December 3, 2006

Men's Basketball Drops Heartbreaker to Colorado

Dec. 3, 2006

Box Score

BOULDER, Colo - The Northern Colorado men's basketball team held Jermyl Jackson-Wilson in check for the first thirty-nine minutes of the game, but the sophomore forward for the University of Colorado showed why he is leading the Big XII in offensive rebounds, grabbing a board from a teammate's desperation jumper, and banking in a five-footer from the right side just as the buzzer sounded, leading his team to a heartbreaking 88-86 win over the Bears at the Coors Events Center in Boulder.

Northern Colorado (1-7) clawed back from a 10-point deficit with less than nine minutes to play, relying on four clutch free throws from senior Dwayne Birden and a pair of 3's from sharpshooter Sean Taibi. Perhaps the most clutch shot for the Bears was the one that knotted the score at 86-86.

With just under 30 seconds left on the clock and the Bears down three, freshman guard Will Figures found himself unexpectedly open at the top of the arc. He took a step back, set his feet and fired a clean shot that tied the game for the eighth time, and first since Terry Anderson hit a pair of free throws to knot the score at 42-42 with under a minute left in the first half.

On the ensuing trip down the floor, CU's Richard Roby - the game's high scorer with 21 points - let the clock wind down to seven seconds before putting up a shot which hit the back of the rim, deflecting into the hands of teammate Dominique Coleman, whose put-back attempt also missed, setting up Jackson-Wilson's heroics.

The Bears broke an early 16-16 tie with a 7-0 run midway through the first half. They would stretch their lead to eight, reaching that margin with 3:46 left on the clock. However, the Buffaloes (3-4) closed the deficit with a 14-4 run to end the half, taking a 45-42 lead into the locker.

After the break, the Buffaloes found themselves at the free-throw line frequently, as the refs tagged Northern Colorado for 18 second-half fouls, giving the home team 31 attempts, of which they converted on 22 to thwart the Bears.

Taibi led a season-high five Bears in double-digit scoring with 16 points. Jefferson Mason added 15, Kirk Archibeque got his first double-double of the season with 14 and 11 boards, Matt Kline dropped in 13 and Birden finished with 12.

Northern Colorado will continue its in-state road swing with a trip to Fort Collins Wednesday to play Colorado State. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m.