DENVER — UNO couldn’t cool off Denver guard Jase Townsend, who scored a career-high 32 points in leading the Pioneers to a 91-76 win Saturday afternoon.
Denver (5-15, 1-5) snapped a 10-game losing streak while handing the Mavericks their second straight Summit League loss.
Five of the Pioneers’ losses during their skid were by six points or fewer. That included an 80-78 loss at South Dakota two weeks ago — the same USD team that defeated UNO (10-10, 3-2) 91-81 last weekend.
Townsend, a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard, averaged 21.8 points through Denver’s first five conference games. On Saturday, Townsend missed six shots, going 9 of 15 from the field — including 8 of 10 on 3-pointers — and made all six free throws.
He was instrumental in Denver taking command early in the second half.
UNO’s last lead was 24-23 with 7:25 left in the first half after Matt Pile’s layup. The Pioneers then went on a 14-2 run over the next five minutes, capped by a Townsend 3.
The Mavs cut their deficit to 40-35 in the opening seconds of the second half, but back-to-back 3s by Townsend extended Denver’s advantage to 55-40 with 15:30 left.
UNO put together an 11-0 run to cut the lead to 71-65 with four minutes left, but that’s as close as the Mavs got. Denver hit 11 of 12 free throws in the final two minutes.
KJ Robinson led UNO with 23 points off the bench while Pile added 20 points and nine rebounds. While the Pioneers shot 54.5% from the field, UNO shot 36.2% (25 of 69).
UNO will start a four-game homestand on Thursday against Western Illinois.