GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) — The University of Northern Colorado men’s basketball team used a 14-2 run at the end of the first half to seize control against the University of Illinois at Chicago Friday night and capture the 2018 CIT Tournament Championship.
UNC withstood a late rally at the end of the second half to beat the UIC Flames, 76-71, in the finale of the 10th CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
The Bears are the first Big Sky team ever to win an NCAA postseason tournament.
Head coach Jeff Linder’s squad trailed IUC 24-21 in the first half when it build its surged ahead and ran to the locker room with a 35-26 advantage.
In the second half, UNC had its biggest lead of the night, 65-49, with 7:33 to play.
The Flames pulled to within one at 71-70 with 2:06 left on the clock, but could not regain the lead.
Jordan Davis led UNC (26-12) with 29 points.
Scoring 23 points, senior guard Andre Spight eclipsed the all-time record in the Big Sky Conference for points in a season.
UNC is the first team in Big Sky History to score over 3,000 points in a season.
Sophomore guard Marcus Ottey led UIC with 25 points. The Flames (20-16) were seeking their first postseason tournament title in program history.
The CIT Tournament field is composed of participants who belong to “mid-major” conferences and who were not invited to the NCAA Tournament, the National Invitation Tournament, or the College Basketball Invitational.