December 11, 2010

Women's basketball battles #24 Nebraska tough

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LINCOLN, Neb. – In a sea of red, the Northern Colorado women's basketball team was outsized against the No. 24 ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers but battled tough, falling 66-53 in front of 2,722 fans on a blustery evening in Lincoln.

"I felt like turnovers and rebounding cost us," said Head Coach Jaime White. "Defensively, I thought rebounding was huge and offensively I thought we missed a lot of layups. We have to make sure we capitalize on the things we get and we just didn't finish around the basket."

Put Victoria Timm in a Big 12 facility and she puts on some of her best career performances as she scored a season-best 16 points, just two shy of her career-best from 18 last year at Kansas. The sophomore guard also led the team with three steals, the fourth straight game she's tallied multiple thefts.

Junior Kaisha Brown and sophomore Lauren Oosdyke each scored nine, with Brown scoring eight in the second stanza. Brown failed to hit a three-pointer for the first time in 16 games. Freshman guard D'shara Strange led the team and tied for game-high honors with eight rebounds, while senior guard Courtney Stoermer led the way with four assists and both freshman guard Molly Duehn and Timm had three steals.

The Bears tied their season-high with 14 steals in the game as the team has tallied double figures in three of the last four games. Both teams struggled hanging on to the ball as they combined for 51 turnovers, with the Bears getting 24 and the Huskers 27.

Northern Colorado committed a first-half season-high 16 turnovers, with nine of the 10 players who saw action fumbling the ball at least once. The Bears trailed by as many as 15 but cut it to 11 at the break, 30-19. Nebraska made just one field goal in the final seven minutes of the stanza, but were 6-for-12 from the free throw line during that stretch.

After not scoring in the first half, Strange scored eight of the Bears' first 14 points in the second half and grabbed six rebounds in helping the team stay competitive.

"Molly got in, we talked to her about her limited time and what she can do with it, and she did a good job with it tonight, going 2-for-2 and getting a few rebounds," said White. "One of the things we got better at tonight was running our offense. I thought we did a good job driving and we got open opportunities. We were glad we were able to get some open looks. Kaisha ran the point tonight, and I thought that was good. Our plan was to get better by conference and I thought we got better tonight. They stayed focused and we did the things we needed to do.

"I'm real excited about our young kids and the things we did. Kim (Lockridge) was smart and used her body well. Victoria and Kaisha both hit some key shots for us down the stretch and ignited us in the second half."

Once again, the team will play after an extremely short break, playing at Denver on Tuesday. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 pm in Magness Arena. The Bears return home on Dec. 20 hosting San Francisco at 7:05 pm before breaking for the holidays.