Thursday, December 1, 2011

Northern Colorado Loses To NAIA Westminster College

Before the season began, some Northern Colorado fans called me crazy for picking the Bears to finish seventh in the Big Sky this year. After Thursday, that prediction does not seem so crazy.

Northern Colorado fell 73-60 to Westminster College, an NAIA school out of Salt Lake City, UT (which, looking at their website, the campus does look pretty cool). It was not a fluke either... the Griffin, outshot the Bears, and led at the half, so it was a game they led throughout.

The Bears got good production from Paul Garnica (14 points) and Tate Unruh (16 points), but there weren't a lot of bright spots. Their frontcourt did not produce much, and they turned the ball over 16 times compared to 8 for Westminster. The Parsons also shot nearly 50% from the field.

Northern Colorado started 0-4, but I gave them a bit of a pass because they played a tough schedule, and played some good teams pretty competitively. They rebounded to beat two lower level Division I teams, and it looked like they were on the rise. But there is no sugarcoating this game, it is a BAD loss.

In the grand scheme of this season, obviously the Bears are not going to be getting any at-large berths, and so the non-conference season is simply a preparation for conference season. UNC proved that last season, when they parlayed a 4-7 non-conference record into a regular season and conference tournament title. This is a young team, and maybe this will be the wake-up call that they need to grow as a team.

TIme will tell.

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  1. Westminster is a good NAIA program, and they get a lot of transfers from D1 and D2 programs. The leading scorer, Orchard, redshirted at Weber State, left, tried to walk on the football team at Utah, and then transferred to play basketball at Westminster.

    Granted, at the end of the day, it's still a loss by an NCAA D1 school to an NAIA school, but hopefully it's something UNC can learn from.

  2. They must have a really good sports program! good job Westminster!!!!