College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, December 15, 2013
The Summit League, with its hodgepodge of teams like Nebraska-Omaha, IPFW and South Dakota State, fields some solid players, and that was in evidence Sunday when the Denver Pioneers won for the fourth time in their last five games, whipping Wyoming, 64-61.
The Pioneers had no answer in the paint for Wyoming's Larry Nance Jr., the 6'8" junior forward who's led the Cowboys to a 7-3 record, except for the outside shooting of Marcus Byrd, who made four of five three-pointers, and the sharp shooting of team leader Brett Olson, who was 8-for-12 from the field and led Denver with 23 points.
Nance scored nearly two-thirds of Wyoming's points, putting down 38 on 15-for-21 shooting and going 8-for-8 from the foul line. When he wasn't dunking or scoring inside, he was rebounding, ripping down 12 boards for just his second double-double of the season.
After Denver took a 32-23 lead into the locker room at the half, the Cowboys fought back, largely on Nance's effort, to tie the game at 57-all, when Nance made a jumper with 2:34 left. From there, Olson and Nance took over, scoring the remaining points for their respective teams. Olson hit a pair from the field and knocked down three free throws, while Nance was sent to the line twice, where he nailed all four of his foul shots, which eventually was not enough.
Denver improved to 4-5, and hosts the Belmont Bruins on Tuesday. Wyoming suffered its third road loss in four away games. They'll be back home to meet SMU on Friday.