GREELEY, Colo. (AP) – Brian Stafford scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half to lead Denver to a 71-65 victory over Northern Colorado on Wednesday night.
Royce O’Neale added 14 points and Brett Olson 11 for Denver (7-2), which improved to 3-1 on the road. The Pioneers scored 25 points off 18 turnovers and finished 11 of 32 on 3-point attempts.
Tate Unruh led Northern Colorado (3-6) with 19 points. The Bears had been off since Dec. 3 and showed rustiness, though they outscored the Pioneers 30-18 inside the paint and 18-7 on second-chance opportunities.
Denver did not get its first lead of the game until 3-pointers by Stafford and Rob Lewis put them up 32-31 early in the second half. The Pioneers extended it to 37-31 before Paul Garnica, who finished with 18 points, made Northern Colorado’s first shot of the half.
Northern Colorado closed the gap to 44-42 on Brandan Keane’s hook shot with 12:02 remaining, but went scoreless for over seven minutes. Denver went on a 10-0 run over that stretch, which was capped Travis Hallam’s layup to make the score 54-42.
Unruh’s 3-pointer got the Bears as close as 60-54. Stafford made four free throws in the final 1:29 to seal the win.
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