January 27, 2009

Women's Hoops Hosts Two More

COMPLETE NOTES: Sacramento State, Northern Arizona

Three and Four
Northern Colorado hosts Sacramento State and Northern Arizona in games three and four of a four-game home stretch. The two games conclude the first half of Big Sky Conference play, where the Bears had six of eight at home. NAU is currently tied for fifth in the standings, while SAC is eighth and NC is third with its 3-3 record. After the conclusion of the Northern Arizona game, the Bears will be hosting an alumni event with refreshments provided. Registration is available online at: www.uncalumni.org/events.

On These Dates
Northern Colorado is 8-2 in games played on January 29 and 4-7 in contests on the 31st. On the 29th, the Bears are a perfect 3-0 at home and have not played on this date since 2005 when they defeated Utah Valley, 75-57. The last day of January has the Bears with a 3-2 record at home and this is the third straight year they have played on it. In 2007, NC defeated Sacramento State 70-45 at home, while last season they lost a 64-62 decision at the Hornets.

The Series
Northern Colorado sports a 2-2 record against the Hornets and a 6-2 record against the Lumberjacks. Against Sacramento State, the home team has won each meeting in the two years the teams have both been members of the Big Sky. Northern Arizona won both meetings in 2007, while the Bears won both last year and all four meetings between 1976 and 1979 and are 3-1 in Greeley.

Scouting The Hornets
Sacramento State is 2-5 in Big Sky Conference play with victories over Weber State and Montana State. The Hornets' win over the Bobcats was also in overtime as they won 88-86 and the Bears won 88-82 in an extra frame on Thursday. Overall, Sacramento is 4-16 on the season with losses to common opponents San Jose State (49-48) and Pacific (76-64). The Bears defeated SJSU (101-63) and fell at Pacific (72-64) in the second and third games of the season. Charday Hunt and Atty Boyer lead the team with 14.0 and 12.1 points per game, respectively, while Erika Edwards is averaging a team-best 8.3 rebounds per game. The game could be a shootout from beyond the arc, as the Bears are averaging 7.53 per game this season and the Hornets lead in conference play with 7.43 a game.

Scouting The Lumberjacks
Northern Arizona is 6-14 overall and 3-4 in Big Sky action. The Lumberjacks wins in league are over Sacramento State, Montana State and Idaho State. In non-conference, NC and NAU faced only UMKC in common, with the Bears losing 69-49 in Kansas City and the Lumberjacks winning 52-49 in Flagstaff. Lauren Hoisington and Sade Cunningham are the top two scorers with 11.0 and 10.2 points per game, respectively. Katie Schafer leads the club with 5.8 rebounds a contest.

Last Time Out
For the third weekend in Big Sky Conference play, the Bears split games as they defeated Montana State 88-82 in overtime and lost 80-65 to first-place Montana. Junior guard Whitley Cox exploded for a career-high 31 points in the win over MSU, but took an elbow to the face after playing just 11 minutes against UM. Sophomore guard Courtney Stoermer scored 22 against the Bobcats and 16 against the Lady Griz, while sophomore forward Kate Kevorken tallied 15 against MSU and tied her season high with 23 against UM.

It's Been A While
Thursday's game against Montana State marked the first time in Head Coach Jaime White's career at Northern Colorado the Bears played an overtime game. The last overtime contest for NC was exactly three years ago, Jan. 22, 2006 when the Bears fell 72-71 at Lamar. The last overtime win for the Bears prior to Thursday evening was Feb. 3, 2004 at Texas Pan-American and the last home overtime game was an 84-80 win against Saint Cloud State on Jan. 2, 2003.

First To 30
Junior guard Whitley Cox tied the season-best output in scoring in the Big Sky Conference this season with 31 points. She is also just the fourth player at Northern Colorado in the Division I era to notch 30 or more points in a game. Her tally took her over the 900 point barrier for her career, giving her 919. It was also the 15th time in her career she has scored 20 or more points in a game. The most points scored in a game came in the finale last season as Danielle Hagen scored 37 against Portland State in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Conference Tournament.

Hitting The Free Ones
Against Montana, Northern Colorado shot a season-best .844 (27-of-32) from the free throw line. The Bears have done a great job of getting to the line recently as they have scored more than 20 points from the charity stripe in the last three games. Against Montana State, they shot .778 (28-of-36) and the two games brought the season average above 70 percent for the first time all year.

Trading Off
Sophomores Kate Kevorken and Courtney Stoermer seem to have decided to trade 20-point nights as one of the two of them have scored more than 20 in each of the last four games. Stoermer tallied a career-best 25 against Eastern Washington, while the next game Kevorken had 21 against Portland State. Stoermer answered with 22 against Montana State and then Kevorken tied her season-high with 23 against Montana. Since the team lost leading scorer Jamie Schroeder to injury, the pair of sophomores have stepped up with Stoermer leading the way with 17.8 points per game, while Kevorken has averaged 13.7 per game. In the first 13 games of the year, Stoermer averaged 10.1, while Kevorken was at 8.4, more than making up the 11.3 per game Schroeder was averaging.

Take Aways
Northern Colorado currently leads the Big Sky in conference play with 8.0 steals per game. Twice in six games, the Bears have recorded 12 steals and have tallied at least four in all six contests. Sophomore guard Courtney Stoermer leads the way and is tied for second in the league with 2.33 steals per game, while junior guard Whitley Cox ranks 13th with 1.33 a contest.

Going Streaking
Sophomore forward Kate Kevorken scored the final nine points of the first half against Montana, tallying her longest scoring streak of the season and the second longest on the team. Senior forward Jamie Schroeder scored 10 straight points for the Bears against Connecticut in the MTE Caribbean Classic. Freshman forward Kaisha Brown, junior guard Whitley Cox and Kevorken (2) have also had eight point scoring streaks this season.

Stop Thief
Sophomore guard Courtney Stoermer tallied a career high in steals against Eastern Washington with six. The six thefts ties a Division I record at Northern Colorado, tying Amber Elliott from Dec. 2, 2003 against Western State.

Milestones
Junior guard Whitley Cox tallied the 900th point of her career against Montana State and now has 919, needing just 81 for 1,000, while sophomore forward Kate Kevorken scored her 500th career point against Montana and stands at 516. Freshman guard Cassie Lambrecht needs just seven more to score her 100th career point, while sophomore forward Lara Merritt needs seven rebounds to reach the same milestone.

Triple Threat
The trio of Kate Kevorken (35), Kaisha Brown (30) and Courtney Stoermer (29) are dangerous from the outside. The three players have combined to make 94 three-pointers on the year, two more than the Bears' opposition. Three other players, Lizzie Cooper, Cassie Lambrecht and Jamie Schroeder have all sunk more than 10 triples this season, aiding the Bears in making 143 for a league-leading 7.5 per game. The Northern Colorado single season record for three-pointers made is 265. The trio are averaging 4.95 three-pointers per game, which would rank them among the top half of all Division I teams.

Now Appearing
Sophomore forward Kate Kevorken now stands alone in 10th place on the Northern Colorado career three-pointers made chart with 105. Next on the list is Bailey Dillon (2003-07) and Lindy Kirkland (2001-03) in eighth place with 111 triples each. The school record for three-pointers is 173 by Missy McVoy (1994-98).

Shuffling The Deck
Through the first 19 games, head coach Jaime White has used seven different starting lineups. Only sophomore guard Courtney Stoermer has started all 19 games, while eight players have been on the floor for opening tip. Junior guard Lizzie Cooper has started 18, while junior Whitley Cox has started 16, senior forward Jamie Schroeder has started 13 games, sophomore forward Lara Merritt has started 12, sophomore forward Kate Kevorken has begun 11 and freshmen Kaisha Brown and Courtney Kranz each have three starts.

That's A C For All You Romans
The win against Weber State marked the program's 500th all-time victory, and the record since 1974 is now 502-493. The Bears defeated the Wildcats 66-53 to hit the milestone in the 35th season of women's basketball.

Joining The Elite
Northern Colorado recently announced its Hall of Fame class for 2009 and former women's basketball standout Trish Williamson will be inducted with 11 other members and two teams in late February. Williamson is the only First-Team All-American in school history. She still holds the school's rebounds record with 951, as well as ranks second in scoring (1,590 points) and field goals made (663) and third in both free throws made (258) and steals (161). She becomes the eighth women's basketball player and just the third student-athlete to play only women's basketball (the other five were multi-sport athletes) for the Bears.

What An Honor
Sophomore guard Courtney Stoermer became the first Bear this season to be named the Big Sky player of the week, earning the award after scoring a career-best 24 points against Johnson & Wales. Stoermer hit 5-of-6 from beyond the arc and established a new Division I program record, shooting .900 (9-of-10) from the field. She also tallied two steals, three assists, two blocked shots and two rebounds in just 23 minutes of play. This is the first career award for Stoermer.

Passing Game
Against Washington, NC recorded 21 assists on 22 baskets, with only a drive to the hoop by junior Whitley Cox being unassisted in the entire contest. It is the best assist-to-basket ratio since the team began the transition to Division I in 2003-04. Seven different Bears tallied at least one assist in the win, led by a career-high tying performance of seven from senior forward Jamie Schroeder.

Bring On The Pac-10
Northern Colorado is now a perfect 2-0 against the Pac-10 this season, defeating both Washington and Washington State in non-conference play. The Bears entered the 2008-09 season 6-4 all-time against the Pac-10 but not having faced a member of that conference since the 1978-79 season.

Comeback Kids
For the third time this year, Northern Colorado came back to win a game after entering the locker room trailing on the scoreboard at halftime. The Bears trailed Montana State 29-26 after one half of play, but went on to defeat the Bobcats 88-82 in overtime. Against Weber State, the Bears were down 31-29, but outscored the Wildcats 37-22 in the second stanza for the 13-point victory. The Bears were also down 39-33 at the break against Washington, but outscored them 32-24 in the final 20 minutes for the 65-63 victory. A year ago, the Bears were just 1-13 in games when they trailed at halftime.

All-Tournament Team
Sophomore guard Courtney Stoermer was named to the odwalla Classic All-Tournament team after averaging 15.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, while shooting .563 (9-16) from the floor and .818 (9-11) from the free throw line.

Best In The Big Sky
In the Big Sky Conference statistics, Northern Colorado leads the league both three-point field goal percentage (.363) and three-pointers made per game (7.53) and are second in steals with 7.53. Sophomore guard Courtney Stoermer is the top ranked sophomore in scoring (12.5) and three-point field goal percentage (.426) and second overall, while sophomore Kate Kevorken leads that class in free throw percentage (.769) and freshman Kaisha Brown leads all freshmen in three-point field goal percentage (.400), which is also fourth overall.

Among The Best
Through games played Jan. 25, Northern Colorado ranks 15th in three-pointers made per game (7.53), 31st in three-point field goal percentage (.363) and 55th in turnovers per game (16.1).

Youth Is Served
Northern Colorado has the youngest team in the Big Sky Conference this season as 11 of the 16 on the roster are either freshmen or sophomores. Portland State also has 68.8 percent of its roster as either freshmen or sophomores, but the Bears have six freshmen, compared to four for the Vikings. The Bears also have just one senior on the roster in forward Jamie Schroeder.

Century Mark
Northern Colorado topped the century mark in scoring for just the 15th time in school history and the first time since 2002-03 when they scored 101 against San Jose State. The last time the Bears scored over 100 was 103 against NYIT on Dec. 6, 2003. The school record for points in a game is 115 against Norwich on Jan. 5, 1998.

The Long Ball
Northern Colorado shot .579 from beyond the arc against Air Force, establishing a new school record for three-point field goal percentage (in the Division I era). The Bears made 11-of-19, breaking the old record of .531 (17-32) at Hastings College on Feb. 5, 2004 (minimum 10 makes). Six different Bears made at least one triple.

Gaining Respect
The Big Sky Conference announced the 2008-09 preseason polls for women's basketball and the Bears were chosen to finish fourth by both the coaches and media after finishing fifth a year ago. Montana was picked to repeat as champions, while Portland State and Montana State were nabbed second and third, respectively.

Going Streaking
Northern Colorado has now made at least one three-pointer in 226 consecutive games, dating all the way back to Jan. 20, 2001 at South Dakota State.

Putting It In Writing
Head Coach Jaime White signed Jayne Strand to a National Letter of Intent recently. As a freshman at Kirkwood Community College, Strand averaged five points and 4.2 rebounds per game in helping the team to the Junior College National Championship. She was a three-sport athlete for the Cyclones of Ames HS, earning four letters in cross country and three each in soccer and basketball. She was a three-time all-conference selection in cross country and an honorable mention all-conference pick in basketball as a senior. She was also a multiple time honor roll selection and a two-time academic all-conference pick.