February 1, 2014

Overtime bid falls short for Bears Men against Eagles, 94-90

Collin Boyles
UNCBears.com

CHENEY, Wash. -- Freshman guard Jordan Wilson (Los Angeles, Calif.) broke onto the scene Saturday with 21 points, but the Big Sky's leading scorer put down 38 to lead Eastern Washington to a 94-90 win over Northern Colorado at Reese Court.

The Bears (13-6, 7-3 Big Sky) were up by as many as 12 points in the first half and totaled 74 field goal attempts on the day. Eagles (9-12, 4-6 Big Sky) guard Tyler Harvey began his tear at that point while scoring 35 of his 38 points the rest of the way. He scored 10 of the team's 16 3-point field goals in route to shooting 54.4% on the day.

"(I'm) very disappointed in our effort from the neck up," Head Coach B.J. Hill said. "I thought our physical effort was tremendous. I can't fault how hard our guys played."

The 12-point lead for UNC came just around seven and a half minutes into the game. The Eagles then jumped on a 13-4 run featuring three 3-point scores to cut the deficit to three with a score of 24-21. The Bears turned the ball over twice while also missing three shots during the span. Four more missed shots eventually followed as the Eagles went on another run, this time 14-0 to build a lead of 35-28 just before halftime.

"(EWU) is a hot-and-cold team," Hill said. "They were cold in the first couple minutes and then they, especially Harvey, are going to hit shots you don't think they'll hit, but you can't put your head down. We quit being patient on offense and quit attacking offensively and that led out to their run."

After falling to a 14-point deficit in the first 10 minutes of the second half, a 13-2 run allowed the Bears to be back in the game, down just five. In the game of runs, the Bears fell down by double-digits again but used a 12-0 run to take a 78-75 lead with two minutes left. EWU sank two free throws and took advantage of another free throw opportunity following a missed Bears layup to tie the game at 78. Wilson sank his final 3 of the day to give the Bears hope of pulling out the win, but Harvey matched Wilson's as the game was sent to overtime 81-81.

The Eagles made its first two shots and the Bears were unable to sink enough to keep up. Senior guard Tate Unruh (Branson, Mo.) put down a 3 to bring the score to 90-88, but the Eagles pulled out the home win, 94-90.

"We had so many missed rotations defensively off their ball screens because they wouldn't simply talk to each other," Hill said. "That tells me that (they're) not engaged from the neck up in what (they're) doing defensively because if you are, you're talking and helping your teammates. To let a guy go 10-for-15 from 3 when we knew he was a heck of a player, (they're) not engaged in finding a way to get the gameplan done."

The Bears shot 48.6% (36-74) on the day while shooting 35.3% (6-17) from 3. The Eagles shot 55.2% (16-29) from 3 to guide the team to the win while also hitting 54.4% (31-57) from the field. UNC was able to score 22 points off of 15 offensive rebounds while also totaling 37.

Wilson led the Bears in scoring with a career-high 21 points while four others scored in double-digits. Harvey led all scorers with 38 while three others scored in double-digits for the Eagles. Senior forward Derrick Barden (Detroit, Mich.) pulled down eight rebounds.

The Bears continue its roadtrip next Thursday and Saturday while playing Idaho State and Weber State for the second time each this season.