DENVER - University of Denver men's basketball team junior forward Chris Udofia (Irving, Texas) had game highs with 17 points and seven rebounds, leading the Pioneers to a 68-51 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Wednesday night at Magness Arena.
Denver (1-1) shot 44.4 percent (11-for-21) from three-point range in the game, including three from sophomore guard Brett Olson (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), who finished with 11 points. Overall, the Pioneers hit 46.5 percent (20-of-23) from the field, while holding the Islanders (1-1) to 38.8 percent (19-of-49).
"Our defensive effort was much better tonight than it was in our opener," head coach Joe Scott. "We also got a big contribution from our fifth through eighth players, which is another thing that we have emphasized. These are things we have to keep getting better at game by game."
Sophomore forward Royce O'Neale (Killeen, Texas) matched Udofia's game-high with seven rebounds and led all players with five assists. Sophomore guard Cam Griffin (San Antonio, Texas) scored eight points, going 2-for-2 on his first-career three-pointers, while senior guard Chase Hallam (Mesquite, Texas) and freshman guard Jalen Love (Wichita, Kan.) added seven points apiece. Hallam also recorded three blocks.
The Pioneers jumped out to an early 10-6 lead, but an 8-0 TAMCC run gave the Islanders a 14-10 advantage midway through the first half. The Pioneers retook the 16-15 lead with a 6-0 run of their own, propelled by a pair of threes from freshman guard Nate Engesser (Colorado Springs, Colo.) in his first collegiate action, and Denver took a 31-23 lead into the intermission.
The Islanders cut the lead to six early in the second half, but the Crimson and Gold responded by making four straight three-pointers to spark a 15-0 run that extended their lead to 46-25 less than eight minutes into the closing stanza. DU never looked back from there, continuing to the 17-point victory.
The Islanders were led Hameed Ali, who finished with 15 points, while Johnathan Jordan added 10.
Denver will return to action Friday when they host California of the Pac-12. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. MT, and the game will be broadcast live on ROOT SPORTS.
Individual game tickets are on sale now with prices starting at $9 for adults. DU students get into the game free with their Pioneer Card.
Visit denverpioneers.com for complete coverage of all 17 of DU's Division I athletic programs.
--EXPERIENCE DENVER ATHLETICS-
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