GREELEY, Colo. – The Northern Arizona men's basketball team closed out 2011 with an 80-64 loss at Northern Colorado. NAU dropped to 1-1 in Big Sky play, 5-9 overall. The Bears won their conference opener and improved to 4-8 overall. The game was the Big Sky opener for the Bears.
"We just did not get it done defensively," said Interim Head Coach Dave Brown. "They didn't respond. We never really got into a rhythm. I did not see the intensity and emotion tonight."
The Bears shot 58.7 percent for the floor and out-rebounded the Lumberjacks 39-29. UNC was impressive beyond the arc, making 7-of-11 for the game, and had an 11-point advantage at the line going 19-of-33. NAU made just 8-of-17 at the charity stripe.
"I saw some good individual things," said Brown. "I thought Max Jacobsen did a nice job."
The Lumberjacks trailed the entire game and were unable to close the deficit in the second half. NAU cut the lead to six points out of the locker room in the second half but never got any closer in the game.
The Bears had five players in double figures. Connor Osborne led UNC with 14 points.
The Lumberjacks fell behind in the first half. The Bears took an early 10-point lead but the Lumberjacks kept the game in reach behind 11 points each by Douglas and Rogers. The Bears led 43-36 at the half.
"We have to forget it and move on," said Brown. "I do not think we truly understand what it takes to win on the road. It has to take a 100 percent effort."
The Lumberjacks return to the road next week for a pair of Big Sky Conference road games at Portland State and Eastern Washington. The Lumberjacks play at Portland State Thursday at 8:05 p.m. Arizona time.