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DU Womens Basketball 

Second Half Surge Pushes Pioneers Past American

 

November 20, 2018

DENVER – The University of Denver women's basketball team won 83-54 over American University on Monday afternoon at Hamilton Gymnasium. With the win Denver moves to 3-1 on the season.

DU used a strong second half to pull out the victory as the Pioneers outscored American 43-19 over the final 20 minutes of play.

Lauren Loven led the Crimson and Gold with 27 points, four rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal. The junior guard went 10-of-15 from the floor and 6-of-7 from behind the arc.

Courtney Smith recorded 14 points and 16 rebounds, the highest individual rebound total since Madison Nelson's 18 boards against Northern Arizona last season.

Denver opened the game with turnovers on two of its first three possessions but two buckets from Smith kept DU within striking distance after the slow start. Trailing 8-4 the Pioneers got a steal from Samantha Romanowski who found Claire Gritt in transition for the layup.

With 6:03 to play in the quarter, Sydney Mech beat her defender and made the easy lay-in for Denver's first lead of the ball game. The Pioneer run continued after the first media timeout as DU extended the lead to nine with just over three minutes to play. The squads traded buckets over the final few minutes of the quarter as DU led 24-15 after one period of play.

Despite trailing by nine, the Eagles kept fighting as American and Denver exchanged baskets over the first half of the second quarter but Grace White's long distance jumper gave the Pioneers their largest lead at 11 with 6:19 to play.

American answered back with a 13-7 run to end the quarter and pull within five points at the end of two quarters. Loven led the Crimson and Gold with 13 points in the half on 5-of-9 shooting and 2-of-3 from downtown.

Denver opened the second half on a 6-0 run to push the lead back to nine and force an American timeout. The Pioneers kept their foot on the gas pedal out of the break as Romanowski hit a long-range jumper to extend the lead to 12. Loven then hit from downtown again with 5:27 to play in the quarter, extending the lead to 15 prior to the media timeout.

The Eagles pulled to within eight after a pair of free throws from Cecily Carl and a three-point jumper from Kaitlyn Lewis with just under four minutes to play in the quarter. Denver didn't panic as Loven scored eight straight points to regain the double-digit lead which they held for the remainder of the quarter. The Pioneers dominated the third, outscoring American 24-13 while shooting 10-of-19 from the floor.

Denver maintained its dominance in the fourth quarter stretching the lead to 29 points, the largest lead of the game. The Crimson and Gold shot 33.3 percent in the fourth while holding American to just 15.8 percent to ensure the victory.

Next up: Denver will return to the court on Friday when the Pioneers host the Denver Thanksgiving Classic. The Crimson and Gold will take on Lamar on Friday and St. Bonaventure on Saturday with both games beginning at 3:30 p.m.

 

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