Mastodons trample Pioneers in 69-53 defeat

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Marcus Byrd (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) scored 14 points, but it was not enough as the University of Denver men’s basketball team dropped a decision 69-53 to the Fort Wayne Mastodons Thursday night at the Gates Sports Center.

BOXSCORE: IPFW 69, Denver 53

The Pioneers (7-9, 1-2 Summit League) could not overcome the hot shooting of the Mastodons (8-8, 1-2 Summit League) who hit for 55.0 percent on the night.

Brett Olson (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) scored 13 points, grabbed three rebounds and dished out three assists while Jalen Love (Wichita, Kan.) scored 12 points knocking down four 3-pointers.

With Denver trailing 34-30, IPFW went on a 14-2 run to open a double digit lead with 11:28 remaining in the second half. Denver was never able to cut into IPFW’s lead after that run. Fort Wayne had a 28-10 rebounding advantage over the Pioneers.

Daniel Amigo (El Paso, Texas) returned after missing the last 10 games due to injury. Amigo scored four points and had one assist in his return.

Denver finished the game shooting 48.7 percent (19-of-39), while Fort Wayne shot 55.0 percent (22-of-40). The Pioneers shot 46.2 percent from behind the 3-point line (12-of-26). The Mastodons shot 58.3 percent (7-of-12) from 3-point range.

The first half featured both teams shooting the ball well. Both teams had their runs as the Mastodons opened a 22-14 lead that was answered with an 8-0 Pioneer run to tie the game at 22. IPFW finished the half on a 12-5 run. Both teams showed full-court pressure on defense.

Denver trailed 34-27 at halftime.

The Crimson and Gold were led by Byrd who had 12 points in the first half. Olson added seven points and two assists.

Denver shot 52.9 percent (9-of-17) from the floor while IPFW hit for 66.7 percent (12-of-18) in the first half. The Pioneers hit for 50.0 percent (6-of-12) from behind the arc in the first half. The Mastodons shot 80.0 percent (4-of-5) from behind the 3-point line.

The Mastodons were led by Mo Evans who scored 16 points. Joe Reed had 12 points and six rebounds, four of them coming on the offensive end.

Notes: Olson moved into 12th all-time on the Pioneer scoring list. Sitting 11th on the list is graduate manager Nate Rohnert with 1,306 points.

Denver will stay on the road as they will take on IUPUI on Saturday, Jan. 10 at 11 a.m. MT. The game can be seen on ESPN3 and heard on Mile High Sports Radio  AM 1550 FM 94.1|96.9 in Boulder.

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Recap courtesy and reprinted with permission of University of Denver athletics.

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