Stifling defense and good shooting from downtown gave the Denver Pioneers their first win of the 2012 season, 68-51, as they beat the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders at home. Chris Udofia led Denver with 17 points as the Pioneers bounced back from a season-opening loss to Iona.
The game was close throughout the first half, as Denver and Texas traded leads for most of the period. But an 11-4 Pioneers run in the final four minutes, keyed by three three-pointers from Cam Griffin, Brett Olson, and Jalen Love, gave Denver an eight-point lead at the break.
In the second half, the Pioneers pulled away with a barrage of three-pointers, making four of them in the first five minutes to push their lead to 18. From there, Denver clamped down defensively to secure the win.
Udofia led all scorers with 17 points and seven rebounds. Olson hit three three-pointers on the way to 11 points. As a team, Denver nailed 11-of-26 threes, a 42-percent rate. The Pioneers also denied open looks to the Islanders all game, as Texas A&M-CC made just 39 percent of its field goals and only 3-of-13 three-pointers. Hameed Ali was the high scorer for the Islanders with 15 points.
Denver's next game will be at home against the University of California, Berkeley. Game-time is set for 6 p.m. MT on Friday.