DENVER, COLO. - Denver’s Brett Olson had 27 points, including a three-pointer with 17 seconds left in overtime, as the Pioneers defeated Saint Joseph’s, 77-73, in overtime at Magness Arena.
Isaiah Miles had a career-high 24 points on 9-for-12 shooting, including 4-of-6 from three-point range. DeAndre Bembry added 20 points and eight rebounds for the Hawks (6-5), while Aaron Brown scored 12 points.
Denver (6-7) scored the first five points of overtime, but Miles hit a three-pointer at 2:41 to pull the Hawks within, 70-68. Olson hit a free throw to up the DU lead to 71-68.
SJU’s Bembry and DU’s Griffin each traded free throws and DU maintained a 72-69 lead. Bembry then scored underneath to pull SJU within 72-71 with 50 seconds left, but on Denver’s next possession, Olson hit a three-pointer at 17 seconds, giving the Pioneers a 75-71 edge. Evan Maschmeyer scored for the Hawks on a layup at 6.8 seconds, but after an SJU timeout, Denver inbounded to a streaking Cam Griffin, who sealed the win with a dunk with three seconds remaining.
The Hawks led 62-55 with 5:10 remaining in the second half. Denver then scored six in a row and cut SJU’s lead to 62-61 on a layup by Olson at 3:47. Chris Wilson grabbed a steal and converted a layup to give the Hawks a 64-61 cushion and then went up 65-61 on a free throw by Shavar Newkirk at 1:58. Griffin pulled DU within 65-63 and Saint Joseph’s missed its next shot. Olson hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 65-65 and Miles had one last chance for SJU, but his three-pointer at :19 was off the mark.
“It was dead in. He would take it again if we were to play again tomorrow and I’d be proud of him for that,” said SJU coach Phil Martelli of Miles’ shot.
Although they shot 52.2 percent in the game, the Hawks committed 14 turnovers in the contest.
DU used five straight three-pointers to open the game and take an early 15-4 lead. The Hawks then went on an 13-1 run, ending with a dunk from Brown to give SJU its first lead of the game, 17-16. The teams traded leads and Saint Joseph’s took its biggest of the half, 28-21, with over four minutes to play. The Hawks held that seven-point margin at halftime, 37-30.
Saint Joseph's led by as many as 10 points early in the second half, while Denver held an 11-point advantage in the first half.
Olson made 9-of-12 from the field and 5-of-6 three-point attempts. Nate Engesser shot 6-for-10 to score 15 points for Denver, as did Griffin.
“We weren’t prepared enough for the press and that’s what changed the game. We had the game going in the right direction and gave the ball away,” said Martelli. “This is an awful to prepare for the conference season. It’s a fruitless trip to come all this way and give the game away like that. That’s unacceptable and it’s not preparation for the league.”
The defending Atlantic 10 champion Hawks open conference play on Saturday when they host George Washington at Hagan Arena at 2 p.m.