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Northern Arizona (8-9) at Northern Colorado (11-4)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 23, 9:05 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion (2,992) -- Greeley, Colorado. Television: None. Home Record: NAU 5-1, UNC 9-0. Away Record: NAU 3-6, UNC 2-4. Neutral Record: NAU 0-2, UNC 0-0. Conference Record: NAU 5-1, UNC 5-1. Series Record: Northern Colorado leads, 10-8.

GAME NOTES: Two of the Big Sky Conference's best match up on Thursday night when the Northern Colorado Bears welcome the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks to Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion.

NAU's season did not start off very well, as it won just three of its 11 non- conference bouts, but it has turned things around in a hurry in Big Sky action, going 5-1. The Lumberjacks are currently winners of four straight games, most recently downing Portland State at home on Saturday, 77-56.

Northern Colorado's success has been sustained throughout the season, as it sports a stellar 11-4 overall record, including a 5-1 ledger in the league. The Bears bested Montana in their latest contest in a 84-73 road victory, and now they return to Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion where they've gone unbeaten in nine games.

The Bears hold a 10-8 advantage over the Lumberjacks in the all-time series. The teams split two games last season, with the home side winning each bout.

After playing the first half to a 31-31 tie last Saturday against Portland State, NAU pulled away in the second stanza en route to a convincing 21-point victory. It shot a lofty 58.9 percent from the floor and were paced by the efforts of Max Jacobsen, who poured in 19 points on 8-of-11 from the field. Kris Yanku put up 17 points in a reserve role, while Quinton Upshur and Gaellan Bewernick scored 12 and 10 points, respectively.

On the season, the Lumberjacks shoot 45.2 percent from the field but for just 68.1 ppg, but luckily their modest offense is enough to support them thanks to a stellar scoring defense (67.3 ppg). Upshur (14.6 ppg) and Jacobsen (14.1 ppg) are the top scorers, with Upshur having drained 35 3-pointers at a 35- percent clip and Jacobsen shooting just shy of 60 percent overall. Aaseem Dixon (13.1 ppg) and Bewernick (8.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg) are also relied on for consistent contributions.

The Bears trailed Montana earlier in the second half of their latest game but were able to grab control of the contest thanks to an 18-4 run. They outpaced the Grizzlies from the field in the high-scoring affair, 58 percent to 53.2 percent, and owned a commanding 31-15 advantage in the rebounding battle. Derrick Barden and Tate Unruh led the way with 20 points apiece, combining to shoot 15-of-22 from the floor. Tevin Svihovec and Dominique Lee both came off the bench to net 12 and 10 points, respectively.

As indicated by its strong record, Northern Colorado has shined on both ends of the floor this season, shooting 49.6 percent from the field for 74.8 ppg while allowing just 65.3 ppg on 43.1 percent shooting for a Big Sky-best +9.5 scoring margin. It also boasts the league's best rebounding margin at +5.5. Barden leads the charge from the frontcourt with 13.6 ppg (on 57.1 percent shooting) and 8.5 rpg. Unruh (12.6 ppg) shoots 38.4 percent from 3-point range and 90.3 percent from the foul line, while Tim Huskisson (11.1 ppg) and Svihovec (10.8 ppg) also net in double figures.

NAU has turned things around of late and appears as though it'll be in the thick of the Big Sky race all season long, but Northern Colorado hasn't skipped a beat at home and should be able to keep its success in Greeley alive.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northern Colorado 76, Northern Arizona 71

01/23 10:19:34 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
 
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
 
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
 
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
 
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
 
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
 
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
 
4th
WAKE 3
BC 23
 
4th
BUF 14
CMICH 14
 
3rd
MARS 21
FATL 16
 
3rd
PITT 21
GT 35
 
3rd
SMISS 10
LATU 17
 
3rd
MSU 28
MICH 3
 
3rd
KENT 17
MSST 24
 
4th
STAN 35
ORST 7
 
3rd
TCU 40
TTU 20
 
4th
OKST 10
WVU 17
 
3rd
WKENT 42
ODU 30
 
3rd
UTST 17
UNLV 13
 
3rd
MIZZ 10
VANDY 7
 
2nd
UCF 17
TEMPL 7
 
6:00pm Tonight
WASU
ARZ
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
LAMON
TXST
7:00pm Tonight
TXSANANTO
UTEP
7:00pm Tonight
COLST
WYO
7:15pm Tonight
LSU
MISS
7:30pm Tonight
TENN
ALA
7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
3rd
SJS 1
BUF 2
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
NJD
7:00pm Tonight
MON
NYR
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14