GREELEY, Colo. -- Derrick Barden scored 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as Northern Colorado muscled its way to an 84-66 conference opener against North Dakota on Sunday.
Tim Huskisson, Dominique Lee and Tevin Svihovec each scored 13 points for the Bears (7-3, 1-0 Big Sky). Northern Colorado shot 60 percent from the field, including 7 of 12 from 3-point range, and out-boarded North Dakota 41-25.
Jaron Nash poured in a career-high 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting for North Dakota(3-8, 0-1). Troy Huff added 13, but hit just 3 of 12 from the field as cold-shooting North Dakota shot just 36.9 percent (24-65).
After some early back-and-forth, Barden hit a pair of buckets to give Northern Colorado the lead for good at 12-11. The Bears zoomed away from there, holding North Dakota scoreless for the next seven minutes while building a 32-11 lead.