January 21, 2014

Butler-Hancock welcomes Bears back vs. Lumberjacks, Hornets

Northern Colorado notes | Northern Arizona notes | Sacramento State notes | Big Sky notes

Collin Boyles

GREELEY -- The Northern Colorado (11-4, 5-1 Big Sky) men's basketball team returns home after splitting its first road weekend. Traveling to challenge UNC are conference opponents Northern Arizona (8-9, 5-1) and Sacramento State (6-9, 2-4).

The Bears faced adversity on Saturday night following its first Big Sky loss of the season to Montana State, but answered positively while taking a road win at Montana. Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion will once again play host to the Bears' conference games. The Lumberjacks and Hornets will enter Greeley where the Bears are 9-0 this season.

The first game will feature two of the Big Sky's top teams in the standings, as UNC and NAU play at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23. The Bears lead the all-time series between the two, 10-8, including winning the last eight match-ups in Greeley.

The Hornets will then enter Butler-Hancock to play at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25 for the Bears' "White Out" game. UNC is 10-4 all-time versus SS and is 5-2 both at home and away.

Northern Arizona and Northern Colorado split the two meetings in 2012-13, each winning at home. The Lumberjacks first took down the Bears, 67-65, on Jan. 24. UNC followed up with a home win, 76-68, on Feb. 14. Junior Tevin Svihovec (Kingwood, Texas) averaged 20 ppg and 3.5 apg over the two games while senior Derrick Barden (Detroit, Mich.) averaged 17 ppg and 8 rpg.

Sacramento State and Northern Colorado also split their two meetings last season, each taking one at home. The Hornets first won at home, 79-72, followed by a Bears win in Greeley, 78-64. Svihovec scored 21 points with seven assists and six rebounds in the first meeting while Barden and Unruh each scored over 20 points in the following win. Barden was also able to grab 14 rebounds for one of his 14 career double-doubles.

Northern Colorado split its weekend action for the first time this season in Big Sky action, as Montana State handed UNC its first conference loss, 70-55. The Bears answered back against the Grizzlies of Montana with an 84-73 win in Missoula, Mont. Senior Tate Unruh(Branson, Mo.) averaged 18.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game on the weekend while shooting 70% from the field. The split now has UNC in a three-way tie for first in the Big Sky with Northern Arizona and Weber State, athough UNC took down WSU on Jan. 9.

Game Details
Game 16: Northern Colorado (11-4, 5-1 Big Sky) vs. Northern Arizona (8-9, 5-1 Big Sky)
When: 7:05 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23
Where: Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion – Greeley, Colo.
Coaches: B.J. Hill (54-52, 33-25 Big Sky @ UNC) vs. Jack Murphy (19-30, 13-13 Big Sky @ NAU)
All-time series: UNC, 10-8

Series Record (Last Five)
2012-13 Northern Coloraod 76-68 (Greeley, Colo.)
2012-13 Northern Arizona   67-65 (Flagstaff, Ariz.)
2011-12 Northern Colorado 64-62 (2ot/Flagstaff, Ariz.)
2011-12 Northern Colorado 80-64 (Greeley, Colo.)
2010-11 Northern Colorado 73-70 (Missoula, Mont.)

Game Details

Game 17: Northern Colorado (11-4, 5-1 Big Sky) vs. Sacramento State (2-4, 6-9 Big Sky)
When: 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25
Where: Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion – Greeley, Colo.
Coaches: B.J. Hill (54-52, 33-25 Big Sky @ UNC) vs. Brian Katz (48-111, 23-67 Big Sky @ SAC)
All-time series: UNC, 10-4

Series Record (Last Five)
2012-13 Northern Colorado 78-64 (Greeley, Colo.)
2012-13 Sacramento State 79-72 (Sacramento, Calif.)
2011-12 Sacramento State 73-62 (Sacramento, Calif.)
2011-12 Northern Colorado 61-53 (Greeley, Colo.)
2010-11 Northern Colorado 84-54 (Greeley, Colo.)

Game Notes
- Northern Colorado is now in its fourth week in the Mid-Major Top 25, this week coming in at No. 15.
- The Bears lead the Big Sky in seven statistical categories including scoring offense, scoring margin, field goal percentage, 3-pt FG percentage defense, rebounding defense, rebounding margin, and offensive rebound percentage. They are also second in four categories.
- Head Coach B.J. Hill took down the two winningest coaches in the Big Sky (Randy Rahne, Weber State and Wayne Tinkle, Montana) after the 84-73 win at Montana.
- Northern Colorado is averaging 69.1 ppg over the last seven meetings with NAU while allowing just 66.7.
- UNC is averaging 72.5 ppg over the last six games with SAC while allowing just 65.8.
- The Bears have won nine of its 11 games in Greeley, Colo., with a scoring margin of +18.7 points. The squad won its first road game, at Kansas State, followed by four road game losses. The Bears bounced back with its first Big Sky road win at Montana, 84-73.
- UNC is averaging 81.8 points per game at home while allowing 63.1. The team's .537 field goal percentage is the highest at home since joining the Big Sky.
- Derrick Barden, Tim Huskisson and Dominique Lee are combined as three of the top five shooters in the Big Sky. Lee leads the BSC with a .653 FG%, while following in fourth is Huskisson at .587 and in fifth is Barden at .571.
- Tate Unruh is currently 24 points away from 1,000 for his career at UNC.