February 28, 2009

Big Sky Standings Still A Mess After Bears Lose To Bobcats

BOXSCORE: at Montana State

BOZEMAN, Mont. - With the four games in the Big Sky Conference tonight, a win for Northern Colorado would have helped clear up the jumbled mess in the middle of the standings, unfortunately, Montana State had the same idea and pulled out the 78-69 victory on Saturday evening. The Bears move to 12-16 on the season and 5-9 in Big Sky play, while the Bobcats improve to 13-13 overall and 7-7 in league action.

"If we would have had 15 more free throws like they did, we might have had the win," said Head Coach Jaime White. "We have to shoot better than 33 percent and better than 25 percent from the three-point line. I thought our kids did good in the last 10 minutes when we pressed. You kind of chance it when you throw up those last second threes, you either throw it in or throw it out.

"Tonight, I thought the difference was foul trouble. We didn't defend the way we needed to. The other thing is, we run out of gas. We needed a little more defense inside."

Junior guard Whitley Cox led all scorers with 20 points, while sophomore forward Kate Kevorken scored 15 and led all players by tying her career-high in rebounds at 13. Sophomore guard Courtney Stoermer also scored 14 points and had a game-high five assists, while freshman guard Cassie Lambrecht tied her career-high with three steals.

Montana State was led by freshman guard Katie Bussey with 19 points, while Lyndi Seidensticker tallied 14, Sarah Strand scored 11 and Jenny Heringer chipped in 10. Senior forward Nubia Garcia led the Bobcats with eight rebounds, but was able to take just two shots with the pressure defense the Bears were applying.

The Bears jumped out to an early 7-2 lead off five points from Kevorken. MSU scored the next six for the 8-7 lead. NC regained the lead with five straight points but the Bobcats went on a 10-0 run for the 18-12 advantage with 11:51 on the clock. Northern Colorado took back the lead at 24-23 off a Cox jumper, but two free throws by Heringer gave the Bobcats the lead for good.

With Idaho State's victory over Northern Arizona, Sacramento State's win over Weber State and Portland State's win over Eastern Washington, the Bears are now tied for sixth with Eastern Washington.

The final week of the Big Sky Conference sees Northern Colorado head to Northern Arizona on Thursday and Sacramento State on Saturday. Tip against the Lumberjacks is set for 6:35 p.m.