January 9, 2006
With the 90-66 victory, Northern Colorado improves to 2-16 on the season while UC-Colorado Springs falls to 1-12.
Northern Colorado now leads the all-time series 9-3, including 6-1 in games played in Greeley. UNC has won two in a row in the series.
The win was the second for the Bears in their last four games and the team is 2-2 since the Christmas Break.
Northern Colorado will play six of its final 11 games at home this season.
The Bears used a lineup of Matt Kline, Sean Taibi, Erik Olson, Dwayne Birden and Kirk Archibeque for the fifth time this season; the victory was the first for that starting combination.
The Bears led 4-0 but UCCS battled back and had a 7-6 lead. The lead would change hands 10 times in the first half, with the Mountain Lions holding their biggest lead at 17-13 with 13:12 to play. UCCS led 38-35 at the 1:52 mark before Darren Jefferies hit a 3-pointer with 1:22 to play to tie the game. Archibeque would hit two free throws at the 37 second mark to put Northern Colorado on top for good.
UCCS hit 56% from the field in the first half, including 7-of-10 (70%) from 3-point range. The Mountain Lions were led by 10 points from Patrick Hannaway, who was a perfect 3-of-3 from the floor and 3-of-3 from the free throw line. UNC hit 45.8% from the field while Archibeque had 11 points to lead the team.
The Bears had five turnovers at the break, but stayed in the game by forcing 10 miscues and hitting 17-of-21 from the foul line (the team was hitting only 62% from the line entering the game). UC-Colorado Springs hit only 3-of-3 from the free throw line in the first half.
UCCS tied the game at 40 early in the second half, before the Bears went on a 7-0 run. The Bears slowly moved that lead to double digits and led by 20 at the 4:06 mark on a 3-pointer by Olson. The Bears largest margin came at 24, which was the final margin.
UNC shot 69.6% in the second half and finished the game hitting 57.4% from the field, a season-high. It was the highest field goal percentage since hitting 60% against the same UCCS team last season.
UC-Colorado Springs was led by 18 points from Bly McGuire, who hit on 7-of-14 shots.
The 90 points were a season-high for the Bears and marked the team's highest point total since scoring 110 last season against UCCS (Feb. 14, 2005). The previous high this season was 78 points against Northern Arizona (Dec. 3).
Archibeque scored a season-high 20 points and grabbed 20 rebounds for the Bears. He had scored only nine points combined in his last two games. The double-double was the seventh of the season for the sophomore, who had four double-doubles entering the season. It was his first double-double since the Loyola Marymount game. It marked the first time he scored 20 or more points since the last game of the 2004-05 season (vs. UC Davis).
Sophomore Michael Gordy, playing in his second game back after missing six contests due to injury, was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field and hit 7-of-11 free throws to score a career-high 19 points in only 22 minutes of action. Gordy needs 10 points to reach the 300-point career plateau.
Gordy and Archibeque combined to shoot 14-of-16 from the field.
Kline had a season-high six rebounds, which matched his career-high. He had three assists, pushing his career total to 221, which moved him into 9th place in school history (passing Antwine Williams, who had 220 assists from 1996-98).
Olson played in his 100th career game, becoming only the 10th player in school history to reach that feat.
Chris Gebhardt scored his first two points of the season; Gebhardt joined the team as a walk-on at the Christmas Break.
Dorian McDaniel scored two points in four minutes of action; he was celebrating his 19th birthday on Monday.
Taibi, who scored a career-high 25 points against UCCS last season, was guarded closely and scored 11 points. He hit on 1-of-3 3-pointers, extending his streak of hitting a 3-pointer in every game this season. His 44 trifectas leads the team and ranks in the top 20 nationally. Taibi now needs only three points to reach the 500-point career plateau.
The Bears had a 16-7 advantage in second chance points and a 34-21 advantage in bench points.
The Bears committed only 11 turnovers, which was their second lowest output of the season; UNC has committed 15 or fewer miscues in three of their last four games.
Northern Colorado held a 34-20 rebounding margin, the third time in their last four games (and 10th time overall) this season they have out-rebounded their opponent.
The win was the 225th all-time at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion, which opened in 1976. The Bears are 225-149 all-time in the building.
The Bears return to the court on Wednesday when they host in-state rival Denver (8-6) at 7 p.m.
UC-Colorado Springs Post Game Notes
Jan. 9, 2006