In the first big upset of the college basketball season, Northern Colorado went into Manhattan and beat the defending Big 12 champion Kansas State Wildcats, 60-58. The Bears trailed by five at the half, but took a lead in the second half and held on down the stretch, despite some misses from the free throw line.
The star of the game was unquestionably Derrick Barden. The forward who averaged a double-double during Big Sky play last year started off this season with a bang, scoring 16 points and grabbing a ridiculous 17 rebounds. He was 8/16 from the field, and had three assists for good measure.
Tate Unruh was second on the team with 14 points, shooting 4/11 from the floor. Freshman Jordan Wilson chipped in eight, along with three assists and no turnovers, which is big in comparison to the four turnovers from Corey Spence.
Most importantly, the Bears defense played well, holding K-State to 34% shooting, including 2/19 from long-range. The Wildcats also missed 17 free throws on the night.
I'm not sure how Kansas State will do this year, and at this point, that doesn't really matter. What does matter is that Northern Colorado started the season on the road and upset a Big 12 team. They will be feeling pretty good this season, for good reason.
College basketball is back!
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