San Jose, Calif.-----The University of Denver leads the Western Athletic Conference in points allowed and showed why in a 62-41 win over San Jose State University.
The Pioneers (17-8, 13-2 WAC) forced 18 turnovers and limited the Spartans to 13 field goals for their sixth win in a row and a conference road sweep of Utah State and San Jose State (9-16, 3-11 WAC). No WAC team has scored 70 points against Denver in conference play.
"We held them to a number (62) that should be reasonable, but we just aren't scoring enough. We only made three baskets in the first half," said San Jose State head coach George Nessman about the team's tenth loss in a row. The Spartans used their sixth different starting lineup in the last six games hoping to end its scoring issues. "Psychologically, it's hard when you make three baskets in a half to feel like you're going to go out and get it done."
"Denver is a real good team. They're at the top of the conference. Give them credit. They ran their stuff and their players are really committed to what they do," said Chris Cunningham who led all players with 12 rebounds, the 11th time this season he finished with a double-figure rebounding total.
"We played hard. There were a lot of plays we didn't finish (on the offensive end), but the effort was there."
Forwards Chris Udofia and Chase Hallam each scored 13 points to lead Denver. Udofia surpassed the 1,000-point career mark as Denver swept the season series from San Jose State.
In a game filled with a combined 23 first-half turnovers, Denver used a 13-1 spurt to take its first double-digit lead and control of the game at 28-12 with 2:20 left before halftime.
"It was a very aggressive game. The tempo of the game was one where there were a lot of fouls. Their switching disrupted our timing (on offense)," said Spartan guard Xavier Jones who matched Cunningham in the scoring column with seven points.
"Our defense was the key. We played real good 'D' the whole game. San Jose State was ready to play. They competed hard. They played really hard defensively. We did a good job hanging in there, having our defense keep us in there," said Denver coach Joe Scott. "Then our offense was good enough to break out and give us the lead in the first half."
San Jose State, which trailed 28-14 at intermission, got no closer than 12 points on two occasions in the second half. The Pioneers led by as many as 23 twice in the final five minutes.
Denver, which played no player taller than 6-foot-7 reserve forward Marcus Byrd, converted 53.3 percent of its field goal tries compared to San Jose State's 31.7 percent.LaVanne Pennington came off the bench to lead San Jose State in scoring with eight points, all in the final five minutes.
Denver vs San Jose State
02/16/13 7:00 p.m. at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
At San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
DENVER 62, SAN JOSE STATE 41
DENVER (17-8, 13-2 WAC)
Udofia, Chris 5-12 2-2 13; Hallam, Chase 4-7 2-2 13; O'Neale, Royce 5-6 0-0
11; Olson, Brett 3-5 2-2 9; Love, Jalen 4-7 0-0 8; Griffin, Cam 3-5 0-0 6;
Foeman, Blake 0-2 2-2 2; Byrd, Marcus 0-1 0-0 0; Engesser, Nate 0-0 0-0 0.
Totals 24-45 8-8 62.
SAN JOSE STATE (9-16, 3-11 WAC)
Pennington, LaVanne 3-7 1-2 8; Cunningham, Chris 3-6 1-2 7; Jones, Xavier
2-8 3-4 7; Garrett, Louis 2-10 1-2 6; Jones, Chris 2-2 0-0 4; Brown, D.J.
1-4 0-0 3; Andoh, David 0-0 3-6 3; Smith, Stephon 0-3 2-2 2; Brown, Alex 0-0
1-4 1; Grieves, Nick 0-1 0-0 0; Moor, Aalim 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-41 12-22
Denver........................ 28 34 - 62
San Jose State................ 14 27 - 41
3-point goals--Denver 6-14 (Hallam, Chase 3-5; Olson, Brett 1-2; O'Neale,
Royce 1-1; Udofia, Chris 1-2; Foeman, Blake 0-2; Love, Jalen 0-2), San Jose
State 3-16 (Brown, D.J. 1-3; Garrett, Louis 1-6; Pennington, LaVanne 1-4;
Grieves, Nick 0-1; Jones, Xavier 0-2). Fouled out--Denver-None, San Jose
State-None. Rebounds--Denver 26 (Griffin, Cam 6; O'Neale, Royce 6), San Jose
State 28 (Cunningham, Chris 12). Assists--Denver 14 (Udofia, Chris 5), San
Jose State 7 (Jones, Xavier 3). Total fouls--Denver 17, San Jose State 18.
Technical fouls--Denver-None, San Jose State-None. A-1260