January 3, 2006
With the 60-50 loss, Northern Colorado falls to 1-16 on the season, while Nebraska improves to 10-3.
Nebraska now leads the all-time series 3-0. The meeting was the first between the teams in 56 years, dating back to a Dec. 19, 1949 in Lincoln.
The meeting was the second this season against a team from the Big 12 conference season this season (the other was Kansas). The Bears are 20-32 all-time against teams from the Big 12.
Northern Colorado is now 74-55 all-time against teams from the state of Nebraska.
The game was the third in five days for the Bears and 12th away from home for the Bears this season. Northern Colorado will play seven of its final 12 games of the year at home.
For the third consecutive game, Northern Colorado used a starting lineup of Matt Kline, Sean Taibi, Dwayne Birden, Erik Olson and Cory Lowe. The Bears have used eight different starting lineups this season.
Northern Colorado scored the first five points of the game before the home team scored on a 3-pointer. A bucket by Lowe made the score 7-3 before Nebraska scored nine straight points to take a 12-7 advantage.
The Huskers would lead by as many as 17 points on three different occasions of the first half, lastly at 35-18 with 3:11 to play on a pair of free throws. But the Bears ended the half on a 7-0 run, thanks to baskets by Lowe, a 3-pointer by Kline and a bucket by Michael Gordy, as NU led 35-25 at the half.
Kline's six points led the Bears at the break, while Wes Wilkinson hit on 4-of-4 3-pointers to lead Nebraska with 12 points. The Huskers shot 48.3% in the first half, including 5-of-10 from 3-point range, while Northern Colorado managed 37.9% from the field and 3-of-10 from 3-point range. Each team committed five turnovers.
Northern Colorado started the second half with a 12-0 run, which combined with the run to end the first half made the entire run 19-0. The Bears held the Cornhuskers scoreless for 8:22 until they scored at the 14:49 mark of the second half; NU missed its first eight shots of the second half.
The second half saw Taibi hit two 3-pointers and convert on three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt. Kline also hit on a 3-pointer in the run to start the second frame. His final trifecta gave the Bears their first lead, 37-35, since early in the game.
Nebraska regained the lead at 39-37 and would lead by as many as six, 51-45, with six minutes to play. But the Bears cut the lead to four on a bucket by Gordy and the lead would have been two after a Taibi lay-up, however, Taibi was called for a questionable charge, negating the bucket. Nebraska then used a 6-0 run to open up a 10-point lead, which was its margin at the break.
That would be all the Huskers would need, as the Bears cut the margin to 57-50 on Taibi's fourth trifectas, but could get no closer. The final margin was 10, the closest margin of defeat for the Bears in a "true" road game this season (it had been 11 at Northern Arizona).
Northern Colorado held NU to 39.7% (23-of-58) shooting, only the second time this season (South Dakota State was the other) they have held their opponent to under 40% shooting during a game.
Taibi led the Bears with 15 points, while Gordy added 10. Nebraska was led by 17 from Wilkinson, who hit 5-of-6 from 3-point range for the game.
Taibi hit on 4-of-8 3-pointers, extending his streak of hitting a 3-pointer in every game this season. He leads the team with 43 trifectas on the year, a mark that ranks 5th nationally. He has hit multiple 3-pointers in 12-of-17 games this season.
Birden matched his career-high by grabbing nine rebounds.
Gordy saw his first game action since Dec. 11 vs. Oral Roberts. He missed the previous six games due to an injury. Gordy hit on 5-of-9 shots and had two assists in 22 minutes. The Bears were still without the services of sophomore guard Thanasi Panagiotakopoulos, who missed his third straight game.
Olson played in his 99th career game, the 10th most in school history.
Kline hit three 3-pointers, moving his career total to 101, becoming the ninth player in school history to hit 100 or more 3-pointers in their career.
Archibeque moved past the 600-career point plateau, scoring six points, moving his career total to 601.
After a much needed six-day break, Northern Colorado returns to action on Monday, Jan. 9 when they host Colorado-Colorado Springs in Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion at 7 p.m. The game can be heard live on the Bears Radio Network and free online at UNCBears.com.
Nebraska Post Game Notes
Jan. 3, 2006