December 15, 2009

Men's basketball ready to host Warhawks

Northern Colorado notes | ULM notes | Big Sky Conference notes

GREELEY, Colo. -- They're coming few and far between, but a second home game awaits Northern Colorado (8-2, 1-1 Big Sky) at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday when the University of Louisiana at Monroe (3-6, 0-0 Sun Belt) comes calling to Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion. This will be the first meeting between the Bears and the Warhawks.

Wednesday, Dec. 16
Tip: 7:05 p.m.
Location: Greeley, Colo.
Venue: Butler-Hancock (2,734)
Radio: 1310 KFKA (Greeley)
Play-by-play: Troy Coverdale
Web stream:
Play-by-play: Troy Coverdale
Analyst: N/A
Sideline: N/A
Live stats:


  • Northern Colorado coach Tad Boyle is in his fourth season with the Bears and holds a 39-60 record.
  • The Bears began their transition to the NCAA Division I level in 2003-04 and were postseason eligible for the first time in 2007-08.
  • Northern Colorado is off to an 8-2 start this season, which is tied for its best start after 10 games in 108 years of playing collegiate basketball. The Bears also started 8-2 in 2002-03, 1988-89, 1966-67, 1963-64 and 1935-36.
  • Northern Colorado improved to 10-2 in the 1988-89 season, 17-2 in 1966-67 and 9-2 in 1935-36.
  • The Bears received 109 points and the #22 national ranking in this week’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll after debuting at #25 three weeks ago, marking the Bears’ first apperance in a NCAA Division I national poll. NC has now been ranked for a school-record four straight weeks.
  • Northern Colorado has never faced the University of Louisiana at Monroe but is 46-76 all-time against current teams from the Sun Belt, where the Warhawks reside. A majority of those contests have come against instate-rival Denver (44-74).
  • The Bears have never played a team from the state of Louisiana.
  • Northern Colorado has connected on 203 free throws this season, which is the seventh most in all of NCAA Division I. Wyoming, the Bears’ opponent on Saturday, Dec. 12, was tops in the category (234) at the beginning of the week\, and instate-rival Colorado State was 10th (198).
  • Northern Colorado has connected from three-point range in 86 straight games, dating back to the 2006-07 season.
  • The Bears’ last missed shot from beyond the arc came against Weber State on Dec. 28, 2006.
  • Northern Colorado has had a lot of success early on this season, and there’s reason to think the Bears haven’t even started clicking yet. Junior Devon Beitzel is scoring more than he did last season (13.2 to 11.8), but he’s playing a lot more (about 30 minutes in 2009-10, compared to 23 last year) and his shooting is way under where it figures to be at the end of the season. Beitzel, a career 46 percent shooter from the field, is hitting just 43 percent of his shots this season and just 33 percent of his shots from three-point range, where he’s a career 37 percent shooter.
  • Also, as a team, Northern Colorado is hitting just 37 percent of its three-pointers this season, compared to 40.1 percent last season, when the Bears finished the year ranked No. 8 in the NCAA in three-point shooting percentage.
  • And finally, the Bears have built their historic start almost entirely on the road. Of the Bears 10 games this season, only one of them has come at home. Northern Colorado still gets to play 12 more games this season in Greeley, where they finished 10-4 in 2008-09.
  • The Bears are 6-2 in road or neutral contests this season after finishing 4-14 in those games last year.
  • Northern Colorado completed an undefeated November (6-0) this season for just the fourth time in program history. The Bears previously were perfect in November in 1984 (4-0), 1978 (1-0) and 1976 (1-0).
  • The Bears were one of just 15 NCAA college basketball teams (out of 346) in the nation that didn’t play a home game in November. Northern Colorado, which didn’t have its home opener until Dec. 1, against Colorado State, was the only one of those 15 teams to be undefeated.
  • NC’s Dec. 1 home opener this year was its latest since 1990, when the Bears defeated Doane College 101-92 on Dec. 1.
  • Northern Colorado started its 2009-10 Big Sky Conference schedule on Dec. 4 against Montana State. That was the earliest a Bears team had ever started a conference season. The previous earliest mark came on Dec. 8, 2001.
  • Northern Colorado won two tournaments this season (Rainbow Classic, Reggie Minton Air Force Classic) for the first time since the 2002-03 season, when the Bears claimed titles in the Division II Colorado Mines Tournament and Chuck Stephens Classic.
  • In winning the Rainbow Classic, NC joined previous winners like Indiana (1974), North Carolina (1982), Michigan (1992) and Louisville (1993).
  • The Bears’ 81-75 victory against Hawai’i in the Rainbow Classic Championship game on Monday night, Nov. 16, gave Northern Colorado 1,000 men’s basketball victories in its 108 year history. Northern Colorado men’s basketball (now at 1,005 wins) is the second-winningest team in school history (NC baseball has 1,423).
  • In the championship game of the Reggie Minton Air Force Classic on Saturday, Nov. 21, Northern Colorado defeated Air Force for just the first time since Feb. 1957. It was also its biggest margin of victory over the Falcons (24 points).
  • The Bears placed five players on all-tournament teams during its two tourneys this year (three in Hawai’i and two at Air Force).