The Northern Colorado Bears are struggling -- having lost five of their last seven games -- but Saturday's matchup against the Weber State Wildcats is about more than anything that has happened so far this season. A little more than one year ago the Bears were within seconds of taking down the Wildcats on the road, then Scott Bamforth his a half court shot as time expired to give Weber State the 72-71 win. Even though the Wildcats look much stronger than the Bears this season and lead the Big Sky with a 9-1 conference record, Northern Colorado will no doubt be looking to avenge the gut-wrenching buzzer beater that dropped them last season. Here is another look at that play, just in case you aren't familiar with the moment:
The matchup highlights a contrast in styles. The Bears lack a consistent scoring threat and instead operate an offense-by-committee approach that ranks 45th in the nation in field goal percentage at 47.2 percent. Northern Colorado's Paul Garnica, Tate Unruh, Mike Proctor, Tevin Svihovec and Emmanuel Addo are the five leading scorers, and while all five average at least nine points per game, nobody hits a double-digit average. As for Weber State, they rely heavily on Damian Lillard (25.1 PPG) and the aforementioned Scott Bamforth (15.6 PPG) for scoring. Those two players produce more than half the team's points on a per game basis (78.8 points per game).
Don't let the difference in records fool you though, the Bears have still been very competitive in Big Sky conference play over the years and could easily pull off the road win. Consider this factoid from UNCBears.com:
The Bears are two games under .500 in conference play for the first time since 2009, when consecutive losses to Northern Arizona and Weber State dropped them to 5-7. Northern Colorado finished that season with an 8-8 record and an appearance in the Big Sky Conference Championship.
Here is some information to help you find the game on Saturday:
Northern Colorado Bears (7-14, 4-6) vs. Weber State Wildcats (17-4, 9-1)
Game date, time: 5:00 PM MT, Saturday, February 4, 2012
Location: Dee Events Center, Odgen, UT
Radio: AM 1310