The Denver Pioneers fell to the Iona Gaels, 65-58, on Friday in the first game of the season for both teams.
The Gaels led by a score of 40-17 after the first half and looked to be on their way to a dominant victory, but the Pioneers returned the favor by outscoring the Gaels, 41-25, in the second half and almost pulled off the stunning comeback.
Denver had four players in double figures, including Chris Udofia's 20 points on 7-for-13 shooting, six rebounds and five assists. The Pioners, however, were unable to stop the Gaels' backcourt duo of Lamont Jones and Sean Armand. Jones scored 20 points on 7-for-15 shooting and seven assists while Armand added 19 points of his own.
Udofia's high point total was undermined by his six turnovers. Udofia, Royce O'Neale, Brett Olson and Chase Hallam all played at least 34 minutes in the loss. Only six players played for the Pioneers, primarily because they trailed almost the entire game aside from the very beginning.