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DU Secures First Winning Season Since 2012; Beats Omaha 81-60 - P4

DENVER - The University of Denver women's basketball team earned a wire-to-wire win over Omaha on Saturday, defeating the Mavericks 70-54 inside Hamilton Gymnasium.

On the year, the Pioneers improve to 16-12 and 7-6 in the Summit League, while UNO falls to 11-14, 2-10 in league play. DU also secures its first winning season since 2012, when they went 19-12.

Claire Gritt highlighted the game for the Crimson and Gold, as the freshman chalked up a team-high 18 points. The Arlington Heights, Ill. native shot 37.5 percent (6-for-16) from the field and 40 percent (2-for-5) from deep.

Also scoring in double digits was Lauren Loven with 15, Madison Nelson added 13 and Jordyn Alt tallied 12. Alt also grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds, earning the senior her third double-double this season.

As a unit, the Pioneers shot 37.7 percent (26-for-69) from the field and 33.3 percent (7-for-21) from 3-point territory. The team grabbed 59 rebounds, handed out 16 assists and forced 13 turnovers.

Denver started the contest hot, jumping out to a 12-3 lead. Seven of the 12 points came from Alt, who shot 100 percent (3-for-3) from the field.

Four quick points from Omaha had the Mavericks within five points, but DU responded with six unanswered points, pushing the advantage to 11.

Over the final four minutes of the first, both offenses put up seven points each, as the Crimson and Gold continued to hold the edge by 11, 25-14.

The Denver offense started the second much like the first, scoring seven straight points, five of which came from Gritt.

DU's offense and defense showed up strong over the first four minutes of the second, as the squad outscored the Mavericks 12-2.

A mini-run of five unanswered points had UNO within 16, as Jess Walter scored three points from an old fashioned three-point play.

Omaha continued to chip at the lead, trimming the Denver margin to 12 points at the 1:07 mark, as Amber Vidal scored three in a row.

By the break, the Mavericks cut the advantage to nine points, 42-33. UNO outscored Denver 17-5, over the final six minutes of the quarter, as Vidal put up a game-high 14 points.

Alt was the star for the Crimson and Gold over the first 20 minutes, as the senior chalked up 12 points, shooting 62.5 percent (5-for-8) from the field and 50 percent (1-for-2) from deep.

As a team, DU was 41.2 percent (14-for-34) from field-goal range and 20 percent (2-for-10) from 3-point territory. The squad grabbed 33 rebounds, handed out eight assists and had five steals.

Both team struggled to start the second half, as a short jumper from Nelson was the only bucket to fall in the first four minutes.

Abi Curtin finally broke the cold streak at 5:21, connecting with Denver's third three of the game.

A 3 from Omaha's Emily Petersen with just over three minutes in the period once again had the Mavericks within nine points.

However, two free throws and trey from Loven put the Crimson and Gold back up by 14, 56-42.

Another three from Petersen at the end of third once again had the DU advantage down to single digits, as the Pioneers only led by eight.

The first five minutes of the fourth was all Denver, as the offense found some momentum with a dominating 12-2 run, with Gritt scoring nine of the 12 points.

A deep triple from Omaha's Vidal cut the edge to 13 points, but it was as close as UNO could get.

The Pioneers returns to action on Saturday to face Western Illinois. It's the final game of the regular season and Senior Day.

Box Score: http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/denv/sports/w-baskbl/auto_pdf/2017-18/box_score/stats_20180217aaa.pdf

 

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