January 8, 2010

16th-ranked Bears look to keep it rolling against struggling Bengals

RELATED CLICKS:
Northern Colorado notes | Idaho State notes

GREELEY, Colo. -- Now in the heart of the Big Sky Conference schedule, the Bears (14-3, 3-1 Big Sky) won't get much time to savor their big victory Thursday night against Weber State.

The Idaho State Bengals (4-12, 1-3) are next up and will come calling to Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion at 7:05 p.m. (MT) Saturday night, Jan. 9. 

Northern Colorado, undefeated at home this season (5-0), has a chance to put the Bengals in a serious hole in the early-season conference race, extend its home winning streak to 11 games and win at least 15 games in a season for the first time since 1998, when the Bears finished 16-11.

Idaho State is coming off a 68-56 loss to Northern Arizona on Thursday night in Flagstaff. Leading scorers Amorrow Morgan and Broderick Gilchrest were both benched to start the second half of the loss, so Northern Colorado knows it's meeting a wounded bunch that might already be playing for its season.

The Bears are in the midst of one of their best seasons ever, and if they continue to scorch the nets (they're hitting 48 percent from the field in their last five games) and keep their opponents from doing the same (foes are hitting just .440 in the last five), they should move past the Bengals before hitting the road against next weekend for conference tilts at Portland State and Eastern Washington.

GAME DETAILS
Date: Saturday, Jan. 9
Tip: 7:05 p.m. (MT)
Location: Greeley, Colo.
Venue: Butler-Hancock (2,977)
Radio: 1310 KFKA (Greeley)
Play-by-play: Troy Coverdale
Web stream: 1310kfka.com
Television: BigSkyTV.org
Play-by-play: Troy Coverdale
Analyst: N/A
Sideline: N/A
Live stats: uncbears.com

THE GAME
Northern Colorado will put its perfect home mark (5-0) this season on the line when Idaho State comes calling to Butler-Hancock. The Bears are off to a historic start; ISU has struggled.

THE SERIES
This will be the 40th game between the Bears and the Bengals. ISU leads 12-27, but NC has had a little more success at home (7-12). They split home victories in last year’s regular season.

THE COACHES
Tad Boyle (45-61) is in his fourth year with Northern Colorado and fourth year overall as a head coach. Joe O’Brien (42-67) is in his fourth year at Idaho State and fourth year overall.