Cal Poly (15-12) at Northern Colorado (8-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 18th, 9:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion (4,500) -- Greeley, Colorado. Television: None. Home Record: Cal Poly 8-4, Northern Colorado 4-8. Away Record: Cal Poly 5-8, Northern Colorado 2-9. Neutral Record: Cal Poly 2-0, Northern Colorado 2-0. Conference Record: Cal Poly 6-7, Northern Colorado 5-9. Series Record: Cal Poly leads, 1-0.
GAMES NOTES: The Cal Poly Mustangs of the Big West and the Northern Colorado Bears of the Big Sky are set to do battle in a BracketBuster matchup at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion this evening.
This is only the second time these squads have faced each other on the hardwood with Cal Poly taking the only other matchup with a 76-62 win at home over the Bears during the 1990-91 season.
Cal Poly has been an inconsistent club this season posting an overall record of just 15-12 to go with a 6-7 mark in the Big West conference. The Mustangs did post a win against a Big Sky opponent earlier this season when they dispatched Sacramento State 77-51. Cal Poly will get back to its conference schedule when it faces UC Santa Barbara in its next matchup.
Northern Colorado has found consistency but only in taking losses this season. The Bears have lost four of their last five games and have four streaks of at least three straight losses this season in posting a dismal 8-17 overall record. The Bears will play Big Sky leading Weber State next time out.
Offense was plentiful in Cal Poly's last game, but the Mustangs came out on the losing end as they fell to CS-Northridge 94-81. The Matadors were the better shooting team, netting 57.1 percent to just 45.6 percent by the Mustangs while also holding a 32-20 advantage from the free throw line in the game.
Although it came in defeat the offensive production against CS-Northridge for Cal Poly was the highest point total the Mustangs have managed since putting up a 100-54 win earlier in the season against the same Matadors. As a team, Cal Poly is scoring only 64.8 points per game which is in the bottom half of the Big West although the defense has usually been strong surrendering only 60.6 points per game to its opponents. David Hanson was the lead scorer against CS-Northridge as he has been all season. The senior forward (11.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg) put in 16 points in the loss and has scored in double figures in back-to-back games after failing to do so in two of three previous games. Senior forward and leading rebounder Will Taylor (10.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg) is the only other player scoring in double figures for the Mustangs although senior guard Amaurys Fermin (9.9 ppg, 3.4 apg) is just on the outside.
Northern Colorado let one slip away in its matchup with Eastern Washington on Wednesday. The Bears dominated in the first half by shooting 45.7 percent including 7-of-11 from beyond the arc to enter the locker room leading 43-29. The second half was a different story as the Bears faltered and allowed Eastern Washington to go on a 28-10 run to take a 74-72 lead with 1:50 remaining.
Offense has come easy for Northern Colorado this year at 72.0 points per game while shooting an impressive 47.7 points per game. Strong offense doesn't win without solid defense and Northern Colorado has been lacking in that aspect, allowing 75.0 points per game. The Bears do not have one dominant scorer with Tate Unruh (11.0 ppg) and Tevin Svihovec (10.0 ppg) the only players averaging in double figures. On Wednesday Connor Osborne (7.6 ppg) took over as the team's lead scorer netting a season-high 17 points. Emmanuel Addo (9.5 ppg) Paul Garnica (9.2 ppg) and Mike Proctor (9.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg) are all in the vicinity, as part of the team's balanced attack.
This non-conference matchup pits the strong offense of Northern Colorado versus the solid defense of Cal Poly. In this game the Bears' offensive prowess will prove to be more effective, as Northern Colorado gets a win for the Big Sky.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northern Colorado 66, Cal Poly 62
02/18 10:39:29 ET