Unruh’s 25 not enough in Bears’ road loss at No. 11 Marquette
MILWAUKEE -- Tate Unruh put on a show Saturday afternoon with 25 points—his second career high performance in as many games—but Northern Colorado couldn't hang with 11th-ranked Marquette in a 93-72 road loss at the Bradley Center.
True-freshman Tim Huskisson also had a career effort for the Bears, with 17 points, and junior guard Elliott Lloyd notched a career-high seven assists and four steals in Northern Colorado's final road game of 2011.
The Bears (3-7), who had to overcome Saturday an opening-tip injury to senior starter Mike Proctor, will return home Thursday night for a rivalry game against Colorado State and then open their Big Sky Conference-championship defense on Saturday, Jan. 31, with a home game against Northern Arizona.
The Golden Eagles played without leading scorer Darius Johnson-Odom (team violation) but got more than enough offense, with five players in double figures in points, including Todd Mayo with 22.
Marquette improved to 10-0 for just the seventh time in school history and for the first time since 2001.
"Their bodies wore us down," Northern Colorado coach B.J. Hill said. "We knew we would have to play well in an arena like this, but they just outmuscled us in the paint (34-18) and on the boards (43-26). You lose a guy like Mike Proctor, and that hurts. He would have been able to help in those areas."
Unruh, a redshirt-sophomore who led the Bears with 19 points Wednesday at home against Denver, hit 10-of-18 from the field Saturday and 5-of-8 from three. He scored 16 of his 25 after halftime, missing just one shot (6-7) and making all of his 3-pointers (4-4).
Unruh also led the Bears with five rebounds, and his play helped Northern Colorado score 42 points in the second half and overcome Proctor's injury and a nearly absent performance from leading-scorer Paul Garnica, who came in averaging 14.4 points per game but finished scoreless and played just 11 minutes.
The Bears somewhat hung with Marquette for most of the first half, but the Golden Eagles went on a 12-2 run at the 6:21 mark in the first half to turn a 30-18 advantage into a 42-20 bulge at the final media break before halftime.
Northern Colorado, down 47-30 at halftime, responded after the break with a 17-9 run to start the second half, and that clipped the Eagles' lead to nine, 56-47, with 13:11 remaining in the game.
Vander Blue (18 points) hit a pair of free throws at 13:01 to give Marquette a 58-47 lead, and the Bears never got closer than 11 the rest of the way.