Men's Basketball looks for Saturday night bounce back
#4: Johnson & Wales at Northern Colorado (Greeley, Colo.)
Northern Colorado notes
- Game 8: The Bears (2-5) stubbed their toes Thursday. They don't want to suffer a similar loss Saturday against Johnson & Wales (3-8)
- When: 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3
- Where: Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion (2,992)
- Live stats: uncbears.com
- Radio: KFKA-AM 1310 (Troy Coverdale)
- TV: bigskytv.org
- Coaches: The Bears' B.J. Hill (23-16 overall; second season) will take on the Wildcats' Jeff Culver (60-120; seventh season)
- All-time series: Northern Colorado leads 5-0 in a series that started during the 2003-04 season. The teams last played in 2010.
Northern Colorado 5-0
2003-04 Johnson & Wales W, 93-57
2007-08 Johnson & Wales W, 62-51
2007-08 at Johnson & Wales W, 84-65
2008-09 Johnson & Wales W, 68-55
2009-10 Johnson & Wales W, 88-67
NORTHERN COLORADO NOTEBOOK
THE BEARS BASICALLY
- After spending all but one of its first six games on the road this season, Northern Colorado Basketball will continue a stretch Saturday night of five of six at home in December, with its lone road contest in the month coming at nationally ranked Marquette on Dec. 17.
- The last time the Bears played at least five December home games was December 1994, when they hosted Doane College, Chadron State, Regis, St. Cloud State and Mankato State.
- Looking down the schedule a bit into January ... seven of Northern Colorado's next nine games will be played at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion.
- The beginning of that home cooking didn't help on Thursday night against Westminster, however, as the Griffins shot lights out in a 73-60 win and handed the Bears their second straight home loss.
- Northern Colorado, which finished 14-0 at home last season, hadn't loss back-to-back home games since December 2008, when San Diego State and Air Force came into Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion and left with victories.
- The Bears haven't lost three consecutive home games since 2007, when they came up short against Montana State and Montana (Jan. 25 and 27) and Idaho State (Feb. 8).
- Northern Colorado freshman Paul Garnica is off to a hot start this season, leading the Bears in scoring at 14.3 points per game and shooting the lights out of the ball from the floor (43 percent), three-point land (53 percent) and from the free-throw line (84 percent).
- Garnica entered the week ranked fifth in the country (first in the Big Sky) in three-point shooting percentage through the early part of the season.
- Northern Colorado sophomore Connor Osborne sat out Thursday's game against Westminster after suffering a concussion during practice earlier in the week. B.J. Hill said Osborne was likely to receive clearance to play prior to Saturday night's game against Johnson & Wales.
- Northern Colorado Athletics began its transition to NCAA Division I play in 2003, and the Bears' basketball program was first postseason eligible in 2007.
- Northern Colorado received 141 points, one first-place vote and the third pick in this year's Big Sky Conference Preseason Basketball Media Poll, which is the programs' second top-three preseason nod in the last two seasons. The Bears' preseason media picks since joining the league in 2006: 9th, 8th, 6th, 6th, 2nd.
- Northern Colorado, 14-0 at home during the 2010-11 season, is 27-4 in Greeley over the past two seasons and 37-8 at home since 2008.
LAST WEEK'S TOP PLAYER
- Northern Colorado redshirt-sophomore Emmanuel Addo averaged 11.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last week as Northern Colorado went 2-1 in three games of the 2011 South Padre Island Invitational.
- Addo shot a team-best 62.5 percent from the floor (15-24) in the three contests, 75 percent from the free-throw line (3-4) and grabbed a team-best 19 rebounds as the Bears lost by only eight at Iowa State (90-82) on Tuesday night before earning neutral-court victories against Western Carolina on Friday and Southern on Saturday.
- Addo also dished out three assists, tied for the team lead with two blocks and had a steal.
- Here's what Northern Colorado coach B.J. Hill had to say following Northern Colorado's 73-60 loss to Westminster on Thursday night:
- "We played exactly how we practiced all week. I don't think our team has a lot of respect for anybody right now, and that's unfortunate. Our problem right now is we have a severe lack of leadership and maturity on this basketball team, and that showed this week."
- "[Westminster] is a bunch of juniors and seniors. They're [NCAA] Division I transfers. They're experienced kids who execute a well-planned scheme. We got outplayed. We got outcoached. We got outdone in every aspect."
- "It wasn't the threes and the shots [Westminster] hit. They played well, but I think it was us more than it was them in determining this outcome. If you have 11 turnovers [in the first half] against a team that doesn't really pressure, it means you're not ready to go. It's obvious there were numerous guys in the home uniforms who weren't mentally ready to go at the beginning of the game."
- "You give a good team like that life—you give them energy by your mistakes—they're going to capitalize, and that's exactly what they did."
SPREADING IT AROUND
- A quick glance at the Northern Colorado season stats shows a well-balanced offensive team. Like, really well balanced. The Bears enter Saturday night's game against Johnson & Wales with seven players averaging six or more points per game this season. And that doesn't include redshirt-freshman Tevin Svihovec's respectable 4.9 per-game output.
- The Bears have been led in scoring by a different player in each of their last five games, including their recently completed road trip to Northern Iowa, Iowa State and to South Padre Island, Texas, for games against Western Carolina and Southern.
- Sophomore Paul Garnica led the way against UNI (16 points), true-freshman Tim Huskisson was the leader against the Cyclones (16 points), redshirt-sophomore Connor Osborne did the honors against Western Carolina (16 points), senior Mike Proctor and redshirt-sophomore Emmanuel Addo led the way against Southern with 10 points apiece and redshirt-sophomore Tate Unruh paced the Bears with 16 points Thrusday against Westminster.
- A key component to the Bears' strong start on offense in 2011? Their team field-goal shooting percentage of .476, which was the best mark in the Big Sky Conference entering the week and 55th best mark in the NCAA.