HONOLULU -- Northern Colorado senior guard Will Figures scored 20 points to lead the Bears past the Southern Utah basketball team 73-51 at the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii Sunday night.
NCU took advantage of 31 Thunderbird turnovers, which was one shy of tying the NCAA Division I record of turnovers in a game set by Albany on Nov. 9 in a 75-32 loss to Syracuse.
Nineteen of the team's 31 turnovers were committed in the first half.
"Our youth showed tonight," assistant SUU head coach Ron Carling said in a post game interview with Power 91's Art Challis. "When you have 31 turnovers against good pressure with young guys, you're going to have a lot of turnovers. Our young guards struggled."
The T-Birds (0-2) shot 59 percent from the field in the second half to ease the damage caused by the turnovers and finish with 18 for 40 (45 percent) from the floor in the loss.
However, SUU outrebounded the Bears 35-27 in the game, including 23-16 on defensive rebounds.
Sophomore forward Matt Massey led SUU with 17 points and 13 rebounds for his first career collegiate double-double. Massey also led the T-Birds with seven turnovers.
Senior guard Davis Baker added 10 points for SUU in the loss, while sophomore guard Jake Nielson had four points and four rebounds.
Four players finished with double-digit figures in scoring for the Bears led by Figures.
Freshman forward Hauns Brereton finished the game with 13 points, while junior guard Devon Beitzel and freshman guard Elliot Lloyd chipped in with 10 points apiece for NCU.
The Bears led throughout the entirety of the game, including 40-22 at the halftime break.
NCU finished the game shooting 43 percent from the field and stole the 14 times to conceal the win.
The team will conclude its stay in Hawaii Monday night against McNeese State. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. Hawaiian, 10:30 Mountain time in Honolulu.