Northern Colorado (12-17) vs. Montana State (13-16)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 14, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dahlberg Arena (7,500) -- Missoula, Montana. Television: none. Home Record: UNC 8-5, MSU 10-6. Away Record: UNC 4-12, MSU 3-10. Neutral Record: UNC 0-0, MSU 0-0. Conference Record: UNC 10-10, MSU 10-10. Series Record: MSU leads 34-19.
GAME NOTES: In quarterfinal action of the Big Sky Tournament, the fifth-seed Northern Colorado Bears will square off against the four-seed Montana State Bobcats at the Dahlberg Arena on Thursday night.
Northern Colorado will be coming in following a whole week off after defeating Southern Utah 66-58 in its regular-season finale, pushing UNC's win streak to three games entering postseason play. The Bears have been starting to put things together as of late, despite a less than stellar 12-17 overall mark. With the recent surge though, UNC was able to finish the conference slate at .500 (10-10).
Montana State most recently earned a 71-55 win over Sacramento State. It was the third win in the last four outings for the Bobcats after a five-game losing streak. Much like the Bears, the Bobcats struggled overall to a 13-16 mark, but finished even in league play (10-10).
The Bobcats leads the all-time series 34-19, but split the season series with UNC this year, with each team winning on the road.
In the win over Southern Utah, Derrick Barden recorded a double-double with 18 points and ten rebounds, one of four Bears to score in double figures. Tevin Svihovec added 14 points and seven rebounds, Tate Unruh had 13 points and Connor Osborne managed 11 points.
Barden is both the leading scorer and rebounder for Northern Colorado. He nets 13.6 ppg, while pulling down 9.1 rpg and also shoots over 55.0 percent from the field. Unruh contributes 13.6 ppg and shoots an impressive 43.7 percent from 3-point range.
The Bobcats were led against Sacramento State by Christian Moon who tallied 23 points, knocking down four 3-pointers. Flavien Davis had 14 points, while Antonio Biglow managed 13. Paul Egwuonwu just missed a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Moon leads the team in scoring with 13.8 ppg and shoots 41.0 percent from 3- points range. Davis contributes 11.4 ppg on 50.0 percent shooting from the floor. Egwuonwu is Montana State's top rebounder with 6.7 rpg, while being the only Bobcat averaging over five boards per game.
Coming off a week of rest, the Bears could have the edge in the first-ever postseason matchup between these teams. Barden and Unruh both need to show up offensively for UNC, if the Bears are to advance.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northern Colorado 67, Montana State 65
03/14 10:35:27 ET