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Udofia drops 26 in Denver’s loss to Wyoming

University of Denver men’s basketball junior forward Chris Udofia (Irving, Texas) scored a season-high 26 points, but Wyoming remains undefeated following a 71-61 victory at Arena Auditorium on Tuesday night.

“Our defense sort of let our offense down for the first time this year,” head coach Joe Scott said. “But give Wyoming credit, especially Luke Martinez and Derrious Gilmore, who both played really well and banged some shots.”

Denver (3-6) shot 53.5 percent (23-of-43) from the field and 46.2 percent (6-of-13) from three-point range, but Wyoming (11-0) made 64.7 percent (22-of-34) from the field and 66.7 percent (8-of-12) from beyond the arc.

Sophomore forward Royce O’Neale (Killeen, Texas) added 12 points, and senior guard Chase Hallam (Mesquite, Texas) recorded four steals in the game.

However, Wyoming received career-highs from Luke Martinez 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting, including five three-pointers, and Larry Nance Jr. with 21 points, and UW converted 19-of-21 free throw attempts to earn the victory.

Wyoming started quick out of the gate, jumping to an 8-0 lead before Udofia went to work, scoring his first of nine first-half points, as the teams played evenly the rest of the half.

Both teams shot well before the break with Denver going 10-for-20 (50.0 percent) from the field and Wyoming hitting 11-of-18 (61.1 percent) of their shots, and the Cowboys took a 30-24 lead into halftime.

The Pioneers came out of the break three-pointers by sophomore guard Brett Olson (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and O’Neale and a shot in the paint by Udofia to cut the deficit to 34-32 with 17:17 remaining. However, the Cowboys continued their hot shooting to stretch the lead to as many as 13 points with 4:32 left in the game.

The Pioneers return to Magness Arena to host Southern Utah on Friday at 4 p.m. MT before opening WAC play at Louisiana Tech on Dec. 29.

Recap courtesy and printed with the permission of University of Denver athletics.

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