Women's Basketball

Denver Falls to IUPUI, 68-55

DENVER – Junior Morgan Van Riper-Rose (Eden Prairie, Minn.) scored 17 points, but it wasn’t enough as the University of Denver women’s basketball team dropped a 68-55 decision to the IUPUI Jaguars at Magness Arena on Thursday evening. The loss drops the Pioneers to 5-19 on the season, 3-6 in The Summit League.

“IUPUI plays good defense,” said head coach Kerry Cremeans. “We had to get looks on the inside and that was tough for us to do offensively as a team tonight. As a team the effort was still there defensively. We were able to hold their high-scoring offense to a low point production.”

Van Riper-Rose finished the game shooting 4-of-13 from the field, 7-of-9 from the charity stripe and knocked down two three pointers. The junior guard added three assists and grabbed six rebounds, while senior Desiree Hunter (Cypress, Calif.) added seven points and recorded a game-high 11 rebounds.

Senior Alison Janecek (Omaha, Neb.) grabbed five rebounds to accompany eight points, and a block. Freshman Alecia Espinoza (Hacienda Heights, Calif.) was big off the bench, scoring five points and grabbing six rebounds in just 21 minutes of action. Sophomore Paige Bradley (The Woodlands, Texas) had seven points to go along with two assists and a steal.

Denver cut the lead to three points with 10:15 remaining in the second half, but the Jaguars were able to force eight turnovers and extend their largest lead of the game to 15 points with two minutes to play.

IUPUI scored 36 points in the paint behind DeAirra Goss’ game-high 20 points. Joining Gross in scoring double figures were Nevena Markovic, with 13 points, and Mikale Rogers with 11 points.

Denver finished the game shooting 34.0 percent, after shooting 42.3 percent in the first half, and shot 17-of-23 (73.9 percent) from the charity stripe. IUPUI shot 46.7 percent for the game after shooting 51.6 percent in the first half.

Van Riper-Rose led the Pioneers in the first half with 10 points off 3-of-7 shooting, adding three assists and three rebounds at the break. Hunter grabbed six rebounds and chipped in five points. Denver shot 42.3 percent from the field, while IUPUI shot 51.6 percent from the field and led at the conclusion of the first half, 37-30.

Denver remains home to host the IPFW Mastadons on Saturday, Feb. 15 in another conference tilt. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. MT at Magness Arena. Saturday’s game is the Pioneers annual Pink Game so fans are encouraged to wear their Pink to support breast cancer awareness.

Denver Game Notes

·         Van Riper-Rose scored in double figures for the 10th time this season; 40 times over her career

·         Espinoza registered six rebounds during the game, this is the fourth time this season she has grabbed more than five rebounds. She also contributed five points in 15 minutes of play.

·         Hunter gathered 11 rebounds during the game, tying her second-best performance on the season. This also makes the third time this season she has grabbed double-figure rebounds.

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