Turnovers the story in Bears' road loss at Montana
But the Bears committed a season-high 28 turnovers, and Montana, led by Will Cherry's game-high 27 points, ran away with a 76-58 home win at Dahlberg Arena.
Proctor's put-back at 9:28 in the first half put Northern Colorado (6-11, 3-3 Big Sky) ahead 28-16 before the Grizzlies (12-6, 5-1) finished the half on a 21-8 to lead 37-36 at the break.
The Bears scored just three points in the final 6:40 of the first half and then were able to put just five on the board through the first 13 minutes of the second half and trailed 67-41 with a little more than seven minutes to play.
Proctor continued his solid final season with the Bears with a mostly solid stat line—his nine rebounds were the most of any one on the floor, and he also had an assist, a steal and was 4-of-6 from the free-throw line—except in the turnover column, where his career-high-tying seven jump out as a definite black eye.
They added to the most turnovers for a Bears team since Nov. 27, 2007, when the opponent was Johnson & Wales.
"I think I've been a part of one game in 15 years where I've had that many turnovers," Northern Colorado coach B.J. Hill said. "I'm at a loss for words for the way we were offensively.
"It started in the first half with us. We got a 12-point lead, and we went away from what had gotten us that lead. We played the scoreboard instead of playing the game and what had made us successful to that point.
"Then, in the second half, [Montana] just came out, and they had a look upon their faces like, 'We want to take out the defending champs.' That's what our team hasn't figured out yet: that they have a big 'X' on their back, and they have to play every possession like someone's trying to take everything from them. We don't play with that type of focus and sense of urgency yet as a team. To me, that was the story."
Paul Garnica, Northern Colorado's leading scorer coming in at 11.2 points per game, finished with just four Thursday and has scored just 12 points in the Bears' past three games.
Northern Colorado actually shot better than Montana did. The Bears' were better from the field (47.5 to 45.6 percent), from beyond the three-point stripe (38.5 to 37.5 percent) and at the free-throw line (75 to 71.4 percent).
They also cruised in the rebounding battle, claiming 33 to Montana's 22.
It didn't matter, though, because they had so many empty trips down the floor, thanks to those turnovers.
"They are too good of kids; they are too good of players to not play to their strengths and understand at this point what they need to do to be successful," Hill said. "We've got a great group of kids, and they just need to figure out that when they try to do things on their own instead of getting together it equals bad things for the Bears."