December 29, 2009

Women's Basketball Readies For Second-Straight MWC Opponent

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NC Game Notes | AF Game Notes | NC Season Statistics | Big Sky Notes

Back To Back
Senior guard Whitley Cox became just the third player in Northern Colorado history to earn Big Sky Player of the Week honors and now she has done so in back-to-back weeks after leading the Bears to a 3-1 mark over a four-game home stretch. Cox has scored 87 points with 21 rebounds and 10 assists in the last four contests and is the first player since Mandy Morales from Montana earned back-to-back nods in Jan/Feb of last season.

A Month To Remember
The Bears are guaranteed a winning record in December after posting a 5-2 mark to this point. It is the first winning 12th month of the year since the 2003-04 team went 5-4.

NC vs Air Force
Wednesday marks the 36th meeting between Northern Colorado and Air Force. The Bears are 6-12 all-time at the Air Force Academy but started the season there a year ago with a 73-53 victory and are 3-2 in the last five contests at the Academy. The only other team instate the Bears have played more often is Denver at 39 games.

Scouting Air Force
The Falcons are 2-9 on the season and have dropped four straight. Air Force lost a 62-45 decision to Bradley two nights after Northern Colorado defeated the Braves 75-58 for the only common opponent this year. Raimee Beck is the only Falcon averaging double figures in scoring at 14.9 per game, while she also leads the team with 7.7 rebounds a contest. Ardie McInelly has used the same five starters in all 11 games, but 15 different players have seen action.

The Last Meeting
In the season opener for both teams in 2008-09, the Bears won a 73-53 game at Air Force. Three scored in double figures as Cassie Lambrecht had 13, Courtney Stoermer scored 12 and Kate Kevorken added 11. Whitley Cox led the team with five rebounds and Stoermer chipped in five assists and three steals. The Falcons were led by Raimee Beck with 18 points, while Kim Kreke had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds and each player had four steals. Air Force scored first, but NC led the rest of the game and shot over 50 percent from the field in both halves, including .579 (11-19) from beyond the arc.

Against The Mountain West
The Bears are now 35-75 all-time against the teams in the Mountain West Conference after defeating Colorado State last Monday and is one of only two teams in the Big Sky this season with a win over the league (Weber State defeated BYU). NC has played Air Force more than any other team, with 35 meetings (Air Force 14-21, BYU 2-4, Colorado State 10-18, New Mexico 3-4, San Diego State 0-2, UNLV 0-3, Utah 0-6, Wyoming 6-17).

On This Date
Northern Colorado is 3-5 in games played on Dec. 30 with a 1-3 record in road games. In 2007, the Bears lost a 73-62 game at St. Mary's. NC is 1-0 against instate competition on the 30th after defeating Mesa State 69-64 in Grand Junction in 1993 for the last road victory.

Unusual Suspects
In the last several games, Northern Colorado has been getting some outstanding rebounding totals from some of the smallest players on the floor. In the win over Colorado State senior guard Lizzie Cooper tied for the team lead with a career-best eight boards, while freshman Victoria Timm was second on the team with six rebounds against Bradley and led the Bears with eight against Mesa State.

Scoring At Will
Senior guard Whitley Cox has taken over the scoring column of late with 71 points in the last three games. That three game stretch is the most for the Bears since Danielle Hagen scored 72 in the last three contests of the 2007-08 season, which included her school record-tying performance of 37 in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Tournament against Portland State. Cox now leads the league, averaging 17.2 points per game and ranks 72nd in NCAA Division I through games played on Dec. 20. Cox also leads the Big Sky Conference with four 20+ point scoring performances on the year and now has 21 in her career.

1-2 Punch
Junior guard Courtney Stoermer and senior guard Whitley Cox rank 1-2 in the Big Sky statistics in minutes per game, respectively. Stoermer averages 35.8 and Cox 33.3 minutes per game. The duo has also scored 380 points this season (31.7 per game), which is 49.1 percent of the team's total and they account for almost half of the team's assists (67 of 135) and steals (40 of 81). The Bears are the only team to have two ranked among the top five in scoring in the league statistics as Cox leads the way at 17.2, while Stoermer is fourth at 14.5 points per game.

Making The Free Ones
In the win over Colorado State, the Bears shot .938 from the free throw line, making 15 of 16. The percentage ties the school Division I record from Dec. 2, 2005 at Nevada with a minimum of 10 made. The Bears are up to .698 from the free throw line after connecting at a .780 pace on the recent home stand.

Crashing The Boards
Over the team's four game homestand they outrebounded the opposition 38.5 to 31.8 per game. The Bears tallied 27 more rebounds total, grabbing more than Mesa State, St. Mary's and Colorado State. NC now ranks second in the Big Sky in rebounding defense with 37.2 per game and held Colorado State without an offensive rebound in the first half.

It Doesn't Matter
Five games ago, head coach Jaime White made a change in the starting lineup, replacing sophomore Kaisha Brown with freshman Lauren Oosdyke, but the switch doesn't seem to make a difference to either player. Oosdyke averaged 8.4 points and 6.7 rebounds in the first seven games coming off the bench and is now scoring 8.8 with 6.8 boards per game. On the flip side, Brown averaged 7.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in seven starts and has averaged 7.4 points and 2.8 rebounds in the last five off the bench.

Starting The Watch
Junior guard Courtney Stoermer is inching closer the 1,000 point milestone in her career. She currently has 859 points, needing just 141 more to become the 15th player in school history to score 1,000. With her current season scoring average of 14.5 per game she should break the barrier at Denver on Feb. 3.

Closing In
Several players are approaching career milestones. Senior guard Whitley Cox needs seven more points to move into sixth on the all-time charts and is 13 assists shy of appearing on the career top-10 list. Junior forward Lara Merritt needs 12 more points for the 200th of her career, while junior guard Courtney Stoermer needs five rebounds for 300 and six assists for 250.

Stop Thief!
Junior guard Courtney Stoermer leads the team with 25 steals on the season and currently ranks ninth all-time with 136. With six more she will tie Diane Worner (1980-84) for eighth and seven will tie her with Shelley Lindstrom (1988-92) for seventh. She is also just 54 shy of the school record of 189 steals held by Renee L'Heureux (1981-85).

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

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 23 three-pointers and leads the team with a .426 shooting percentage, both of which rank among the top six 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 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 206 points on the year bringing her career tally to 1,254 to rank seventh. With seven 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 now ranks in the top 10 in career assists at Northern Colorado, while senior guard Whitley Cox is rapidly approaching the top 10. Stoermer currently has 244 assists to tie for seventh, while Cox is 13 shy of 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 Rio Grande (825 9th Street) on Tuesdays from 6:00-7:00 p.m. during January. 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 249 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.