Denver beats South Dakota State 76-69 in Summit opener
DENVER (AP) Brett Olson scored 17 points, Nate Engesser added 13 and had five assists, and Denver held off a late surge by South Dakota State to win 76-69 on Friday in a Summit League opener.
Marcus Byrd added 12 points on four 3-pointers, Jalen Love 11, and the Pioneers (7-7, 1-0) made 11 of 20 from beyond the arc (55 percent).
Denver never trailed and led 26-19 after Byrd made a 3-pointer. Engesser hit back-to-back 3s and the Pioneers led 39-29 at halftime, shooting a 60 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from distance (8-12).
The Pioneers led 57-42 in the second half after Olson hit back-to-back layups, but the Jackrabbits gained ground and George Marshall pulled them within five, 71-66, after a 3 with 38 seconds left. Denver finished with a 5-3 run.
Jake Bittle led the Jackrabbits (9-6, 0-1) with 15, Cody Larson had 14 and Marshall 13.