Feb. 4, 2006
GREELEY, Colo. - The University of Northern Colorado men's basketball team did exactly what it needed to do against Division III foe Colorado College on Saturday. The Bears shot a high percentage (59.1%), dominated the boards (50-15 rebounding margin) and played good defense (limited CC to 25% shooting) in blowing out the Tigers 80-35 at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion.
The 45-point margin of victory was the 10th largest in program history for the Bears and largest since topping Arizona Bible College by 51 points in the 1995-96 season (that is the largest margin of victory in Butler-Hancock). The 35 points scored by the Tigers (4-14) was the fewest scored by a Northern Colorado (4-21) opponent since the Bears bested Colorado College 55-28 on Feb. 16, 1949.
The game was never much in doubt as Northern Colorado, who won back-to-back games for the first time this season, led 9-2 early and built a 10-point lead just six minutes into the contest. The Bears led by as many as 23 points in the first half on their way to a 40-17 halftime advantage.
UNC used a 15-5 run to open the second half in coasting the rest of the way. All 11 players in uniform for Northern Colorado scored on Saturday, and each played at least 14 minutes.
"We did exactly what we were supposed to do today," Bears head coach Craig Rasmuson said. "We took their best player (Mares) out of the game early, pounded the boards, shot well and played great defense. I am pleased with what we have done the last few games."
The Bears leading scorer, Sean Taibi, was very efficient, scoring a game-high 21 points in just 15 minutes of playing time. Taibi hit on 8-of-9 shots and 4-of-5 3-pointers for the game. He now has 67 3-pointers on the season, just eight trifectas away from tying the program's single-season record of 75 (held by Sean Nolen, who was in attendance on Saturday).
Sophomore guard Thanasi Panagiotakopoulos added 10 points, just his second double-figure performance of the season. All 11 Bears players scored at least one point, marking the second consecutive game (and third time this season) every player in uniform has scored.
Freshman Dorian McDaniel led the Bears with seven rebounds, as the Bears hit the 50-rebound plateau for the first time this season. The Bears had a +35 rebounding margin on the afternoon (50-15), which established a new school record (the previous record was +25).
The Bears shot 59.1 percent for the game, while they held CC to just 25 percent, the lowest field goal percentage by a team in Butler-Hancock history.
Colorado College was led by nine points from Adam Mares.
Northern Colorado returns to action next Saturday night when they travel to Davis, Calif. to battle fellow Division I Independent UC Davis at 8 p.m. MT.