Although sophomore guard Morgan Van Riper-Rose scored five three-pointers and senior guard Emiko Smith dished out 10 assists, the Denver Pioneers suffered a tough 69-66 loss to the Seattle U Redhawks Sunday afternoon at Magness Arena. With Seattle U hanging on to a 67-65 lead, Smith took an attempt at a go-ahead three-pointer with 11 seconds remaining in the game, but she couldn't quite get it to drop. Seattle U grabbed the rebound and held on for the victory.
Denver led for most of the first half and held a 35-28 lead at halftime. Seattle U took its first lead of the second half on a three-point shot by junior guard Sylvia Shephard at 13:00, making the score 46-45. There were eight more lead changes after that, with Seattle U taking its final lead of the game with 1:25 remaining at a fast break layup by senior guard Daidra Brown that made the score 67-65. Denver missed its last five field goal attempts over the final 2:09 of the game.
Van Riper-Rose led Denver in scoring with 21 points, the sixth time this season she has broken the 20-point barrier. Junior forward Maiya Michel led Denver in rebounding with eight. Shephard led the Redhawks in both scoring and rebounding with 21 points and nine boards.
The loss continued Denver's unusual pattern this season of being more successful on the road than at home. Currently, the Pioneers are 5-3 on the road while only 3-6 at home. Denver's record now stands at 8-9 overall and 3-3 in the WAC. The Redhawks are now 8-6 overall, 5-0 in the WAC. The Redhawks hold a two-game lead for sole possession of first place in the conference, while Denver is in a three-way tie for fifth place with the New Mexico State Aggies and the UTSA Roadrunners.
Denver now embarks on a two-game road trip, meeting the San Jose State Spartans Thursday, Jan. 17 and the Utah State Aggies Saturday, Jan. 19.