Nebraska Omaha (15-12) at Denver (14-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 22, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Magness Arena (7,200) -- Denver, Colorado. Television: ROOT-RM. Home Record: Nebraska Omaha 9-3, Denver 8-4. Away Record: Nebraska Omaha 6-9, Denver 5-6. Neutral Record: Nebraska Omaha 0-0, Denver 1-2. Conference Record: Nebraska Omaha 4-7, Denver 7-4. Series Record: Denver leads, 4-0.
GAME NOTES: The Denver Pioneers are surging in Summit League play, having won two games in a row and seven of their last nine. They'll try and extend that streak as they host the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks in conference action at Magness Arena.
Nebraska Omaha has lost three games in a row - all in Summit League play - including an 87-86 heartbreaker to South Dakota Thursday night. The Mavericks slipped to 4-7 in the conference standings with their most recent loss.
Since starting the season 0-4 and going 0-2 to open conference play, Denver has come on strong. The Pioneers have won four of their last five games, including a 75-67 victory over Western Illinois Thursday that lifted them to 7-4 in Summit League action.
Denver has not lost to Nebraska Omaha in any of the four times these teams have met on the court. The Pioneers took a 74-60 decision in Omaha back on Jan. 23 to extend their lead.
Nebraska Omaha and South Dakota were knotted up, 86-86, as the game clock ticked under a minute to play in regulation. With 1.5 seconds left to play, Marcus Tyus was whistled for a foul on Trey Norris, who sunk one free throw to break the tie and give the Coyotes the win. C.J. Carter netted 19 points to pace Omaha in the loss, while Mike Rostampour notched a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Tyus contributed 12 points of his own, and Devin Patterson chipped in 10 points with a team-high five assists.
Carter holds the team's scoring lead, but by a slim margin over center John Karhoff. Carter nets 13.7 ppg on 41.6 percent shooting from the floor on the year, while Karhoff checks in with 13.4 ppg. Patterson adds 10.5 ppg, and Justin Simmons chips in 10.2 ppg to round out the double-digit scorers. Patterson has dished out a team-high 92 assists this season, and Rostampour leads the squad in rebounding at 6.6 rpg.
Denver strategically outlasted Western Illinois on Thursday night, taking a three-point lead into the intermission and continuing to slowly build on that lead in the second frame. Chris Udofia netted 21 points to lead Denver, adding eight rebounds and seven assists to his impressive stat line. Bryant Rucker chipped in with 17 points, Cam Griffin added 15 and Nate Engesser scored 11 off the bench for the Pioneers.
Brett Olson, who scored eight points and committed four turnovers against Western Illinois, still leads the team in scoring this season with 15 ppg and 47.9 percent shooting from the field. His 92.6 percent shooting touch from the free-throw line is topped by no one on the Pioneers. Udofia is the only other player to average a double-digit scoring total for Denver with 13 ppg, adding a team-best 4 apg average to his resume. Griffin pulls down a team-leading 5.9 rpg in 26 games played on the year.
It's impossible to ignore the run Denver is on, and as long as Udofia and Olson continue to produce, the Pioneers should enjoy another win at home against the struggling Mavericks.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Denver 74, Nebraska Omaha 62
02/22 10:15:48 ET