Friday, January 27, 2012

DU Hoops Thumps Arkansas State 66-52

Travis Hallam
University of Denver sophomore forward Chris Udofia tied a career-high with 21 points and senior guard Brian Stafford added 15 points, as the Pioneers defeated the Arkansas State Red Wolves 66-52 at Magness Arena on Thursday.

Udofia went 8-of-13 from the field, including three baskets from beyond the arc. Denver recorded its 11th double-digit victory of the season in front of 7,075 fans, the third largest men's basketball crowd in Magness Arena history.

"I thought we played extremely well tonight," head coach Joe Scott said. "It's great to see that kind of crowd. It's good for our players. They've worked hard and earned it."

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great crowd last night.

This team is picking up steam and putting on a great show. Lot's of dunks, nice three pointers and 16 victories so far.

If you haven't seen the Pios play this year, do it.

dggoddard said...

A week from Saturday is the big ESPN televised contest against Middle Tennessee.

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed that Denver is pushing basketball so hard! It's a horrible sport, stay focused on hockey and not BS sports! Go Tigers!

anonevermore said...

Seriously, how are they getting crowds that (reportedly) big to see DU hoops? I know the team is doing great, which has inspired me to go to a couple games this season. But I just don't get how you go from drawing 1500-2000 or so last season, to 6000-7000 this season. Are they giving away a lot of tickets, some inflation of attendance numbers, or what? I'm happy to see it, but just confused, especially in a year where DU hockey attendance seems to have dipped a bit.

Brendan Loy said...

The crowd wasn't 7,050 as the official stats claim -- that would be almost a sellout (7,200) -- but it was probably 6,000 or so. Best crowd I've seen for a DU basketball game; felt more like a "hockey" type atmosphere than a typical hoops game. Pioneers didn't give the crowd much to cheer about offensively in the first half, until the "8-point possession" took it from 20-19 to 28-19 in the blink of an eye. In the second half, DU finally got hot from 3 and had quite a few dunks, nice passes, etc.

Middle Tennessee will be a huge test, both for the team and for the DU fan base. I spoke with the SID and the student spirit co-chair last night; they are pulling out all the stops. Hoping for 1,000 students. I hope they can do it. Would love to see a real top-notch basketball atmosphere on ESPN2.

As for the game, the Sun Belt scheduling folks didn't do any favors, as they travel to Little Rock this Saturday, then back to Denver, then to Lafayette Thursday, then back to Denver for the MTSU game. Would have been nice to have this be the second leg of a 2-game Thu/Sat homestand, but oh well. MTSU will be coming off road games at Vanderbilt (tomorrow) and North Texas (Thursday), so at least it's a fair fight. If the Pios can pull it off, they should get a nice little national media glow heading into the home stretch of league play.

Brendan Loy said...

They do give away a ton of tickets through the "Rising Stars" program, which honors elementary school kids and then I think either gives away or discounts tickets for their families. They manufactured a couple of 4,000-ish crowds last season that way. But this was different -- there were a ton of Rising Stars last night, sure, but you don't get to 6,000 on that alone. I suspect they're starting to see some Rising Stars alums, if you will, come back for subsequent games, which means the program is doing what I assume it's partly intended to do. And beyond that, I guess people have noticed this team is ranked in the Mid-Major Top 25, getting national buzz, etc. Too bad they couldn't have knocked off Iona in that OT thriller, avoided the pratfall against UALR, and rebounded what became North Texas's game-winning tip-in; otherwise they'd be getting some outside-shot at-large talk right now, as MTSU is. But even as things stand, they're playing good, entertaining basketball, and getting enough recognition for it that it's getting people to turn out.

Brendan Loy said...

Here's a panorama of the crowd:

http://milehighmids.tumblr.com/post/16586769990/the-crowd-last-night-for-denvers-win-over

See also here.

anonevermore said...

Brendan: thanks for the great info, and for answering my questions. Sounds like they are gearing up for a good atmosphere for the game on ESPN. I will have to go to that one, for sure.

Anonymous said...

Brendan:

Great to see you posting here!

Your DU hoops blog is great.

Anonymous said...

Rising Stars tickets are paid for by a sponsor so they cound as paid tickets. DU always counts tickets 'distributed' rather than the turnstile count, hence the disparity in attendence between the count and the optics.

Anonymous said...

It would be cool to see Mega Boone at the hoops game on ESPN.