Facing the conference's top team made a victory unlikely regardless, but the Northern Colorado Bears at least played competitively against the Weber State Wildcats in a 88-71 defeat on Thursday night. It's been a long season for Northern Colorado, which trailed for the entire game against Weber State.
After getting down 5-0 initially, Northern Colorado trailed 22-10 before the two sides traded runs until halftime, at which point Weber State led 48-39. The Bears actually began the second half by playing quite well, trimming that lead to 57-54 with less than 13 minutes remaining in the game, but the Wildcats responded with a 10-0 run. From there, the Wildcats just held steady and waltzed to victory.
Star junior guard Damian Lillard had another big game for Weber State, scoring 30 points, including five three-point shots, and dishing 8 assists. He's one of the nation's leading scorers at 24.5 points per game. Paul Garnica came off the bench to lead Northern Colorado with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while Mike Proctor posted a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The loss drops Northern Colorado to 9-18 overall and 5-10 against Big Sky Conference opponents. Weber State is now 23-4 with a 14-1 record against Big Sky opponents, tops in the conference.
Stick with SB Nation Denver for more on Northern Colorado. Visit SB Nation NCAA Basketball for more news and notes as we approach March Madness.