November 12, 2009

Women's Basketball Begins WNIT at New Mexico

COMPLETE GAME NOTES

  • Northern Colorado is the first Big Sky Conference team since Idaho State in 2006 to be selected to participate in the Preseason WNIT.
  • The Bears are 3-3 all-time against New Mexico but have not faced the Lobos since 1979.
  • Seven players on the team started in at least one game last season.
  • Northern Colorado returns 72.6 percent of its scoring and 73.3 percent of its rebounding from the 2008-09 season.
  • In this season's Big Sky Conference preseason polls, the Bears were selected sixth by the coaches and eighth by the media.
  • Senior guard Whitley Cox needs just four points to appear on the career top-10 list in scoring. She sits at 1,048 points.
  • Junior guard Courtney Stoermer is just 15 assists shy of appearing on the career top 10 chart. She has 211 assists in two seasons.
  • Last season, Courtney Stoermer was the only sophomore named to the Big Sky All-Conference teams.
  • Head Coach Jaime White announced the signing of Molly Duehn, Kirsten Hess, Kim Lockridge and D'shara Strange to NLIs.

Starting Off
Northern Colorado is 19-16 all-time in season openers and has won its last two. Last season, the Bears won 73-53 at Air Force. The team is 9-10 in season openers away from Butler-Hancock, which also includes a 3-2 mark in neutral site games.

NC vs New Mexico
Northern Colorado is 3-3 all-time against New Mexico but haven't faced them since 1979. The Bears won the first three games of the series, while the Lobos have won the last three. The Bears are 1-2 in Albuquerque and 2-1 in Greeley. No player on either roster was born the last time the two teams squared off. The Bears have no players from New Mexico on their roster while the Lobos have freshman Emily Stark who played at Highlands Ranch HS.

Scouting The Lobos
New Mexico returns three starters and 10 letterwinners off the 2008-09 team that went 25-11 and lost in the quarterfinals of the WNIT. The Lobos defeated Eastern New Mexico 100-52 in the team's lone exhibition game of the year. New Mexico was picked to finish fourth in the Mountain West Conference Preseason polls and senior guard Amy Beggin was selected to the Preseason team after being named all-conference the last two years. Head Coach Don Flanagan enters his 15th season with the Lobos sporting a record of 308-137. The Lobos have been guaranteed at least three home games in this season's Preseason WNIT.

Against The Mountain West
Last season, the Bears posted a 1-1 record against the Mountain West Conference, defeating Air Force and losing to Colorado State. Northern Colorado has faced every team in the league a multiple of times except for the newest addition in TCU. All-time against teams in the league, the Bears are 34-74.

On This Date
Northern Colorado has played just one game on November 13, a 95-72 victory over New Mexico Highlands in 1998. It was the opening game of the Metro State Invitational and the Bears were the tournament champions.

Quick Recap
The 2008-09 edition of the Bears posted a record of 12-18 and finished seventh in the Big Sky Conference standings. Northern Colorado returns eight letterwinners and four starters from the team for a total of 72.6 percent of its scoring and 73.3 percent of its rebounding. The squad posted a perfect 2-0 record against teams from the Pac-10, defeating both Washington and Washington State in neutral site games during tournaments in Cancun and San Francisco, respectively.

WNIT Selection
For the first time in school history, Northern Colorado will be playing in the Preseason WNIT. The Bears are one of 16 teams in the tournament. Arkansas-Little Rock, Bowling Green, Chicago State, Eastern Illinois, Florida Gulf Coast, Georgia Tech, Marist, New Mexico, North Carolina A&T, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Towson, UTEP, West Virginia and Winthrop will also be competing. The Bears are the first Big Sky Conference team to compete since Idaho State in 2006.

Picked Sixth, Eighth
For not the first time in history, and assuredly not the last, there is discrepancy between the women's basketball coaches and media in the Big Sky Conference. The Big Sky office announced the 2009-10 preseason coaches and media polls. The two groups agreed on the top three picks and the ninth selection, but had the middle of the pack in different orders. Northern Colorado is selected sixth among the coaches with 28 points but eighth in the coaches poll with 66 points. Portland State, Montana and Montana State were tabbed by both groups as the top three, respectively, while Northern Arizona rounded out both polls in ninth. The coaches have Weber State fourth and Idaho State fifth ahead of the Bears, then Eastern Washington and Sacramento State in seventh and eighth, respectively. The media ranked Idaho State fourth, Sacramento State fifth, Weber State sixth and Eastern Washington seventh.

Oh So Close
Senior guard Whitley Cox is just four points away from appearing in the top 10 on the career scoring chart. Cox is one of 14 players in school history to tally 1,000 points in her career as she sits 11th with 1,048 points. In 10th is Jamie Schrier (1983-86) with 1,052 points. With her career scoring average of 11.5 points per game, Cox should move into the top five in school history.

Signing With ESPN
The University of Northern Colorado department of athletics is proud to announce it has partnered with ESPN AM 870 for women's basketball radio broadcasts in 2009-10. All regular season games will be available live both over the airwaves at 870 AM, as well as online via audio streaming at www.espn870.net. Northern Colorado alumnus Jason Alvine will be handling the play-by-play duties for the Bears' action.

Coaches Show
The Jaime White Head Coaches Show will take place at The Den at the Clarion Inn Hotel (701 8th Street) on Tuesdays from 6:00-7:00 p.m. during the months of November and December. Join Coach White and host Jason Alvine as they recap the previous week, preview the upcoming week and talk strategies with fans and players.

Exhibition Review
Northern Colorado split the exhibition season, defeating Regis 86-57 before dropping a 60-52 decision to Metro State. Senior guard Whitley Cox averaged a team-best 17.5 points per game, while sophomore guard Kaisha Brown (10.5) and junior guard Courtney Stoermer (10.0) also averaged double figures. Brown also led the team averaging 7.5 rebounds, while redshirt freshman forward Lauren Oosdyke averaged 6.5 boards. The team struggled from the free throw line, connecting on just .462 from the charity stripe during the two contests, but were a positive 11.5 in turnover margin.

Honored
Guard Courtney Stoermer was named to the Big Sky All-Conference Second Team at the conclusion of the 2008-09 season and was the only sophomore named to either the First or Second team by the league's coaches. Stoermer was the only player in the conference to rank in the top 15 in the league in assists, blocked shots and steals. She also was among the top 15 in scoring, three-point field goal percentage, free throw percentage, three-pointers made and assist-to-turnover ratio.

Going Streaking
Northern Colorado has now made at least one three-pointer in 237 consecutive games, dating all the way back to Jan. 20, 2001 at South Dakota State.