January 26, 2012

Svihovec's 30, Addo's 28 not enough for a Bears 2OT win

B.J. Hill 1310-AM KFKA postgame

POCATELLO, Idaho -- Tevin Svihovec continued his first-season ascent Thursday night with a record-tying performance in Northern Colorado's heartbreaking 99-94 double-overtime loss at Idaho State's Holt Arena.

Svihovec, a redshirt freshman who sat out last season with a foot injury, scored a team-, season- and career-high 30 points in the defeat, which dropped Northern Colorado, playing in its first overtime game since February 2010, to 6-13 on the season and 3-5 in Big Sky play.

That's the sixth-highest individual scoring game in the Bears' NCAA Division I history (see chart below) and ties Kirk Archibeque (30 points vs. Texas State, Dec. 2004) for the highest scoring game by a Northern Colorado freshman at the Division I level.

Svihovec hit 11-of-16 shots from the field in scoring in double figures for the ninth straight game.

He also moved into eighth on the Big Sky's scoring-average list in Big Sky games (14.3 points per game) and overshadowed teammate Emmanuel Addo, who scored a career-high 28 points off the bench with a 10-of-13 performance from the free-throw line.

Addo's previous career best was 17 points earlier this season against Johnson & Wales.

Neither performance could help the Bears overcome their 26 turnovers, however, or keep them from losing three straight Big Sky Conference games for the first time since 2008.

Chase Grabau led Idaho State (6-14, 4-4) with 30 points of his own, Melvin Morgan added 22 and Kenny McGowen put up 18. Sherrod Baldwin scored just five points for the Bengals, but they all came in the second overtime, capped by a 3-pointer with a second left on the shot clock to ice the game with 15 seconds to play.

"­Unfortunately for our guys, they busted their tails, but they just didn't execute in a couple of key situations when we needed to," Northern Colorado coach B.J. Hill said.

Idaho State shot out to an 8-0 lead, which put the Bears in a familiar hole after they fell behind 8-1 to Montana State on Saturday night in Bozeman, Mont.

A big reason for the early struggles were early turnovers.

Northern Colorado handed possession over on three of its first four possessions and fell behind 20-9 just seven minutes into the game. The Bears, down just 38-35 at halftime, started the second half on a 12-3 run and led 47-41 with 12 minutes left in regulation.

"They fought hard," Hill said, "but we can't continue to do this. We can't continue to get down out of the gates. It's extremely hard to come from behind in college basketball, much less a double-digit lead early in the game. It's the second game in-a-row now where somebody has come out and swung first, and we've taken it and then we've had to fight back.

"Again, it's the turnovers. That's an amazing high number. That just equals guys trying to do too much too soon. Emmanuel and Tevin did some great things tonight, but it comes down to a couple key possessions."

Grabau hit a 3-pointer with 1:10 to play in regulation to put Idaho State ahead 72-68 before Elliott Lloyd (season-high 16 points) splashed home a 3-pointer to pull the Bears within one with 45 seconds to play.

Addo then earned a chance to put the Bears ahead when he grabbed a rebound and was fouled with 10 seconds left in regulation. He was only able to hit one of the two subsequent free throws, and Northern Colorado headed to overtime for the first time this season.

"What we need to understand is when you don't come ready to go, and you let teams get some shots early and get confidence," Hill said, "that enables them to take and make the shots that [Idaho State] did at the end of the game to win this game. To me, that's the difference. We didn't lose this game at the end of the game. We lost this game in the first 10 minutes of the basketball game tonight."

Northern Colorado 30-point games at NCAA Division I (since 2003)

33 points - Will Figures vs. Weber State, Feb 2010
32 points - Erik Olson vs. Longwood, Jan. 2005
31 points - Devon Beitzel vs. Montana State, Feb. 2011
32 points - Devon Beitzel vs. Northern Arizona, Dec. 2008
32 points - Devon Beitzel vs. Sacramento State, March 2011
30 points - Kirk Archibeque vs. Texas State, Dec. 2004 (freshman)
30 points - Kirk Archibeque vs. Texas-Pan American, Jan. 2006
30 points - Tevin Svihovec vs. Idaho State, Jan. 2012 (freshman)