January 23, 2013

Men's Basketball looks to take its winning streak on the road vs. 'Jacks

Game 17: Northern Arizona (Flagstaff, Ariz.)
Northern Colorado notes | Big Sky notes

GAME INFORMATION:

Game 17: Northern Colorado will put its two-game winning streak on the line as the Bears hit the road to take on the 'Jacks.
When: 6:35 p.m. (MT) Thursday, Jan. 24.
Where: Flagstaff, Ariz. -- Walkup Skydome (14,420)
Live stats:
nauathletics.com
TV: Fox Sports Arizona/americaonesports.com (Big Sky TV)
Radio:
KFKA-AM 1310 (Troy Coverdale)
All-time series: The Bears are 9-7 all-time vs. Northern Arizona and have won each of the past four matchups. They are 2-5 in Flagstaff.

A LOOK AHEAD:

  • At 6:35 p.m. (MT) on Thursday, Jan. 24, Northern Colorado will put its two-game winning streak on the line as it heads back out on the road to take on Northern Arizona. Thursday's road game follows a four-game home stand that saw Northern Colorado go 2-2. The Bears won both of their games last week, beating Portland State and Eastern Washington by a combined 33 points.
  • Northern Arizona comes into Thursday's contest tied with Northern Colorado, along with four other teams in the Big Sky, for fifth in the conference with a 3-5 league record. The 'Jacks are 6-12 overall. Their 60-55 win over Idaho State last game snapped a four-game losing skid.
  • The Bears come into the week with a 9-7 advantage in the all-time series between the two teams. Northern Arizona held the advantage in the early portion of the rivalry, but as of late, the Bears have dominated, winning the past four matchups, six of the past seven and eight of the past 10 against the 'Jacks.
  • Last season, Northern Colorado swept the two games against Northern Arizona. In Flagstaff, the two teams battled to a stalemate through the first 40 minutes of action and needed overtime to decide a winner. The Bears ended up prevailing 64-62 behind Mike Procter's Division I school-record 17 rebounds. The win was just the second ever for the Bears in Flagstaff.
  • The Lumberjacks are led by freshman guard DeWayne Russell, who comes into Thursday's contest as the Big Sky's leading scorer (16.3 ppg). He is also the team's second-leading assist man with 60 assists on the year. Senior Gabe Rogers is the other 'Jack to average double-digit scoring (14.7 ppg).

NORTHERN COLORADO NOTEWORTHY:

  • One of the signs of a good team is its ability to win a game despite not shooting its best from the field. That is exactly what Northern Colorado did in Saturday's 72-56 win over Eastern Washington. The Bears got that win despite shooting just 38 percent from the field. It was the first time this season and second time in the last two years that the Bears have won a game despite shooting less than 40 percent. The 2010-11 version of the Bears, a team that won a Big Sky championship, won five games when shooting less than 40 percent.
  • The Bears had their largest rebounding margin of the season in Saturday's win against Eastern Washington. They outrebounded the Eagles 47-29.
  • Northern Colorado has knocked down 21 three-point shots over the last two games. The Bears hit 11 threes in Saturday's win over Eastern Washington, tying their season high, which was set during the season opener against Southwest.
  • Northern Colorado, annually one of the Big Sky's best rebounding teams, is beginning to assert their dominance on the glass once again. After their dominating performance on the glass on Saturday, the Bears have moved up to third in the Big Sky in rebounding margin (+1.1). The offensive glass is where the Bears are especially lethal, rebounding 32 percent of their missed shots.
  • Already this season, the Bears have had four games where they've recorded less than 10 turnovers. That happened once last season.
  • The Northern Colorado defense has allowed 70 or fewer points nine times this season, matching the total number of times that happened all of last year. The Bears have allowed 60 or fewer points three times this season. Last year, the Bears held opponents to 60 or fewer points four times total. The team is 16-3 under Coach Hill when allowing 60 or fewer points.
  • Tate Unruh needs just seven more made 3-pointers to move into the top-10 on Northern Colorado's all-time 3-pointers list. He is currently third on the school's Division I list (124).
  • Unruh is ranked 15th in the nation with 3.19 3-pointers per game and ranked 19th in the country in three-point percentage (.443).
  • Derrick Barden is on pace to shatter the school single-season Division I rebounding record. Taylor Montgomery set the current record with 190 rebounds during the 2010-11 season. Barden currently has 138 total rebounds and, if he keeps up his current pace, will break the record in just six games.