The Denver Pioneers (14-4, 4-1) are off to their best start in Division-I school history, and get a very favorable matchup on Thursday night when they travel to face the lowly Louisiana Monroe Warhawks (2-17, 1-5). The Pioneers have only won three of their last five games, but face a Warhawks squad that has dropped 11 of their last 12 contests.
The Pioneers' offense is deadly efficient. They rank 13th nationally in field-goal percentage (49.3 percent), 23rd nationally in assists per game (16.1), and dominate the Sun Belt conference leaderboard when it comes to individual three-point shooting percentages. Denver's Brian Stafford (47.4), Royce O'Neale (46.5) and Brett Olson (45.9) are currently the top three shooters from beyond the arc in the entire conference, so the Warhawks will need to defend the arc to avoid getting blown out. If they do manage to hold down Denver's three-point shooting, that will only opened up the paint for sophomore forward Chris Udofia, who is averaging 14.4 points on 53.3 percent shooting from the field. Udofia has scored at least 15 points in his last three games, highlighted by a 20-point, 11-rebounds performance in last Sunday's win over the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.
Game date, time: 6:30 p.m. MT, Thursday, Jan. 19th, 2012
Location: Fant-Ewing Coliseum, Monroe, LA
TV channel: Pioneer Vision
Radio: AM 1510 and FM 93.7
Spread: Denver is currently favored by 12 points, and the over/under ranges from 120 to 120.5 points.