Bears push winning streak to seven behind Lloyd's 16 points
GREELEY, Colo. – Northern Colorado used a red-hot start and strong first-half performance to bury Weber State 65-46 in front of a raucous Butler-Hancock Pavilion crowd.
The Bears (11-7, 7-0 Big Sky) got a second-straight sterling performance from Elliott Lloyd, as the sophomore guard poured in a team-high 16 points to go along with six assists. Seniors Chris Kaba and Neal Kingman also scored in double-digits, as both chipped in with 12 points.
With the win, the Bears stay unbeaten in conference play and reach the 7-0 mark for the first time since 1960. The team also improved its record at Butler-Hancock to an impressive 19-2 over the last two seasons.
The Bears got off to a scorching start to begin the game, missing just two shots in the opening nine minutes while jumping out to a 29-8 lead.
Northern Colorado head coach B.J. Hill was pleased with his team's performance in the first half.
"Everything goes well usually when you shoot it as well as we did in the first half," Hill said. "On both ends of the floor: the way we guarded, we were tuned in mentally, guys were talking, rotating, finishing possessions with rebounds. That was as good as we have played by far for twenty (minutes)."
Northern Colorado used a barrage of three-point shots to distance itself from the Wildcats, shooting 8-13 from behind the arc in the first half. Lloyd was the leader in the first half, scoring 14 points and making all three of his shots from three-point range.
"In my opinion, if you have to give a game-ball to somebody, it has to be Elliott Lloyd," Hill said. "Not only did he have 16 points, six assists and no turnovers, but he's the one who held (Lindsey) Hughey in check. I told him this was his best game as a Bear."
The Bears' defense was also outstanding throughout the game, holding Weber State to under 35% from the field. The team also forced 16 Wildcat turnovers while scoring 22 points off those mistakes.
Scott Bamforth led the Wildcats (9-9, 3-4 Big Sky) with 19 points, but was held to just three of those points in the first half.
After getting out to that 29-8 lead, the Bears continued to put the pressure on Weber State, increasing the margin to as large as 27 in the first half. From there, Weber State chipped away, but never really came within striking distance as the Bears' lead never shrank to less than 16.
Mike Proctor and Emmanuel Addo came through for Northern Colorado off the bench. Proctor grabbed a team-high eight rebounds to go along with three points. Addo chipped in with seven rebounds and three points.
"You look at Mike Proctor and Emmanuel Addo having 15 rebounds in 26 minutes between the two of them, that's unbelievable," said Hill. "Those guys going up and getting rebounds limited (Weber State) to the shots they had. That really helped our defense."
The Bears have a much needed break coming up, as they put their winning-streak on the line against the same Weber State team on Saturday, Jan. 29 in Ogden, Utah.