February 25, 2006

Utah Valley Spoils Senior Night With 75-61 Victory

Feb. 25, 2006

Box Score

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) - Chris Bailey had 15 points and three assists and David Heck added 14 points as Utah Valley State assured itself a winning season with a 75-61 victory over Northern Colorado Saturday night.

The game was the final of the year for Northern Colorado (5-24) and the final for seniors Erik Olson and Chris Gebhardt.

Olson, who was the only player in school history with 850 or more points, 550 or more rebounds, 150 or more assists and 120 or more steals, grabbed five rebounds in his final game moving his career total to 573, 10th in school history.

Pierre Thomas had 12 points for Utah Valley State (15-13), which has one game remaining at Longwood on March 4.

Sean Taibi led Northern Colorado with 16 points. Kirk Archibeque had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Bears, who played their last game as an independent and begin play in the Big Sky Conference in 2006-07.

"It was just one of those nights where we were off," head coach Craig Rasmuson said. "Maybe we spent ourselves preparing so hard for this game because we wanted to win so badly."

The Wolverines won the earlier meeting against Northern Colorado, 71-65, on Jan. 21 and have never lost to Northern Colorado in seven meetings, all of which have come in the past three seasons.

Archibeque converted 1-of-2 free throws to get Northern Colorado within a point of the Wolverines 12 seconds into the second half, but the Bears never got closer. Richard Troyer and Thomas keyed a keyed a 10-0 run with a 3-pointer each to put Utah Valley up 52-39 with 11:32 left.

The lead for Utah Valley State was 62-44 after two layups by Sylvester Allison. Allison had five points over the final four minutes and Northern Colorado was never able to get the lead under 13 points the rest of the way.

Utah Valley led 31-29 at the half, building a 15-7 lead off a 7-0 run and were ahead 24-15 with 8:31 remaining after a 15-foot jumper by Richard Troyer. The Wolverines withstood an 8-0 run capped by Taibi's 3-pointer that got the Bears as close as 24-23.