Bears Slay Knights, 67-55
Dec. 29, 2006
GREELEY, Colo. - Snowflakes weren't the only thing falling on Friday night in Greeley, but shots were too - especially for Heather Barbour.
Barbour, a senior forward, dropped a career-high 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line as the University of Northern Colorado women's basketball team handed the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights of New Jersey a 67-55 loss at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion. She also led Northern Colorado in rebounding with nine boards and scored in double-figures for the 26th time in 29 games.
It was a good lesson in revenge for the Bears (3-9), who lost to the Knights 74-58 last season in New Jersey. Five Northern Colorado players scored in double-figures, and the Bears shot a solid 44.2 percent for the game.
The game proved to be up-tempo and physical, with both teams combining for 51 turnovers and 39 fouls. Sophomore Whitley Cox's feistiness showed through, as she scored 12 points, pulled down six rebounds and snagged five steals.
Things were rough in the early going for Northern Colorado, as FDU used a tough 3-2 zone that stifled the Bears and helped the Knights take a 20-13 lead with 9:26 left in the first half. But the Bears clawed back to go on a 13-4 run and take a 26-24 lead with just under six minutes left. The run was highlighted by two consecutive 3-pointers from senior guard Bailey Dillon.
Fairleigh Dickinson went back up by three, but Northern Colorado stormed back to take a 36-31 lead at halftime. After a slow start in the half, the Bears were able to come back and shoot 50 percent.
The Knights were not done however, as they jousted back at the Bears and cut the Northern Colorado lead to 42-41 with 13:27 left on the clock. But the blanketing defense of the Bears dealt FDU with a 7:06 scoring draught, which allowed Northern Colorado to go up by as much as 22 points and seal the win.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Bears. It was the third time this season Northern Colorado held its opponent to under 60 points.
Northern Colorado will return action at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 4 when the team kicks off its Big Sky Conference schedule with Weber State in Ogden, Utah. The Bears defeated the Wildcats 65-51 last year at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion. WSU was the Big Sky Tournament runner-up last season.