November 19, 2009

Women's Basketball Starts Consolation Bracket Play

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Consolation Bracket
Northern Colorado heads to Arkansas-Little Rock for the consolation rounds of the Preseason WNIT. The Bears take on the Trojans on Friday at 7:30, while Eastern Illinois and UTEP play at 5:00 in the other half of the bracket. The two losers meet on Saturday at 4:30, while the two winners square off at 7:00.

New Faces
Two of the three other teams in the WNIT consolation bracket, the Bears have never faced before. Arkansas-Little Rock and Eastern Illinois are both new opponents for Northern Colorado, while the Bears hold a 4-2 advantage in the six previous meetings against UTEP.

NC vs UTEP
Northern Colorado is 4-2 all-time against the Miners with the last meeting coming in 2005. The Bears are 2-1 both in Greeley and El Paso and the two teams have never met on a neutral court. The series began in 1976, with a 55-49 victory in El Paso, and happened once a year for four years and then the series took a 25-year hiatus before the teams met again in 2004.

Scouting Arkansas-Little Rock
Arkansas-Little Rock lost its opening game of the season and the Preseason WNIT 67-58 at Oklahoma State. A year ago, the Trojans posted a record of 26-7 and 16-2 in the SunBelt winning the West division. They return four starters from last season's squad. Chastity Reed led the team with a double-double including 22 points and 14 rebounds. Kim Sitzmann also scored in double figures with 19 points. Shannika Butler led with two assists and three steals.

Scouting Eastern Illinois
The Panthers started the year with a loss to the other OSU in the WNIT, Ohio State, dropping a 91-68 decision in Columbus. Last season, Eastern Illinois posted a record of 29-4 with a 15-3 mark in Ohio Valley Conference play, losing in the finals of the OVC tournament in double overtime to Austin Peay. Kelsey Wyss led the Panthers in the opener with 12 points, while Ta'Kenya Nixon chipped in 10. Maggie Kloak led them on the boards with seven, while Nixon had a team-best five assists and Wyss had three steals.

Scouting UTEP
The Miners dropped their opening game at Florida Gulf Coast, 66-54 after digging a hole early in the game. Jareica Hughes led the way in scoring with 12 points while Timika Williams brought down a team-best eight rebounds. Hughes also led the way with three assists and two steals. Last season, UTEP sported a record of 18-12 overall and an 11-5 mark in Conference USA play, losing in the conference tournament in overtime to Marshall. Hughes and Williams are the top two returning scorers, while Williams also led the club in rebounds a year ago.

Against The Sun Belt
A total of 39 of the 41 games played against teams from the Sun Belt have come against in-state rival Denver. The Bears hold a 20-19 edge over the Pioneers but are 0-2 against other teams in the league with one loss each to Florida International and North Texas. The last meeting against a Sun Belt squad was an 88-59 setback against the Pioneers in 2007.

Against The Ohio Valley
The Bears have only played one game against a team from the Ohio Valley Conference, winning a 60-49 competition against Southeast Missouri State in the New Mexico State Thanksgiving Tournament during the 2007-08 season. Northern Colorado has never faced the other 10 teams in the league.

Against Conference USA
Of the 12 teams in Conference USA, the Bears have only ever faced UTEP, holding the 4-2 advantage in the all-time series against the Miners.

On This Date
Northern Colorado is 7-2 in games played on November 20, including winning its last seven contests. The last game came in 2007, a 70-60 victory over Colorado State. The team is 0-1 on the road with a 7-1 mark at home on the 20th. On November 21, the Bears have amassed an all-time record of 6-3, 4-1 at home, 2-1 on the road and 0-1 in neutral court games. The last game on the 21st was a 51-52 setback at Drake in 2004.

A Look Back At New Mexico
In the opening round of the Preseason WNIT, the Northern Colorado women's basketball team dropped an 81-59 decision at New Mexico in front of 7,068 fans. The Bears were led by senior Whitley Cox with 14 points, while redshirt freshman Lauren Oosdyke tallied 13 points and tied for the team lead with seven rebounds with junior guard Courtney Stoermer. Cox also led the club with four assists and three steals. Northern Colorado shot .310 from the field for the game and hit just 2-of-20 from beyond the arc. They did shot .818 from the free throw line, however, making 21-of-26.

Now Appearing
With her 14 points in the opener at New Mexico, senior guard Whitley Cox now ranks in the top-10 in scoring at Northern Colorado with 1,062 points. With four more points she will move into ninth past Sandy Dorn (1993-97).

1. Missy Borell, 1999-03 1,866
2. Trish Williamson, 1987-91 1,590
3. Jenny Edgerly, 1985-89 1,462
4. Shelley Lindstrom, 1988-92 1,409
5. Diane Worner, 1980-84 1,353
6. Lou Piel, 1976-80 1,260
7. Missy McVoy, 1994-98 1,141
8. Jill Reifschneider, 1993-97 1,121
9. Sandy Dorn, 1993-97 1,065
10. Whitley Cox, 2005-pres. 1,062

Tough Start
The Bears start the season on the road for six of the first seven games of the year and are on the road the entire month of November. The team makes up for the long road stretch with four home games in six days in the middle of December.

Helping Hand
Junior guard Courtney Stoermer is rapidly approaching being ranked in the top 10 in career assists at Northern Colorado. Stoermer currently has 211 assists, needing just 15 more to tie Tonya Kluck (1993-95) for 11th all-time.

1. Kara Ketterer, 1996-00 517
2. Jenny Gallagher, 1994-97 361
3. Edie Byerly, 1984-88 345
4. Terri Mawhinney, 1985-89 286
5. Danielle Hagen, 2003-08 265
6. Jamie Schrier, 1983-86 249
7. Lisa Gurzick, 1989-93 244
7. Renee L'Heureux, 1981-85 244
9. Jill Fadenrecht, 1999-03 237
9. Denise Nehme, 1988-93 237
11. Tonya Kluck, 1993-95 226
Courtney Stoermer, 2008-pres. 211

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 are also 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 media 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.

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 238 consecutive games, dating all the way back to Jan. 20, 2001 at South Dakota State.