Men's Basketball hits the road for big test vs. Montana
Game 21: Northern Colorado will look to snap its five-game road losing streak by taking on first-place Montana.
When: 7 p.m. (MT) Thursday, Feb. 7
Where: Missoula, Mont. -- Dahlberg Arena (7,321)
Live stats: gogriz.com
TV: Altitude TV / americaonesports.com (Big Sky TV)
Radio: KFKA-AM 1310 (Troy Coverdale)
All-time series: The Bears are 6-14 all-time vs. Montana and have dropped the last three matchups. They are 1-7 against the Griz in Missoula.
A LOOK AHEAD:
- At 7 p.m. (MT) on Thursday, Feb. 7, Northern Colorado will take on Montana looking for a big road win against a Grizzlies team still unbeaten in Big Sky play and riding a 12-game winning streak. The Bears will be looking to snap that streak while also putting an end to their own five-game road losing streak.
- Montana comes into Thursday with a perfect 12-0 conference mark and a 16-4 overall record. The last time they lost came in a mid-December double-overtime thriller to South Dakota State. They have won their Big Sky matchups by an average of 10 points.
- Northern Colorado will be looking to buck its recent trend against Montana, as the Bears have ddropped the last three contests against the Griz. All-time, Montana holds a 14-6 edge in the series and the Bears are 1-7 all-time in Missoula. The last time the Bears won in Missoula was during the 2009-10 season, with a 58-49 victory.
- One thing Northern Colorado will be lookking to do on Thursday is keep Montana off the free throw line. Coming into the week, the Griz are the nation's fifth-best free throw shooting team, shooting the ball at a 77 percent clip from the charity stripe. Mathias Ward leads the way with 84 percent shooting, good for 67th in the country.
- Montana is led by senior forward Mathias Ward, who comes into Thursday's matchup averaging more than 15 points per contest. Junior Kareem Jamar is second on the team with 13.7 points per game and also leads the team, and is third in the Big Sky, with 4.1 assists/game. Senior point guard Will Cherry has come on strong in conference play after recovering from an early injury, averaging 14 points per game in Big Sky competition.
NORTHERN COLORADO NOTEWORTHY:
- Last week's loss to Weber State marked the first time in seven games that the Bears were held to less than 40 percent shooting from behind the arc. They were held to 29 percent from three-point land in a Jan. 10 matchup against Montana State.
- That game against Weber State also marked just the second time in seven games the Bears have recorded more assists than turnovers.
- It seems head coach B.J. Hill is settling in on a starting lineup as the combination of Tevin Svihovec, Tate Unruh, Tim Huskisson, Derrick Barden and Connor Osborne has gotten the starting nod in 12 straight games. The Bears are 4-8 during that stretch.
- The Bears enjoy playing at home, as their 5-4 home record would indicate. Northern Colorado averages 78 points per game in home contests, compared to 62 in road games. If you dive deeper into the stats, you see that the team is shooting better than 48 percent from the field in home games compared to 43 percent on the road. The difference is even more pronounced in three-point percentage, with the Bears shooting 46 percent at home and 34 percent on the road.
- Derrick Barden needs just 13 more rebounds to tie the school NCAA Division I single-season rebounding record. Taylor Montgomery currently holds the mark with 190 rebounds during the 2010-11 season.
- Last game against Weber State marked the first time in 28 games that Tate Unruh did not make a three-point bucket. That 27-game streak was the longest active stretch in the Big Sky.