March 6, 2010

Season Ends Saturday With Loss To Montana

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GREELEY, Colo. - With the entire team wearing the thick white headbands that Northern Colorado women's basketball fans have come to associate with senior guard Whitley Cox, the Bears lost a thriller in the season finale to Montana, 63-60.

The game was a back-and-forth affair throughout with 13 score ties and 15 lead changes but Montana (15-13, 10-6 Big Sky) held on to its last lead, 61-60 with 21 seconds left and added a pair to it with two free throws by junior forward Sarah Ena with six ticks remaining to seal the victory and give the Lady Griz the two-seed at the upcoming Big Sky Conference Tournament.

The Bears end their season with a 14-16 overall record and a 6-10 mark in Big Sky play.

"Montana is tall, strong and they held their position well inside," said Head Coach Jaime White. "We did a good job of keeping the score close and gave us a chance to win and what more can you ask for as a coach. Kaisha (Brown) had a good shot at the end."

Junior guard Courtney Stoermer led the game with 17 points, while Cox tallied 13 and a game-best four assists. Freshman forward Lauren Oosdyke had a team-best 10 rebounds. Stoermer also had two blocks and she and Oosdyke each had two steals.

The Bears shot just .328 for the game, but .381 from beyond the arc as Stoermer hit five. The team also finished well from the line, shooting .778 (14-18) for the game. Montana shot .412 from the field and just .22 from the three-point line and also connected on .826 from the free throw line (19-23).

"It's hard to lose a game by a lot," said White. "But it's tough to lose by a couple knowing you had a chance. I'm proud of how hard our kids battled."

Cox ends her career with 1,581 points, third on the all-time career charts at Northern Colorado and just the second player in school history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 250 assists as she also had 525 boards and 257 assists.

Fellow senior Lizzie Cooper ends her career with a streak of 45 consecutive games with at least one rebound after she tallied four tonight. She also has a +16 assist-to-turnover ratio, ending her three seasons with 139 assists and 123 turnovers.

"These two seniors are really tough kids," said White. "They've really seen the transition in our program. Whitley has been our offensive staple since day one and Lizzie has been through so many trials and has never once complained."