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Denver defeats cold-shooting New Orleans 53-45

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Chase Hallam scored 19 points, and Nate Rohnert had 17 points and 13 rebounds to lead Denver to a 53-45 victory over New Orleans on Saturday night.

The Pioneers (16-11, 9-7 Sun Belt Conference) shot just 31.8 percent (7-for-22) in the first half but that was enough to gain a 20-10 halftime lead. The Privateers (8-19, 3-13) made just 2 of 17 shots (11.8 percent) in the half and didn't get their second field goal until 4:24 remained.

Both teams shot better in the second half and New Orleans was able to cut its deficit to one point three times, the last at 41-40 with 2:29 to play.

Denver held New Orleans off at the free throw line, with Rohnert going 6-for-6 over the final 2:01 and Hallam making two free throws and a jumper.

Carl Blair scored 17 points for New Orleans, making 6 of 8 shots. The rest of the Privateers finished 7-for-33 (21.2 percent).