January 3, 2006

Bears Give Huskers All They Can Handle Before Falling 60-50

Jan. 3, 2006

Box Score |  Notes

LINCOLN, Neb. - The University of Northern Colorado men's basketball team used a 19-0 run to close the first half and begin the second half to take a lead and give the University of Nebraska all they could handle, before falling 60-50 at the Devaney Center on Tuesday night.

The Bears (1-16) led 5-0 early before the Cornhuskers (10-3) surged ahead and took a 17-point lead with 3:11 to play before halftime. However, that would be the last points the Huskers would score until the 14:49 mark of the second half, a stretch of 8:22 without a point

Northern Colorado closed the first half with a 7-0 spurt to cut the halftime lead to 35-25. To begin the second half, the Bears converted four 3-point plays in a row, to take a 37-35 lead with 16:40 to play in the game. Three of those plays came from sophomore Sean Taibi, who struggled from the field in the first half (1-of-4 from long range, 1-of-7 from the field). Taibi hit two 3-pointers and converted on three free throws after being fouled while shooting a three. Taibi hit 3-of-4 from long range in the second half.

Nebraska would regain the lead before UNC put together once last charge. Michael Gordy, seeing his first action after missing the previous six games with an injury, scored two of his 10 points to cut the lead to four, 51-47, with 6:03 to play. Taibi then drove to the bucket, scored and appeared to have drawn the charge, but the call went against the Bears, negating the bucket and sending all the momentum back to NU.

What could have been a 1-point Nebraska lead turned into a 10-point advantage with 3:37 to play.

"I really appreciated the effort from our players tonight," Bears head coach Craig Rasmuson said. "We were right there, a couple of shots go down, a couple of calls go our way, and it could have been nip-and-tuck right to the end. We are a better team walking out of here tonight than we were walking in, thanks to the experience."

Taibi led the Bears with 15 points, hitting four 3-pointers. He currently has 43 trifectas on the season, the fifth highest total among all Division I players. Gordy was the only other UNC player in double figures.

Nebraska was led by 17 points from Wes Wilkinson, who hit 5-of-6 from long range. The Huskers shot only 39.7 percent from the field, marking the second time this season Northern Colorado held an opponent to below 40 percent shooting.

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.