November 27, 2007

Men's Basketball Scraps Out Win Over Johnson + Wales

Nov. 27, 2007

Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 

Greeley, COLO. - It wasn't pretty, but the University of Northern Colorado men's basketball team scrapped out a victory over Johnson + Wales of Denver, 62-51 in front of 1,064 people at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion this evening. With the win, the Bears move to 3-2 on the year, while the Wildcats fall to 1-5.


The two teams combined to commit 61 turnovers, 31 coming from Northern Colorado. Both teams also shot below 40 percent from the field and under 60 percent from the free throw line.


Northern Colorado was without the services of senior guard Sean Taibi, senior center Kirk Archibeque and sophomore guard Will Figures, as the three were held out of the game to rest after getting banged up in practice earlier this week.


"Thirty-one turnovers is ridiculous," said Head Coach Tad Boyle. "Especially against a team that's not pressing. We have to take better care of the basketball. I told the team after the game, though, that we can't get to high after wins, like the one against Denver the other night, and we can't get too low after one's like tonight. You just have to go out there and play hard."


The Bears were led by true freshman Taylor Montgomery with 14 points and 13 rebounds, nine coming on the offensive end of the floor. He also hit his only three-point attempt. Junior forward Jabril Banks just missed a double-double, scoring nine and grabbing nine boards. He and sophomore forward Jefferson Mason also recorded two blocks each, while sophomore guard Robert Palacios led the game with seven steals.


"Robert Palacios and Taylor Montgomery both played with a lot of heart tonight," continued Boyle. "They didn't play without mistakes, but they didn't let it go to their head. Taylor is a joy to coach. He is probably the best low post defender we have. What I love is you just have to tell him one time and he's going to try to do it right every time."


The Wildcats were led by forward Sasha Pate with 17 points, while center Austin Theis scored 11. Guard M.J. Crespin led the team with seven rebounds.


Northern Colorado shot just .393 from the field and were just 3-of-16 from the three-point line, but outrebounded the Wildcats 49-37.


The Bears host instate rival Colorado State on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. in a game televised by Altitude Sports & Entertainment. The Rams host Arkansas-Pine Bluff tomorrow evening before coming to Greeley.