Trailing 73-67 with 2:31 remaining, Northern Colorado went on a 9-3 run, capped by an Anthony Johnson jumper, to tie the game at 74 with 38 seconds to go. After a foul by Jordan Wilson, Rucker hit 1 of 2 free throws to put Denver up 77-76.
Following a Johnson turnover on the ensuing possession, Pemberton hit two free throws. A Wilson free throw for the Bears to cut the lead to 79-77, but Pemberton added his final two at the line to give the Pioneers a four-point lead.
Johnson finished with a career-high 27 points for Northern Colorado (3-7).