January 24, 2013

Men's Basketball falls to 'Jacks at buzzer

B.J. Hill's 1310 KFKA postgame


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Despite a heroic 3-pointer from Tevin Svihovec to tie the game up with just seconds left, the Northern Colorado men's basketball team was done in by a jumper at the buzzer in its 67-65 loss to Northern Arizona Thursday night inside Walkup Skydome.

The loss snapped Northern Colorado's two-game winning streak and dropped the Bears to 3-6 in Big Sky play and 5-12 overall.

Lumberjacks' senior Michael Dunn was the player who hit the game-winning shot, as Stallon Saldivar raced up the court with just 4.8 seconds left and dished it off to Dunn, who made the jumper from about 10 feet away.

The shot at the buzzer was only necessary though because Svihovec (Kingwood, Texas) had tied things back up at 65-65 by banking in a deep three with 4.8 seconds left.

The last 30 seconds of the game was filled with several "what-if" scenarios for both teams.

The scenarios started with 26 seconds remaining, as Northern Arizona's DeWayne Russell missed the front end of a one-and-one that could have put the 'Jacks up 65-62.

Then, just seven seconds late, Svihovec was fouled with the Bears down 63-62 and was given a chance to put his team up late. He, too, missed the front end of a one-and-one.

Northern Arizona's Gabe Rogers made both of his free throws with 14 seconds left before Svihovec made his three to tie things back up.

"Everybody's going to point to that shot and that play, but I just told our team that we went into the half up two talking about how we just need to get stops because they can't guard us," Northern Colorado coach B.J. Hill said. "We shot 52 percent. I don't think we got a stop in the first four minutes of the second half.

"I think they scored five straight baskets and we scored five straight baskets, so that's a situation where if we're truly focused on what Coach is saying and what we need to do as a unit, we should have been putting a lot of heat on them going into that first media timeout up eight or 10 points. Now, those jumpers and everything they were throwing in don't go as easy. There's a little more pressure on them. It was the first five or six minutes of that second half where we did not do what we needed to do to win a game on the road."

Svihovec finished the game with a team-high 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting. He made 3-of-5 shots from the free throw stripe. He also dished out three assists against just one turnover, his third straight night to post at least a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

The redshirt sophomore guard scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half, where he played a big role in the Bears matching scores with the 'Jacks in the second half.

It was indeed the second half that spelled out doom for Northern Colorado. The Bears took a 34-32 lead into halftime, but Northern Arizona's 57.7 percent shooting in the second half was too much to overcome for a Bears' offense that wasn't too shabby itself, shooting 52.1 percent for the game.

Northern Colorado actually outshot the Lumberjacks for the game and shot 50 percent (5-of-10) from three-point range. The Bears also outrebounded the 'Jacks 31-25.

Leading the rebounding charge was Derrick Barden (Detroit, Mich.), who led all players with 10 boards. He also notched his fourth double-double in five games, tallying 13 points to go along with his big day on the glass.

Sophomore Tim Huskisson (Willard, Mo.) was the third Bear to score in double-figures, finishing with 10 points on 3-of-5 shooting. It was the second straight game he's scored in double-digits after scoring 14 against Portland State.

The loss was the Bears' fourth straight loss on the road and moved their season record to 1-9 in road games.

Rogers led the way for Northern Arizona, scoring a game-high 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field. He was especially dangerous from outside, making 4-of-9 from three-point range.

Next up for the Bears is a second straight game on the road. They travel to Sacramento to take on Sacramento State at 8:05 p.m. (MT) Saturday.