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DU Womens Basketball 

Pioneers Win Double-OT Thriller Over Lamar


November 26, 2018

DENVER – The University of Denver women's basketball team won a thriller 117-110 over Lamar on Friday afternoon at Hamilton Gymnasium in game two of the Denver Thanksgiving Classic. With the win, DU moves to 4-1 on the season.

Madison Nelson's 23 point and 20 rebound performance led the Pioneers past the Cardinals in double overtime despite a 58 point performance from Lamar's Moe Kinard. The 117 points also marks a school-record for the most points scored in a single game.

Grace White added 25 points and eight boards for DU including the game-tying three with just under one second to play in regulation.

Lauren Loven scored 20 points on 7-of-17 from the floor while grabbing one rebound and dishing out one assist.

Samantha Romanowski finished with 19 points, 13 assists and six rebounds. The 13 assists are a career-high for the senior guard and the highest since Paige Bradley's 14 dimes at Fort Wayne in 2015.

The Pioneers and Cardinals got off to a slow start combining for four turnovers and just 13 points over the first four minutes of play. Loven got things rolling for the Crimson and Gold with back-to-back three pointers to give the squad its first lead at 8-5. Lamar got on track over the next few minutes thanks to a pair of three-pointers, giving the Cardinals a 15-13 lead with 3:27 to play in the quarter. Loven's hot period continued over the final 3-plus minutes of play as the junior guard led a 12-5 Denver run to put the Pioneers up 25-20 at the end of the first quarter.

Lamar answered the Denver run with an 11-2 stretch to begin the second quarter regaining the lead 31-27 with just under five minutes to play in the half. The Cardinals defense forced the Pioneers into five early turnovers while stretching the lead to eight. With 3:39 remaining in the half, Denver cut into the Lamar lead with seven unanswered points to make it 37-36 with just over a minute remaining.

Kinard then hit a three-pointer to increase the lead back to four but five straight points from Romanowski pulled Denver to within two at the break after another Kinard triple. Loven led the Pioneers with 15 points in the first half all via the long-ball while Kinard paced the Cardinals with 21.

Kinard kicked off the second half with back-to-back three's to increase the lead back to eight points but a transition layup from Gritt ended the run at the 8:12 mark. The layup marked the beginning of a 13-4 Pioneer stretch as Denver regained a lead for the first time since the 7:25 mark of the second quarter. DU led 54-53 at the media timeout but Kinard made 2-of-3 from the line to recover the slim lead with 4:22 to play in the third.

The game of runs continued as Denver put together an 11-6 stretch to recapture a two point lead with under a minute to play in the quarter. Romanowski then came up with a steal and found Tsimba Malonga in transition for the easy layup to go up 67-63 at the end of three periods of play. DU outscored Lamar 26-20 while shooting 10-of-16 from the floor and 3-of-6 from downtown.

The seesawing action persisted into the first four minutes of the final quarter as the teams traded buckets prior to the media timeout. Out of a Denver timeout Kinard converted on a pair of free throws to tie it at 76-76. The Cardinals then got another three from Kinard and a layup from Miya Crump to take a five point lead with just 4:47 remaining in the game. After an empty possession from the Pioneers Kinard came down and hit her 11th three-pointer of the game to increase the Lamar lead to eight points with 3:57 to play.

Crump then made one-of-two from the line to make it 87-78 at the 2:37 mark but DU scored six straight points over the next two minutes to make it 87-84 with 42 seconds remaining. The Cardinals came up empty on the ensuing possession giving the Pioneers one last chance with 12.5 seconds to play. After a Jim Turgeon timeout, Romanowski found White in the right corner for a three-pointer to tie the game up with 0.8 seconds to play in regulation.

Kinard opened the first extra session with her 12th three of the ball game and her 50th point of the afternoon to push Lamar in front 90-87. After back-to-back empty possessions from DU Chastadie Barrs got out in transition for an easy layup to make it a five-point game with 3:32 remaining in OT. Kinard hit on another set of free-throws to put Lamar up 95-89 with under three minutes to play but a three from Romanowski and a pair of free throws from Nelson made it 95-94 with 1:33 to play in the game.

After an empty possession from Lamar, Nelson converted on another contested layup to make it 96-95 and give Denver its first lead of the overtime period. Lamar took the lead right back with a layup from Rikiah Cowart with 19 seconds to play making it 97-96. Denver turned to Romanowski on the final possession who drew a foul and made one free throw to make the score 97-97 with just over six seconds to play.

A missed shot from Kinard on the following possession ended the overtime period tied 97-97 forcing another five minutes of play. After a free throw from Kinard to open the scoring in the second overtime, Loven and White hit back-to-back threes to put the Pioneers in front 106-102 with 3:35 to play in the second OT. With a four point lead the Pioneers ended the second overtime period on an 11-8 run to secure the victory.

Next up: Denver will host St. Bonaventure tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 PM in the fourth and final game of the Denver Thanksgiving Classic.


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