Svihovec's career night leads Bears again past Hornets
SACRAMENTO -- Redshirt-freshman Tevin Svihovec put in a career-high 16 points Saturday night at Sacramento State, and Emmanuel Addo added 10 off the bench in Northern Colorado's 61-53 Big Sky Conference win at The Nest.
The Bears (5-9, 2-1 Big Sky), who held the Hornets (5-9, 0-3) to just 38 percent shooting and gave up a season-low in points, improved to 9-2 all-time against Sacramento State and won for the seventh straight time in the series.
"[Our] energy, [our] focus was as good as I've ever seen it this year and as good as I've ever seen it as a head coach," Northern Colorado coach B.J. Hill said. "This is definitely the best Sacramento State team that's been here in the six years I've been in the Big Sky. This is a really good team. [Head coach] Brian [Katz] is doing a great job, and for us to come in here and win is a heckuva job."
The win was Northern Colorado's first true road victory of the season (1-4), and its defensive effort was a big reason for that as it got just two points from leading scorers Tate Unruh and Paul Garnica, who were both dealing with leg injuries.
Garnica stayed behind in Greeley to nurse his wounds, and Unruh finished 1-for-4 and missed all of his three-point tries (0-3).
Svihovec was there to pick up the slack, though, as he continued his surge over the last month with his fourth straight double-figure scoring game in his seventh straight start. He's now the Bears' leading scorer (12.3 points per game) in their three Big Sky contests.
He scored 12 points after halftime, helping the Bears break free from a 27-27 halftime tie and shoot 57.1 percent (12-of-21) after the break.
"How good was he?" Hill said. "I mean, for a freshman to come in here and have 16 [points] and four [rebounds] and three assists and four steals and play 35 minutes … He's got a lot of toughness and it shows, and each game since Colorado State (on Dec. 22) he's just been getting better and better and more confident and confident."
Konner Veteto dropped in a layup at the 8:16 mark to pull Sacramento State within two, at 43-41, but a free throw from Connor Osborne (seven points), a dunk from Tim Huskisson (nine points) and a 3-pointer from Elliott Lloyd (eight points) regained the Bears a 49-41 cushion.
John Dickson scored 12 points to lead the Hornets, and Joe Eberhard and Jackson Carbajal scored 11 apiece.
"We did some good things we didn't do Monday (in a loss to Idaho State), in terms of sharing the basketball and understanding that we don't have to make a great play. We can just use each other, hit the first free guy, continue with our offense and let the defense have a chance to fail. We're really talented, but if we don't give them a chance to fail and play with each other then no one sees that, and all they see is the turnovers."
The Bears handed possession over just 13 times, which was their fewest in five games (12 at Marquette).