Bears top CSUN for West Coast win 12/10/2022 | Men’s Basketball | Box ScoreNORTHRIDGE, Calif.- Connecting from deep early and converting at the free throw line with the game in question, Northern Colorado defeated CSUN, 70-63, on Saturday to even its season record.
Dalton Knecht led the Northern Colorado (5-5) offense early with 3-of-3 makes from distance as the Bears claimed a 19-6 lead in the opening minutes.
The Bear continued to hit 50 percent from deep through the first half of play, but with the team cooling off from beyond the arc after the break, UNC attacked the rim in the final minutes to generate multiple trips to the free throw line.
In a near wire-to-wire win, UNC maintained a lead in all but 38 seconds of play. CSUN scored the opening bucket of the contest before Knecht’s first make exchanged the advantage.
Staying within striking distance after being down by as many as 13 points, the Matadors held the Bears without a field goal for more than eight minutes of play to eventually snare a 50-48 lead following an Atin Wright ‘and-1’ with [8:32] remaining on the clock.
Ending the cold streak, Matt Johnson II struck on a contested 3-pointer in the corner for a 54-50 lead.
The Bears were held to only 29.2 percent from the floor in the second half but went 15-to-18 at the charity stripe to secure the victory.
In total, UNC converted 21-of-27 from the free throw line. The Bears have connected on at least 15 shots from the stripe in seven of the team’s 10 contests.
Daylen Kountz led the Bears with 19 pints while Johnson II closed the evening with an 18-point performance that included an 8-of-9 effort from the free throw line. In addition to 16 points, Knecht corralled a game-high 13 rebounds to help the Bears to a 43-37 edge on the glass.
The Bears will return to action on Dec. 18 when they stay in-state to face the University of Colorado. Opening tip against the Buffalos is set for 3 p.m.