The Northern Colorado Bears are back. After two years of inconsistency, the 2011 Big Sky Champions put the conference on notice Thursday night, handing Weber State a lopsided 70-51 loss. The Bears are now 3-0 early in the long, 20-game conference season.
Tim Huskisson, who was 3-for-4 from behind the arc in the win:
Reporter "Are you the best team in the Big Sky?" Huskisson "Yes. ... This is just the first step in solidifying our place as the best team."— Mile High Mids (@MileHighMids) January 10, 2014
The hot-shooting Bears were 50% from the field and 7-for-15 from three, led by forward Derrick Barden, who scored 21 points on a 10-for-15 performance from the field and grabbed 13 rebounds.
Tevin Svihovec added 15 points for Northern Colorado, who improved to 9-3 overall after posting the only non-conference campaign of note in the Big Sky.
It was the opposite story for Weber, who shot a season-worst 37.8% from the field. Big men Kyle Tresnak (14 points) and Joel Bolomboy (10 points) combined to shoot 12-for-24; all other Wildcats were 5-for-21.
The talented but young Wildcats, now starting two true freshman at point and shooting guard, are now 2-1 in conference play.
WSU's Randy Rahe: 'Felt like it was men against boys. I like our young guys, but they(UNC)have a veteran team and their experience showed.'— Chris J. Miller (@cjmsports) January 10, 2014
More Rahe on radio, on adversity: "We are a team still trying to find itself.' @standardex— Chris J. Miller (@cjmsports) January 10, 2014
EASTERN WASHINGTON 69, MONTANA 62
Just as big is the development for the boys from Missoula. The Montana Grizzlies, who were 34-2 in the Big Sky over the last two seasons, are now 1-2 in the 2013-14 season after losing on the road to Eastern Washington.
Tyler Harvey poured in 25 points to grab the Eagles first Big Sky win of the season after EWU lost to Idaho State and Weber State in the conference's opening week. Keron DeShields scored 17 points for Montana, but the rest of the Grizzlies only shot 40% in his support.
MONTANA STATE 78 PORTLAND STATE 75
Portland State's starters shot 27-for-42 (64.3%), but it wasn't enough to earn the Vikings their first conference win as Montana State held on for the victory. Only three games into the Big Sky Conference campaign, the Bobcats join Northern Colorado as the conference's only undefeated teams.