By Josh Rasmussen
Sophomore guard Nick Livi finished his last game in Christianson Gymnasium with 30 points to help the Cardinals sweep Colorado Northwestern, outscoring them 198 to 125 in games played Feb. 16 and 17.
Saturday’s Sophomore Night couldn’t have ended any better for NIC, defeating conference opponent Colorado Northwestern 96-69. NIC, now 7-9 in the conference, scored the game’s first point off a Scott Stockwell three-pointer. Colorado tied the score twice, but never took the lead.
Five minutes into the game, Livi hit one of his five three-pointers and sent NIC up 8-5. The Cards never looked back, maintaining the lead for the remaining 35 minutes and 41 seconds.
NIC continued to ruffle Colorado’s feathers and for the second straight night, shot free throws off a Colorado technical foul.
NIC went up by 20 points after freshman guard Sean Henderson stole the ball in Spartan territory and took off down the court to treat the crowd to a smooth, two-handed dunk late in the second half, 62-42. Two minutes later, Livi buried yet another shot from beyond the arc and put the Cards up by 25.
“It’s a good way to go at home," NIC head men's basketball coach Jared Phay said about Livi, one of the teams’ five sophomores playing their last home game as a Cardinal. "He was hittin’. You want him just catching the ball and shooting it and that’s what he did tonight.”
In addition to Livi’s 30 points on the night, he also had six rebounds, four steals and shot nine for 10 from the line.
Stockwell, a sophomore and starting guard for the Cards, came away with a double-double scoring 10 points with 10 rebounds and came up two assists short of making his stellar performance a triple double.
“Stockwell just plays so hard; he’s all over the court. He does a little bit of everything,” Phay said. “He doesn’t have to be scoring to make us better.”
NIC’s second leading scorer on the night was Henderson with 16 points, 10 of them coming in a four-minute period in the second half. He had five rebounds and a pair of steals.
Tresean Owens, who had a combined 23 minutes of playing time in the three games previous to Friday’s weekend opener, played 18 minutes, shot four for six from the field and 100 percent from the line to add 12 points to the Cards’ total.
Overall, NIC shot 50 percent from the field and 77 percent from the line.“I was proud of my guys; we did what we needed to do tonight,” Phay said.
NIC travels south next to face the College of Eastern Utah (8-8 in the SWAC) on Feb. 23 and 24. The Cardinals have yet to beat CEU having lost to them twice earlier in the year.
“We’re right in the mix with (CEU) and Salt Lake,” Phay said. “We have to lobby for position in the SWAC standings.”