SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of Northern Colorado women's basketball team came up just short in its attempt to gain its first road win of the season as the San Diego State Aztecs scored a 68-65 win in Cox Arena at the Aztec Bowl. Northern Colorado fell to 1-5 on the season, while San Diego State improved to 2-1.
The Bears rallied from a 12-point deficit early in the second half and cut the lead to two points on sophomore guard Jena Fosdick's three-pointer with 39.4 left in the game. Two free throws from the Aztecs' Kate Eveland put SDSU back on top by four. Fosdick's three-pointer from the top of the key came up just short with 26 seconds to go and the Bears could get no closer the rest of the way.
The Bears were victims of a slow start to the contest as they missed their first five shots and committed four turnovers in the game's first four minutes. The Bears trailed 7-0 before a bucket from sophomore Heather Barbour with 14:49 to go in the first half.
But the Bears would rally and knot the game at 17-17 on the strength of free throws. UNC made seven free throws in the first 15 minutes of the game to San Diego State's two. Defensively, the Bears played strong in the first half as they limited the Aztecs to only 27 percent (10-of-37) shooting from the field, including a paltry 16.7 percent (3-of-18) from beyond the three-point arc.
The Bears did not fare much better from the field in the first half as they made only six shots from the field on 25 attempts for 24 percent. UNC did not make a three-pointer in the first half and went 0-of-6 from beyond the arc.
However, Northern Colorado made hay at the free throw line in the first half by drilling 8-of-13 charity stripe shots. San Diego State made only 2-of-2 from the foul line in the first stanza, but led 25-20 at the intermission.
The Aztecs came out firing in the second half and opened up their biggest lead of the game at 38-26 with 15:23 left in the game.
Northern Colorado withstood the Aztecs' early second-half surge and came back with a surge of its own. The Bears turned it up a notch on defense and it turned into easy buckets on the offensive end of the court. UNC pulled to within 39-34 on a steal and layup by sophomore Kendra Lambrecht. The Lambrecht bucket came after a pair of driving layups from sophomore Danielle Hagen.
The Bears would climb closer on the squad's first three-pointer of the game from sophomore Jena Fosdick. The trifecta pulled UNC to 39-37 with 11:16 remaining.
San Diego State drained a pair of three-pointers but sandwiched into between those buckets was a three-pointer by UNC's Lambrecht. A Nicole Ford post move that netted an inside bucket trimmed the Aztec lead to 45-42 with 9:42 left.
The Aztecs rallied for a 7-0 run to try and stymie the Bears' comeback effort. But the Bears would not relent as Barbour made two free throws and sophomore Melanie Drangmeister drained a three-pointer from the right wing. After an SDSU basket, Barbour made her first three-pointer of the contest to pull UNC within four points at 54-50 with 3:47 to go in the game.
The Bears fell behind 60-52 with 2:00 to go after a basket by the Aztec's Ashley Cheesman, which then set the stage for the frantic finish.
Fosdick led the Bears in scoring with 16 points on the strength of 4-of-7 from three-point land. Barbour also chipped in 11 points, which included 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
SDSU was led in scoring by Lindsey Casey with 12 points.
The Bears' next action will be at home against Air Force on Dec. 13 with a 7 p.m. tip at Butler-Hancock Hall.
NOTES: Freshman Dani Veal suffered a left hip injury in the first half and did not return to action the in the second half ... the contest was only the second game between the two schools ... San Diego State won the only previous meeting 85-61 on Dec. 11, 1979.