An overtime, buzzer-beater finish probably was more nerve racking than what many DU hoops fans were hoping for on alumni weekend, but they’ll take it.

Former players and students gathered together to cheer on the University of Denver men’s basketball team as they beat Fort Wayne Mastodons 76-73 at Magness Arena in dramatic fashion thanks to a last-second, overtime game-winner from sophomore forward C.J. Bobbitt.

Both teams came into the game with some impressive wins on their resume. Denver owns Summit League victories over North Dakota State, Oral Roberts, IUPUI and South Dakota State; Fort Wayne was just as impressive, as they’ve beat Miami (OH), Austin Peay, Oral Roberts and upset Big Ten power Indiana.

Fort Wayne came to Denver having had great success against the Pioneers, putting its 6-1 all-time series record (3-0 in Denver), including an 87-83 loss in their meeting in January, to the test. Still, head coach for the Pioneers Rodney Billups wasn’t too worried about their record against his Pios.

“Their record wasn’t an emphasis going into the game,” Billups said postgame. “We wanted to play good defense, and our guys competed defensively and made some shots. We just wanted to come out and execute our game plan and that would give us our best opportunity to get the win.”

Bobbitt may have hit the game-winning shot, but Thomas Neff kept Denver in it all night hitting big shot after big shot.

Neff recorded 21 points, which also tied his career high.

“I’m so proud of Thomas” Billups said. “Thomas is getting better and better each day, he’s competing and giving amazing effort on the defensive end and that’s all I ask. He led us today.”

Daniel Amigo appeared to be too much doing most of his work on the interior. He had a team high of 22 points.

John Konchar led Fort Wayne in scoring as he finished with 20 points.

What’s Next

Fort Wayne: The loss to Denver snaps a two-game winning streak for the Mastodons and moves them to 16-8 on the year. They go back home to rest for a few days before they host South Dakota Coyotes on Wednesday.

Denver: With the win, the Pioneers move to 15-9 on the year, which matches their regular season win total from last year. They have almost a week off before they attempt to complete a season sweep against North Dakota State in Fargo, N.D. next Saturday.

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