The Denver Pioneers (15-5, 5-2) lost their tenuous grip on first place in the Sun Belt West Division as the North Texas Mean Green (12-8, 5-2) stunned them with a 75-74 overtime defeat. Denver entered the game having won fourth of their last five games, sharing first place in the West Division with the Ark.-Little Rock Trojans (9-12, 6-1) -- whose Saturday night win puts the Trojans in first.
Despite a strong efforts from F Royce O'Neale (21 pts, 8 reb) and G Brett Olson (15 pts, 3 ast), the Pioneers could not pull away in the end. Denver took a four-point lead into the second half, but nearly lost the game late until they managed to put together a 7-point run with less than 50 seconds on the clock -- tying that game at 66-66 at the end of regulation.
Unfortunately for the Pioneers, F Tony Mitchell (30 pts, 17 reb) and F Roger Franklin (18 pts, 10 reb) continued their dominant ways in overtime, when Franklin's final shot and a tip-in from G Alzee Williams gave the Mean Green the buzzer-beating 75-74 lead.
The Denver Pioneers basketball team will be back in action on Thursday, hosting the Arkansas St. Red Wolves.