Did anyone in their wildest dreams think DU would start out 2-1 on the road? DU dismantled Lipscomb 82-69 this afternoon in Santa Clara, California to make it two in a row. By any measure, this was an outstanding three day tournament for the men's basketball team.
After pummeling Lipscomb in the first half and taking a 13 point lead into halftime, the Pioneers lost the lead in the second half and went down by 3 points but came back for the win. Seniors Nate Engesser and Bryant Rucker played fantastic games hitting 3 point bombs to hold off the Bison. Christian Mackey, without Daniel Amigo, played huge against a much bigger squad that included 7'2" David Wishon.
The Pioneers started the same line-up for the third straight game this afternoon of veterans Bryant Rucker and Marcus Byrd with freshmen C.J Bobbitt, Thomas Neff, and Joe Rosga. The three rookies chipped in with a combined 16 points and 8 rebounds. Engesser, off the bench, made 6 3-pointers and scored a game high 26 points. Marcus Byrd chipped in with 12 points and three rebounds. Rucker had another great all-around game with 15 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist. C.J. Bobbitt led the squad with 7 critical rebounds. While Mackey's stats were modest, he played a huge game for the Pioneers.
DU shot 44.4% from the field and a terrific 43.2% from 3-point territory. DU also shot 90.9% from the line (10-11). Denver had 7 turnovers to 11 for Lipscomb. Denver's bench outscored Lipscomb an astounding 39-14. Denver also led on steals 6-3. DU was out rebounded 36-30 but more than made up for that in other categories.
A young DU's team is suddenly very deep and Joe Scott is not afraid to play his bench. 10 DU players hit the hardwood. With three freshmen starting, the team is showing great maturity and energy.
Biggest Area for Improvement - None. When you come back and take a win on a neutral court with with an undersized, undermanned squad, you gotta feel good.
Surprise: Christian Mackey held his own without Daniel Amigo and was able to help neutralize a huge Lipscomb front line.