Crimson and Gold came out swinging, extending its lead from 13 to 20 the first eight minutes in after a pair of made free throws from Christian Mackey.
The lead got as a high as 26 after a layup from Donoven Carlisle made it 78-52 at the 4:40 mark.
Denver never let USC Upstate get any closer than 15 the rest of the way, locking up the win and giving it a 3-1 record on the homestand.
Strength of the Team is the Team
The Crimson and Gold showed just how dominant they can be at times during the contest. They used good ball movement to find open players for shots while keeping Amigo involved down on the low block. DU is now 2-0 this year when they have at least 20 assists in a game.
The Pioneers now head out for a tough three-game road trip. First up, a meeting at Northern Colorado on Wednesday, Nov. 13. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. MT.