November 26, 2010

WBB Preview: UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara

Going Coastal
Northern Colorado will play its third and fourth straight games on the road in California over the weekend. The Bears play at UC Irvine on Friday and UC Santa Barbara on Sunday in two games against members of the Big West.


Last Time Out
IOWA CITY, Iowa – For the second straight game, turnovers and free throws did in the Northern Colorado women's basketball team. The Bears had 24 turnovers and Northeastern made 10 of its final 11 free throws in the last 2:30 of the game to hold on to the 61-53 victory in the consolation game of the Hawkeye Challenge. Freshman guard D'shara Strange tallied the team's first double-double of the year, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, the only Bear in double digits in either category. She also tied her career-high with five steals. Junior forward Kaisha Brown scored nine points, all on three-pointers in the second half and led the team with three assists.


Freshman guard D'shara Strange was named to the Hawkeye Challenge All-Tournament team at the conclusion of the fourth game. Strange averaged 11.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game in the two contests and shot .500 (11-for-22) from the field. She also posted the team's first double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Northeastern.


NC vs UC Irvine
The Bears and Anteaters have never met on the hardwood for women's basketball before.


NC vs UC Santa Barbara
The Bears and Gauchos have also never played women's basketball against each other. Northern Colorado is 4-4 all-time against the current members of the Big West Conference (CS Fullerton 1-1, CS Northridge 2-1, UC Riverside 0-1, Pacific 1-1).


Scouting UC Irvine
On Tuesday, UC Irvine picked up its first victory of the season with a 68-66 win over San Diego State to move to 1-3 on the year. Mikah Maly-Karros leads the Anteaters with 20.7 points per game and is the only player averaging double figures in the scoring column. She also leads the way with 9.0 rebounds per game. The team is shooting .365 for the year and .340 from the three-point line as well as a .631 mark from the free throw line. They are getting out-rebounded by 16 per game and are averaging 18 turnovers a contest.


Scouting UC Santa Barbara
The Gauchos will also be looking for their first win when the Bears visit on Sunday as they are 0-4. Emilie Johnson leads the team in scoring with 11.5 per game, while Kelsey Adrian and Sweets Underwood are both scoring 10.5 a contest. Mekia Valentine leads with 9.3 rebounds a game. As a team, they are connecting on .350 from the floor and just .210 from the three-point line. The team is also struggling from the free throw line, shooting just .656. UCSB is averaging 45.0 rebounds a game and just over 18 turnovers a contest.


On This Date
Northern Colorado is 2-5 in games played on Nov. 26 and 5-5 on the 28th. The Bears are 0-2 on the road on the 26th, but have not played a road contest since 1985. The last time the Bears played on Nov. 26 was 2006 against Louisville. On the 28th, the team is 1-1 on the road and this marks the fourth straight year the Bears have played on this date, going 1-2 over the previous three.


Double Trouble
Freshman guard D'shara Strange became the first Bear this season to record a double-double, scoring 14 and grabbing 10 rebounds on Sunday against Northeastern. Strange becomes the fourth active player on the team to record double figures in two categories, joining Courtney Stoermer, Lauren Oosdyke and Jayne Strand.


Oosdyke's Turn
One weekend after three Bears played close to home in Iowa, sophomore forward Lauren Oosdyke gets her turn, playing at UC Irvine, which is less than an hour from her hometown of Coto de Caza.


Clutch Free Throws
Overall, the 2010-11 team is shooting better from the free throw line than last season, hitting .686 compared to .679, however this year's team is struggling late in the game. A year ago, the team shot .702 in the final five minutes of the game, while this year the Bears are shooting just .600.


Taking Advantage
This season, Northern Colorado is forcing 20.4 turnovers per game and almost 30 percent of its points are coming off those turnovers. The Bears are averaging 19.6 points per game off opponent turnovers so far in 2010-11.


The Numbers Say...
Through five games last year, the Bears were averaging 59.6 points and 36.2 rebounds per game with a record of 1-4. This year the team is scoring 65.6 points with 38.6 rebounds a game with a mark of 2-3. The improvements amount to 6.0 points and 2.4 rebounds a contest.


Milestone Watch
Several Bears are approaching career milestones. Senior guard Courtney Stoermer needs just two points for 1,100 and 15 rebounds for 400. Sophomore forward Lauren Oosdyke needs 38 points for 400 and junior forward Kaisha Brown is 57 points from 500.


Downtown Kaisha Brown
Junior forward Kaisha Brown has made at least two three-pointers in every game this season, increasing her career total to 105. She is one of 13 players in Northern Colorado history to make 100 or more in their career and she needs just nine more to break into the top 10.


A Strange Thief
Freshman D'shara Strange currently leads the Big Sky Conference in steals per game at 3.2 a contest. Twice this year she has tallied five in a game and already has 16. If she keeps up her current thefts, with 29 games on the schedule, she will shatter the single season record of 85 held by Lisa Burch (1990-91) as Strange is on pace for 93.


Good Things Happen
When scoring at least 70 points under Coach Jaime White, Northern Colorado has a record of 29-7, including a 1-1 mark in 2010-11. A year ago, the Bears went 8-2 when putting at least 70 on the scoreboard.


Five For 10
In Northern Colorado's 79-56 win over Air Force, five Bears tallied double-figure points. It is the first time since Feb. 13, 2009 against Black Hills State the team has accomplished that feat.


Picked Eighth
The Bears were picked to finish eighth in the Big Sky preseason polls voted on by both the coaches and media. Montana was picked to win the title by both groups, while Eastern Washington, Portland State and Montana State are in the top four, respectively.


Moving On Up
Senior guard Courtney Stoermer moved up one more spot on the career scoring charts at Northern Colorado to 10th. She now has 1,098 career points, needing just 24 points to take over ninth on the list.

Time Invested
Senior guard Courtney Stoermer broke the Northern Colorado all-time record for career minutes played in just the second game of her senior season. Stoermer has now played 3,415 minutes in 95 games with the Bears, breaking the previous record of 3,256 minutes by Shelley Lindstrom (1988-92). Stoermer averages 35.9 minutes per game through her career and has played 40 or more minutes in 30 games.


Rookies Impressive
Northern Colorado freshmen and transfers have combined for 86 points, 62 rebounds and 24 steals through the first five games of the season. The four freshmen and one junior college transfer are responsible for 26.2% of the team's scoring, 32.1% of rebounding, 19.4% of assists and 52.2% of the steals.


Best In The Big Sky
Northern Colorado has a +2.8 scoring margin through five games, the top mark in the Big Sky Conference statistics. The Bears are also first in field goal percentage (.408) and defensive rebounding percentage (.682). Individually, D'shara Strange leads the league in assists (3.2) and is fourth in defensive rebounds (5.0), Kaisha Brown is second in three-pointers per game (2.4), Lauren Oosdyke is second in defensive rebounds (6.0) and third in rebounding (8.2), Victoria Timm is fourth in field goal percentage (.500) and Courtney Stoermer is third in minutes played (34.2).


New Assistants
Northern Colorado added two new assistant coaches for the 2010-11 season in Thomas Perkins and Anna Bateman. Both have previous ties to head coach Jaime White. Perkins coached White while she played at Utah Valley, while Bateman played her freshman season under White at Snow.


Free For All
Forward Lauren Oosdyke and guard Courtney Stoermer became just the eighth and ninth players in Northern Colorado history to make 100 free throws in a season. Oosdyke sank 102 free throws, while Stoermer had 101, during 2009-10, coming within two and three of breaking the school's Division I record of 104 by Heather Barbour (2006-07).


She's Everywhere
Senior guard Courtney Stoermer already ranks in the top five in four different statistical career categories at Northern Colorado. Stoermer is now third in steals (173), fourth in assists (319), free throws made (296) and three-pointers with 138. Stoermer also ranks 10th in both scoring (1,098) and blocked shots (62).


Lucky Number Six
Twice during the 2009-10 season, forward Kaisha Brown tied the Division I school record for three-pointers in a game with six. Brown hit six at Cal State Northridge and  against Portland State. She now ranks 13th in school history with 105 three-pointers, needing nine more to break into the school's top 10.


Triple Threat
Guard Courtney Stoermer recorded the first triple double in Division I school history at Sacramento State on Jan. 21, 2010 with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Her triple double was also the only one in the Big Sky Conference during the 2009-10 season.


Stop Thief!
Senior guard Courtney Stoermer ended the 2009-10 season with 58 steals and is now third on the Northern Colorado all-time charts with 172. She needs just 16 steals to tie the school record of 189 steals held by Renee L'Heureux (1981-85).


Going Streaking
Northern Colorado has now made at least one three-pointer in 272 consecutive games, dating all the way back to Jan. 20, 2001 at South Dakota State.