Courtesy Denver Athletics
MOSCOW, IDAHO – The University of Denver women's basketball team's season came to an end of Sunday afternoon, falling 88-66 to Idaho in the second round of the WNIT. The Pioneers finish the 2018-19 season 18-14 overall while Idaho improves to 22-11.
The Pioneers led 41-32 after a strong first half, but a barrage of third-quarter 3s allowed Idaho to outscore DU 36-9 in third period. Denver was unable to respond to the offensive explosion, shooting just 8-of-28 from the floor in the final 20 minutes of play.
Junior Madison Nelson led the squad with 19 points and six rebounds. The Minnesota native shot 7-of-13 from the floor while playing a team-high 36 minutes.
Samantha Romanowski played her final game a Pioneer, finishing with 11 points, five assists, two steals and one block. She ends her career with 1,112 total points, good for 21st in Denver's history.
Lauren Loven finished with just seven points on 3-of-7 from the field, but the junior from Scottsdale eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career with her first bucket of the day.
Idaho opened the game with a 3-pointer from Gina Marxen but Denver led 9-3 after Jasmine Jeffcoat's second layup of the game. The Vandals responded to pull within one of the lead but the Pios got back-to-back buckets to hold a six point lead midway through the quarter.
Both teams settled into the contest in the following minutes, but four-straight points to end the quarter had DU up 20-16 after one.
Head coach Jim Turgeon''s team stretched the lead to eight points after freshman Sydney Mech converted on a layup with 7:49 left in the frame. After a Vandal run that cut the deficit to three, the Pios exploded to an 11-2 outburst, pushing their lead to 39-27. The squads would trade blows in the final 2:30 of the quarter with Denver holding a 41-32 lead at the break.
The Vandals looked like an entirely different team in the third quarter, ripping off 16 of the first 19 points in the period. During the stretch, Idaho hit four 3s, including two from freshman Gina Marxen. Despite a 3 from Loven, Idaho's dominant quarter continued, as the Vandals ended the third on a 20-4 spurt.
During the frame, Idaho shot 12-of-19 from the floor and 8-of-12 from long-range while the Pioneers shot just 3-of-16 from the field and 2-of-8 from downtown.
DU trailed 68-50 after 30 minutes of play and despite a solid 5-of-12 shooting in the fourth, it never threatened the Idaho lead. Turgeon's team opened the period with a 7-5 stretch, but the Vandals began draining the clock early in the quarter.
For the game the Pioneers shot 26-of-58 (44.8%) from the floor and 5-of-19 from beyond the arc while the Vandals were 31-of-68 (45.6%) from the floor and 14-of-35 from distance. Idaho outscored Denver 15-6 in second-chance points and outrebounded it 13-8 on the offensive end.