The Sacramento State University Hornets couldn’t hang on against the University of Northern Colorado Bears Thursday at the Bank of Colorado Arena in Greeley, Colorado, losing 72-67.
Things seemed to be clicking offensively in the first half for the Hornets (11-15, 4-11 in the Big Sky Conference), as they were getting contributions from starters and the bench. The Hornets went into half time with a six point lead, 42-36.
The second half was a different story. Sac State went on a seven-minute cold streak to start the half and never fully recovered.
Senior guard Cody Demps had 18 points and seven assists to lead the way for Sac State. Sophomore guards Marcus Graves and Justin Strings chipped in with 12 points and 10 points, respectively.
However, the scoring wasn’t enough to stop Northern Colorado (9-18, 6-9 in Big Sky).
Northern Colorado’s freshman guard Jordan Davis finished with 15 points and four assists to lead the way for the Bears. Six of his points came in the final five minutes. The Bears also got contributions from junior guard Anthony Johnson, junior guard Dallas Anglin, and sophomore forward Jeremy Verhagen, who all finished with 11 points each.
Free throws were also a major factor as Northern Colorado went to the line 31 times, making 24 of them. Sac State went to the line 15 times and made 12 of them.
Sac State head coach Brian Katz thought the first half went well, but could have gone better.
“It was one of our better halves this year, but we should have been up a lot more at half time,” Katz said. “We kind of let them back in.”
Sac State senior guard Dreon Barlett and junior forward Nick Hornsby added nine points and five rebounds each for the Hornets. Northern Colorado freshman forward Ibrahim Sylla finished with eight points, six rebounds, and three steals for the Bears.
Sac State has three games remaining before the end of the regular season and the start of the Big Sky Conference tournament in Reno, Neveda on March 7. They currently sit tenth in the Big Sky Conference standings.
Sac State continues its two-game road trip Saturday, heading to Grand Forks, North Dakota to take on the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks (14-12, 9-6 Big Sky). The game will take place at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center at 12 p.m. Read the State Hornet’s preview for that game here:
Also, follow the State Hornet’s live-tweet of the game on Twitter by checking out @sh_sports.
Northern Colorado will continue its home stand on Saturday, hosting the Portland State University Vikings (9-17,5-10 Big Sky) at the Bank of Colorado Arena in Greeley, Colorado at 6:00 p.m.
Both games will be available to stream for free via watchbigsky.com.