Missoula, Mont. • The third time was not the charm for Southern Utah.
The Thunderbirds twice beat No. 2 Northern Colorado this season, but Wednesday it was the Bears who came away the 67-56 winners in the opening round of the women's Big Sky Conference Tournament in Dahlberg Arena.
Southern Utah (15-16, 9-12 Big Sky) went into the locker room tied, but a 10-0 run in the second half put UNC in control.
"This is not the outcome to this game that we were hoping for," SUU coach JR Payne said afterward. "We came in very confident in our abilities and our game plan but knowing that we were playing a great team. They have shown excellence all season. We are disappointed in the outcome but proud of our efforts."
Southern Utah, in its first season in the BSC, entered the tournament as the seventh seed. SUU was led by Carli Moreland with a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds.