Zach McLemore scored 26 points, and Isaiah Hanson and Ty McGee added 11 apiece for Colorado Christian.
Johnson scored 13 points as the Bears jumped out to a 25-9 lead midway through the first half. Colorado Christian pulled to 33-26 when Johnson made a 3-pointer to spark a 10-0 surge and Northern Colorado led 49-39 at halftime.
The Cougars opened the second half with an 11-5 run to pull to 54-50 with 16 minutes left. Northern Colorado stretched the lead to 76-62 before Hanson made consecutive 3-pointers to pull Colorado Christian to 79-68 with five minutes left. The Cougars then missed five field goals before making a layup with 19 seconds left.