December 14, 2009

Busy Week Begins Tuesday With Mesa State

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Northern Colorado Notes | Big Sky Conference Notes

Calm Before The Storm
When Northern Colorado takes the court against Mesa State on Tuesday it will be the first game in eight days, but it starts a stretch of four home contests in seven days as they play every other day. The Bears host Mesa State on Tuesday, Bradley on Thursday, St. Mary's on Saturday and Colorado State on Monday as part of a double header with the men's team.

Win At Home, Split On The Road
The old adage held true for the Bears in their last three games as the team defeated Colorado Christian 79-77 in overtime in Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion, before winning at Wichita State 65-54 and falling at #24 Kansas 81-54 last Sunday. Against Wichita State, senior guard Whitley Cox led the team with 19 points, while junior guard Courtney Stoermer had 15 points, five assists, five steals, five rebounds and four blocked shots. Junior forward Lara Merritt scored a season-best 13 and freshman forward Lauren Oosdyke narrowly missed a double-double with 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds. At Kansas, freshman guard Victoria Timm exploded for a career-best 18 points, while Cox had 14 and Stoermer chipped in 10. Oosdyke again grabbed nine rebounds to lead all players.

NC vs Mesa State
Northern Colorado owns a commanding 14-4 record against Mesa State with a 6-2 mark in Greeley. The Bears have won the last two meetings with the 2-5 Mavericks and this is the first contest between the two since 2006 when the Bears were victorious 86-58 at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion. Both teams have faced Colorado Christian this season. Northern Colorado defeated the Cougars 79-77 in overtime, while Mesa State fell 46-40 at Colorado Christian on Dec. 4 in both teams conference opener.

NC vs Bradley
Thursday will be the first meeting between the Bradley Braves and Northern Colorado Bears in women's basketball.

Scouting Mesa State
The Mavericks are currently 2-5 on the season after splitting games over the weekend. They lost to Regis on Saturday but bounced back to defeat Metro State on Sunday. Mesa State is 1-3 in RMAC play and the Bears will be the fifth-straight in-state team they play. Both teams have faced Colorado Christian this season. NC defeated the Cougars 79-77 in overtime, while Mesa State fell 46-40 on Dec. 4. Jennifer Landers is the only Maverick averaging double figures in scoring at 11.9 per game and she also leads the team with 5.1 rebounds a contest.

Scouting Bradley
The Braves are 2-5 on the year with identical 1-2 marks at home and on the road and are 0-1 in neutral site games. Both the Bears and Braves have lost to Arkansas-Little Rock this season with NC falling 55-43 at UALR, while BU lost 58-51 at home. Katie Yohn leads the team with 10.4 points per game, while Sonya Harris averages a team-best 11.4 rebounds a contest and she also has 15 blocked shots.

Against The RMAC
Northern Colorado has played all 14 teams in the RMAC on at least one occasion and has a non-losing record against all 14 squads. All-time, the Bears are 138-46 against RMAC teams, having faced Metro State and Regis 32 times each.

Against The Missouri Valley
The Bears are searching for their second-straight win against the Missouri Valley Conference this season. NC is currently 1-5 against The Valley after defeating Wichita State 65-54 on December 4.

On This Date
Northern Colorado is just 2-8 in games played on Dec. 15, but haven't seen action since 2005. The last home game on the 15th was back in 1993, a 69-56 victory over Cal Poly Pomona. The Bears have lost their last three on the 15th. On Dec. 17, the team is 4-3 with a 1-1 mark in Butler-Hancock. The last game, in 2007, was a 68-37 setback at #24 Wyoming and the last home game was back in 1991, a 73-66 loss to Regis.

Two-of-Five
Northern Colorado is the only team in the Big Sky Conference to have two players ranked among the top five in scoring in the statistics. Junior guard Courtney Stoermer ranks third averaging 15.3 per game, while senior guard Whitley Cox is fifth at 14.9 a contest.

A Little of This, Little of That
In the win at Wichita State, guard Courtney Stoermer had an unbelievable stat line. The junior was second on the team with 15 points, tied for second on the team with five rebound and led the squad with five assists, five steals and a career-best four blocked shots. Both the assists and steals were season bests as well.

Searching For A Century
On Tuesday against Mesa State, senior guard Whitley Cox will play in the 100th game of her career. She is also just nine steals from recording her 100th, while junior guard Courtney Stoermer needs two three-pointers to become one of just 11 players in Northern Colorado to sink 100 triples.

Freshman Starts
In the last three games, head coach Jaime White has used three different starting lineups and the two freshmen, Lauren Oosdyke and Victoria Timm, each got a start. Oosdyke started at Kansas in the last game, scoring seven and leading the team with nine rebounds. Timm got the start against Colorado Christian, netting six points, five rebounds and four assists in the overtime win.

Steady Stoermer
With the chance to be one of the most prolific players in Northern Colorado history, junior guard Courtney Stoermer continues to chip away in the record book. Stoermer has scored at least seven points in the last 22 games and tallied her 800th career point at Kansas. Stoermer also moved into 11th all-time in assists with 227, needing 10 more to tie for 10th. She already ranks ninth with 211 free throws in her career and is five steals shy of cracking the top 10 in that category.

A Month Away
The last time the Bears played the entire month of November on the road was in 2004-05 before playing in Butler on Dec. 2 in game five. It is actually the fourth time since 1999-00 the Bears have not played a home game in the 11th month and the seventh time overall.

Huskies of Honor
Assistant coach Paige Sauer will be honored on Dec. 23 along with the other 16 members of the 1999-00 team who are being inducted as a group into the "Huskies of Honor" program at Connecticut after winning the national championship.

Cox Heads Downtown
Senior guard Whitley Cox nailed a career-high four-three pointers in the win over Colorado Christian, bringing her season total to seven. Last season, Cox only hit two triples and her season high is just nine from beyond the arc. She is also shooting .438 from the three-point line, which ranks among the Big Sky Conference leaders.

On The Plus Side
The overtime win against Colorado Christian marked the 11th extra-period win in school history and the Bears are 11-10 in games that go additional minutes. In games at home, NC is now 4-6 and have won the last three at home.

Downtown Kaisha Brown
Sophomore forward Kaisha Brown went a perfect 6-for-6 from the three-point line at Cal State Northridge, scoring a career-best 20 points in the victory. Brown is second on the team with 15 three-pointers and tied for the lead with a .405 shooting percentage, both of which rank among the top 10 in the Big Sky Conference.

Double, Double Toil and Trouble
Redshirt freshman Lauren Oosdyke recorded the first double-double of the season for the Bears, scoring 14 and grabbing 11 rebounds against Eastern Illinois. Junior Jayne Strand answered with one against Colorado Christian, scoring 13 and recording 12 rebounds.

Climbing Cox
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. She has 119 points on the year bringing her career tally to 1,167 to rank seventh. With 94 more points she will move into sixth past Lou Piel (1976-80).

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.

Helping Hand
Junior guard Courtney Stoermer is rapidly approaching being ranked in the top 10 in career assists at Northern Colorado. Stoermer currently has 227 assists, needing just 10 more to tie Jill Fadenrecht (1999-03) and Denise Nehme (1993-95) for 10th.

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.

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.

Going Streaking
Northern Colorado has now made at least one three-pointer in 242 consecutive games, dating all the way back to Jan. 20, 2001 at South Dakota State.

Stellar In The Classroom
Six current Bears were named to the Big Sky All-Academic Team last season in Kaisha Brown, Lizzie Cooper, Courtney Kranz, Cassie Lambrecht, Lara Merritt and Courtney Stoermer.

Bears Add Four Freshmen
Three Colorado and one Minnesota high school standouts signed National Letters of Intent to play women's basketball at the University of Northern Colorado, announced Head Coach Jaime White. Molly Duehn, Kirsten Hess, Kim Lockridge and D'Shara Strange make up the signing class for the Bears and will enroll in classes in the fall of 2010.

Molly Duehn, 6-1, G, Burnsville, Minn. (Burnsville HS)
Duehn is a three-time all-conference selection as well as a two-time all-state pick... She has been named the team MVP the last three seasons and has been named the Metro Player of the Week three times throughout her career... Also is a middle blocker for the volleyball team, getting named Most Improved Player two years... As a junior, averaged 17.5 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game and is a captain for her senior year... Is a member of the National Honor Society and has helped lead her AAU team to four state championships.

Kirsten Hess, 6-2, C, Denver, Colo. (JK Mullen HS)
Hess was an all-state honorable mention selection a year ago and a second-team All-Centennial League selection... Also competes in volleyball and track & field for the Mustangs where she was the 2007 Centennial League champion in the shot put... Is a three-time honor roll member and was named to the 2008-09 all-state Academic Team... Helped lead Mullen to the state title game in her junior season and is a captain for her senior year... Plays for Colorado Hoopsters.

Kim Lockridge, 6-0, F, Littleton, Colo. (Heritage HS)
Lockridge was named to both the all-conference and all-state teams in her junior campaign after averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds per game... Has earned three letters each in volleyball, basketball and track & field... Helped the Eagles finish in the top eight in the state a year ago.

D'Shara Strange, 5-10, G, Fountain, Colo. (Fountain Fort Carson HS)
Strange is a three-time all-conference selection and a three-year captain heading into her senior season... Is also a four-year honor roll selection... Averages 13 points and six rebounds a game.