GREELEY, Colo. -- Northern Colorado attempted 19 more free throws and held a 36-20 rebounding advantage on the way to a 72-62 victory over Sacramento State in a Big Sky Conference men's basketball game Saturday evening at Butler-Hancock Pavilion.
In a game that was closer than the final score indicated, the Hornets shot well from the field (.469, 23-for-49) and the free throw line (.833, 10-for-12), but could not overcome a 15-6 deficit in second-chance points. The Bears, who are tied for first place in the Big Sky with Weber State, had 14 offensive rebounds compared to just five for the Hornets.
Sacramento State was also whistled for 24 fouls, compared to just 14 for the Bears. Northern Colorado used that to its advantage, making 26-of-31 tries at the free throw line while the Hornets received just 12 freebies. In fact, the Bears found themselves in the bonus at the 10:01 mark of the second half, and went to the free throw line a robust 18 times in the second stanza, converting 16 of those tries. Thirteen of Northern Colorado's final 19 points of the game came at the free throw line.
Neither team led by more than six points the first 30 minutes of the contest. The Hornets never led in the second half, but tied the game twice and had it cut to a one possession game a number of times, but could not get over the hump.
The Bears led, 37-34, at halftime and both teams battled back and forth the first eight minutes of the second half. A modest 6-0 run gave Northern Colorado a 55-47 lead after a pair of free throws with 10:01 remaining. The Hornets stayed within striking distance the rest of the way, but could never whittle the lead down to a one possession game. Sacramento State had three wide open looks at a 3-pointer that would have cut the lead to four points with a minutes to play, but missed each attempt. The Hornets eventually cut the lead to six points with 27 seconds remaining, but Northern Colorado scored the game's final four points.
Sacramento State dropped to 6-11 overall and 2-6 in the Big Sky. The Hornets have played six of their first eight conference games away from home (most in the league), and that stretch mercifully came to an end tonight. The schedule gets a lot friendlier for Sacramento State as the team opens up a season-long four-game homestand on Thursday vs. Idaho State. In fact, eight of the team's final 12 games of the season will come inside the friendly confines.
Northern Colorado (13-4, 7-1) improved to 11-0 at home and 6-0 against Big Sky teams. The team has been the beneficiary of a schedule that has seen them play six of their first eight conference games at home.
The Bears shot .438 from the field (21-48) and converted on two less field goals than the Hornets, but the free throws were too much for Sacramento State to overcome. Northern Colorado outscored the Hornets in points in the paint (28-16), points off turnovers (12-6), and bench points (25-11).
Sacramento State got the bulk of its scoring from the trio of junior Mikh McKinney (16 points, six assists), sophomore Cody Demps (16 points, two blocks, 35 minutes) and junior Dylan Garrity (14 points, three assists, game-high 36 minutes). In fact, those three combined for 46 of the Hornets' 62 points. The 16 points for Demps matched a career high, set earlier this season against UC Irvine. Garrity, who scored the Hornets' first eight points of the game, is now averaging 15.8 points over his last five games.
True freshman Eric Stuteville added six points. Junior Zach Mills entered the game as the Hornets' second leading scorer in conference play, but was limited to just two points on 1-of-6 shooting.
Northern Colorado has dominated the glass all season, and tonight was no different as nary a Hornet posted more than three rebounds. The Bears got 18 points from Tim Huskisson and 14 points and 12 rebounds from Derrick Barden. Tate Unruh, who entered the game as Northern Colorado's second leading scorer, was limited to just two points, all made at the free throw line.
Sacramento State's four-game homestand features games against Idaho State (Jan. 30), Weber State (Feb. 1), Northern Arizona (Feb. 6) and Southern Utah (Feb. 10).
May 23, 2014 HORNET HOOPS GOLF TOURNAMENT SET FOR MONDAY, JUNE 9
April 28, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS TO HOST SEASON WRAPUP/SIGNING PARTY ON MAY 8
March 10, 2014 TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR BIG SKY MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
February 28, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS FINAL REGULAR SEASON ROAD GAME SATURDAY AT IDAHO ST.
February 27, 2014 WINNING STREAK SNAPPED, MEN'S BASKETBALL FALLS AT WEBER STATE, 79-67
February 26, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO WEBER STATE ON THURSDAY, SEEKS 4TH STRAIGHT WIN
February 24, 2014 VOTE GARRITY’S 75-FOOT SHOT FOR GEICO PLAY OF THE YEAR
February 24, 2014 McKINNEY NAMED BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR A SECOND TIME
February 22, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL CONTINUES TO ROLL AFTER CRUSHING NORTHERN COLORADO
February 21, 2014 FREE WHITEOUT SHIRTS TO THE FIRST 500 FANS AT SATURDAY’S HOOPS GAME
February 21, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS 7TH STRAIGHT HOME WIN SATURDAY VS. NORTHERN COLO.
February 19, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS 6TH STRAIGHT HOME WIN THURSDAY VS. NORTH DAKOTA
February 14, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO PORTLAND STATE ON SATURDAY
February 13, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL HAS WINNING STREAK SNAPPED AT EASTERN WASHINGTON
February 12, 2014 WINNERS OF FOUR STRAIGHT, MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO EASTERN WASHINGTON
February 10, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS BEATS SOUTHERN UTAH, COMPLETES HOMESTAND WITH 4-0 RECORD
February 9, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS 4TH STRAIGHT WIN, HOSTS SOUTHERN UTAH ON MONDAY
February 6, 2014 WINNING STREAK AT THREE AFTER MEN’S HOOPS DISMANTLES NAU, 87-70
February 5, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS BACK AT HOME THURSDAY NIGHT VS. NORTHERN ARIZONA
February 3, 2014 McKINNEY NAMED BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
January 31, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL’S SIXTH-ANNUAL ALUMNI GAMES TAKE PLACE SATURDAY
January 31, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS HOST BIG SKY-LEADING WEBER STATE ON SATURDAY NIGHT
January 29, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS OPENS LONG HOMESTAND THURSDAY VS. IDAHO STATE
January 25, 2014 BIG DISPARITIES HURT IN MEN’S HOOPS LOSS AT NORTHERN COLORADO
January 24, 2014 ROAD WEARY MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS AT NORTHERN COLORADO ON SATURDAY
January 23, 2014 NORTH DAKOTA USES LATE RUN TO BEAT MEN’S BASKETBALL
January 21, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL BACK ON THE ROAD THURSDAY AT NORTH DAKOTA
January 18, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL KNOCKS OFF EASTERN WASHINGTON AT HOME, 75-64
January 17, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS EASTERN WASHINGTON ON SATURDAY NIGHT
January 15, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS FINALLY RETURNS HOME, HOSTS PORTLAND STATE ON THURSDAY
January 11, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS CRUSHES SOUTHERN UTAH, ENDS ROAD TRIP IN A BIG WAY
January 10, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS ROAD TRIP COMES TO AN END SATURDAY AT SOUTHERN UTAH
January 8, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS CONTINUES ROAD TRIP THURSDAY AT NORTHERN ARIZONA
January 2, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL DROPS BIG SKY OPENER AT MONTANA STATE
December 31, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL OPENS BIG SKY PLAY THURSDAY AT MONTANA STATE
December 29, 2013 LATE FREE THROWS HELP DELIVER 69-67 MEN’S HOOPS WIN OVER UC RIVERSIDE
December 27, 2013 AFTER LONG LAYOFF, MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS UC RIVERSIDE SUNDAY AFTERNOON
December 21, 2013 BIG SECOND HALF FUELS CAL STATE FULLERTON TO VICTORY OVER MEN’S HOOPS
December 19, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYS AT CAL STATE FULLERTON ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON
December 14, 2013 MEN’S HOOPS CRUISES TO 85-54 WIN OVER WILLIAM JESSUP
December 12, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS WILLIAM JESSUP ON SATURDAY AT 7 P.M.
December 7, 2013 UTEP USES HEALTHY FREE THROW ADVANTAGE TO BEAT MEN’S BASKETBALL
December 4, 2013 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO EL PASO FOR FIRST EVER MEETING WITH UTEP
November 30, 2013 UC IRVINE USES BIG SECOND HALF TO DEFEAT MEN’S BASKETBALL
November 29, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS UC IRVINE SATURDAY NIGHT AT 7 P.M.
November 26, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL COMES THROUGH WITH CLUTCH WIN AT UC DAVIS, 73-67
November 25, 2013 MEN'S HOOPS AND UC DAVIS TO PLAY FOR THE 112TH TIME ON TUESDAY
November 18, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS TO #22 UCLA
November 15, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO #24 UCLA ON MONDAY
November 13, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL SIGNS MIRA COSTA HIGH SCHOOL FORWARD JUSTIN STRINGS
November 13, 2013 BAKERSFIELD HOT FROM DISTANCE IN 74-66 WIN OVER MEN’S BASKETBALL
November 12, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL BEGINS ROAD TRIP WEDNESDAY AT CSU BAKERSFIELD
November 8, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL BEATS UC SANTA CRUZ, 73-43, IN SEASON OPENER
November 6, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL GETS UNDERWAY FRIDAY NIGHT VS. UC SANTA CRUZ
November 5, 2013 2013-14 MEN’S BASKETBALL MEDIA GUIDE NOW AVAILABLE
October 28, 2013 2013-14 MEN'S BASKETBALL SEASON OUTLOOK
October 17, 2013 BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL COACHES AND MEDIA PRESEASON POLLS RELEASED
September 24, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON COMING FAST, FIRST OFFICIAL PRACTICE ON FRIDAY
July 23, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL RELEASES ITS 2013-14 SCHEDULE