Bears sizzle the nets in rallying past Montana State
GREELEY -- The overall results this season haven't quite been what Northern Colorado Basketball fans had gotten used to over the last few seasons, but the Bears provided another glimpse Saturday afternoon into a future that seems filled with promise.
Northern Colorado downed Montana State 77-64 in overtime, handing the Bobcats (11-13, 6-7) their fourth straight loss in Greeley and avenging a 84-72 road loss earlier this year to Montana State.
But that only tells part of the story.
To get a full feel for what the Bears (8-16, 5-8 Big Sky) pulled off, take a look a little deeper into the box score.
Unruh scored a game-high 20 points and didn't miss a 3-pointer (4-4), Svihovec added 15 points and dished out a career-high five assists, and Addo scored 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including making all two of his three-point tries.
Those three led a Bears' effort that ended with a 63 percent night from beyond the three-point arc (10-16), scored 22 points in the five-minute overtime period alone and won a game after trailing at halftime for just the second time this season.
Head coach B.J. Hill's "Baby Bears" came into Saturday leading the nation in three-point shooting (43.7 percent) and likely distanced themselves even farther from second place with their sizzling performance.
"I really thought we were going to pull it out in regulation, but, heck, it went to overtime and our guys played great," Unruh said. "We fought hard and pulled it out in the end. It was a great win. We just came out and kind of punched them in the mouth in the second half and got our mojo back. And, gosh, everyone contributed. That was such a great team win [and] fun to be a part of."
Montana State led 42-28 three minutes into the second half and seemed well on its way toward winning in Greeley for the first time since 2007.
The Bears flipped a switch, though, and finished the game on an amazing 49-22 run. They shot just 35 percent in the first half (7-20) but found their rhythm after halftime and hit 59 percent from the floor (13-22) in the second half.
Connor Osborne hit one of two free throws with 1:59 to play to put Northern Colorado ahead 55-54, and then it held on through regulation, overcoming an offensive foul with eights to play.
Tevin Svihovec swiped a steal from Bobcats with two second to play to force overtime.
The Bears then iced the win by making four of five from the field in the extra period and all 12 of their free throws.
Mike Proctor contributed 13 points in the win and snatched 13 rebounds to move up to sixth on the Bears' all-time rebounds chart and record the second double-double of his season and the fourth of his career.
Shawn Reid led Montana State with 18 points, and Jeff Budinich added 12 for the Bobcats, who lost their fourth straight.
"I was really happy that they just went possession by possession," Hill said. "Whether it was offensively or defensively, they were focused on that possession, and it really showed. To come back from a 14-point deficit in less than  minutes shows you a lot."