February 21, 2006

Bears Return Favor To Wolverines In 67-64 Win

Feb. 21, 2006

Box Score

OREM, Utah - The University of Northern Colorado women's basketball team played lights out defense on Tuesday, forcing Utah Valley State to a 35.8 percent shooting performance, en route to a 67-64 win.

Jabrenta Hubbard led the Bears with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while Heather Barbour dropped 17 points on the Wolverines. The win snapped Northern Colorado's four-game losing streak and avenged the Bears' 75-73 loss to Utah Valley State on Feb. 11 in Eaton, Colo.

The Bears (13-13) came out with a vengeance early, going on an 11-0 run to take a 20-8 lead with 13:51 left in the first half. Northern Colorado took its largest lead of the half when senior Molly McGrath streaked down the lane and sunk a layup to give the Bears a 29-14 lead with 7:24 left. Utah Valley fought back by going on a 6-0 run that cut Northern Colorado's lead to 29-20 with 5:21 on the clock.

UVSC's Hollie Beaman pulled the Wolverines to within 33-26 of the Bears' lead, but Jabrenta Hubbard's fast-break layup put the Bears back up 35-26 with 2:09 left in the half. McGrath drained two free throws at the end of the half to give Northern Colorado a 37-29 lead at the half.

Junior Heather Barbour scorched UVSC in the first half, going for 14 points on 6-of-8 from the floor and 2-of-4 from 3-point range. Although the Bears were able to control the flow in the half, they had trouble from 3-point land, going 2-of-12 (16.7 percent).

The Wolverines came back in the second half to cut the Bears' lead to 40-36 six minutes in, but Northern Colorado went up 46-36 after a jumper in the paint by Danielle Hagen. UVSC didn't go away, however, as the Wolverines forced the third tie of the game at 51 with 6:15 left in the game.

Northern Colorado stormed back with a 7-0 run to take a 58-51 lead with 4:34 left to play, but UVSC's Robyn Fairbanks led the Wolverines all the way back to within 65-64 with 11 second left. Fairbanks scored eight of her game-high 29 points in the last minute.

But Whitley Cox stepped up in a big way for the Bears in the end. The freshman guard sunk two free throws to put the Bears up 67-64 with 10 seconds left, but the Wolverines had one last shot. UVSC's Veva Whitear put up a last second 3-point attempt, however it didn't hold true, and the Bears came out on top. Cox drained six free throws in the last 1:16 of the contest to lead Northern Colorado to the win.

Cox finished with a career-high 16 points on 3-of-6 from the field and 8-of-10 from the charity stripe.

Northern Colorado will travel to Hackensack, N.J., on Friday to battle the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights at 5 p.m. MT in the team's second to last game of the season. The game will be broadcast at 7 p.m. MT on the Bears Radio Network (Flagship Station: 1310-AM KFKA in Greeley) and can be accessed free of charge on UNCBears.com.