February 18, 2013

Barden earns first-career Big Sky weekly honor

By ZACH BOND
UNCBears.com

OGDEN, Utah – The Big Sky Conference announced Monday that Northern Colorado forward Derrick Barden was named co-Player of the Week.

The award is Barden's first Player of the Week honor in his short stint in a Bear uniform.

Barden (Detroit, Mich.) led the Bears to a successful two-win week by averaging 21 points and 10 rebounds in the Bears' two huge home conference wins. The junior got those 21 points per game on some efficient 72 percent shooting (18-of-25) and made 6-of-7 free throws (86 percent). He also dished out three assists and notched two steals for the week.

Barden tied his career high in Thursday's 76-68 win over Northern Arizona by scoring 21 points on the night on 8-of-14 shooting. The Big Sky's second-leading rebounder also grabbed six boards. It was his work at the free throw line however, that made the night special, as Barden finished 5-of-6 from the charity stripe.

Barden was huge again for the Bears in their 78-64 win over Sacramento State, finishing the game with a dominant score line: 21 points and 14 rebounds on 10-of-11 shooting from the field. Those 21 points tied his career high and marked the second straight game he's reached that total. His 14 boards was just one shy of tying his career high.

He turned in arguably his best half of his brief Northern Colorado career, notching a double-double in the first 20 minutes with 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting and 10 rebounds.

Weber State's Davion Berry was the conference's other co-Player of the Week. Berry, a 6-foot-4 junior guard/forward from Oakland, Calif., averaged 17.0 points, four assists, 3.3 rebounds and two steals per game in three wins.