December 14, 2010

WBB Preview: at Denver

In-State Rivalry
Tuesday marks the third and final in-state team on the Bears schedule for 2010-11 as they travel to face the Denver Pioneers. The two teams are 1-1 against common opponents with both teams defeating Air Force and both teams losing to Colorado State.

Last Time Out
LINCOLN, Neb. – In a sea of red, Northern Colorado 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. 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.

NC vs Denver
The Bears hold the slight 21-19 advantage in the all-time series after an exciting buzzer-beating win last year in Denver. Northern Colorado is 10-9 in road games during the series. The series between the schools has never seen one team win more than four in a row and the team's met at least once every season from 1977 through 1994, often playing twice.

Scouting Denver
The Pioneers are 6-4 on the season, but winners of their last three - all at home. Both DU and NC have wins over Air Force (DU by 11, NC by 23) and losses to Colorado State (DU by 16, NC by seven) this season. The Pioneers have also played Big Sky foes Montana and Montana State, splitting with the two schools. Kaetlyn Murdoch (16.0), Britteni Rice (14.6) and Brianna Culberson (13.0) all average double figures for Denver in scoring while Murdoch and Culberson both average 5.9 rebounds per game. The team is shooting .448 from the field and .312 from the three-point line as well as .766 from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting .438 from the floor and .385 from the arc. The Pioneers are getting out-rebounded by 2.3 per game, but are outscoring their opposition by the same margin.

On This Date
Northern Colorado is 1-2 in games played on Dec. 14 and it is the first game the Bears have played since 1988. All three games have been on the road with the 1988 contest an 84-70 victory at Wyoming.

A Rarity
Senior guard Courtney Stoermer has now played in 100 games in her career at Northern Colorado and will be making her 100th start on Tuesday at Denver. In those 100 games, Stoermer has recorded at least one rebound in all but four games, and two of those four have been the previous two. Stoermer is currently sitting at 399 career rebounds.

Getting The Start
Freshman forward Kim Lockridge has started the last five games for the Bears. Before starting, Lockridge was 6-for-15 from the field (.400). Since moving into the starting lineup, she has shot 8-for-16 from the floor (.500). On the flip side, she had 18 rebounds in her five games off the bench and has just nine in her five starts.

Forcing The Fumble
For the fifth time in 10 games this season, Northern Colorado forced the opposition into more than 20 turnovers. Nebraska had 27 miscues in the contest and the Bears are now forcing 20.6 turnovers a game in 2010-11. Northern Colorado is averaging 19.2 turnovers a game, for a +1.4 margin.

Added Spark
Sophomore Victoria Timm is averaging 7.5 points per game off the bench this season, the second-highest non-starting scorer in the Big Sky Conference this season. Tatjana Sparavalo from Eastern Washington is the team's second-leading scorer with 11.5 points per game and has not started a single game in 2010. Timm is fifth on the Bears' team with 7.5 points and third with eight three-pointers. She is also second in steals (19) and third in assists (20) so far this year.

Crashing The Boards
Freshman guard D'shara Strange has notched at least five rebounds in each of the 10 games this season. She is tied for the Big Sky Conference's second-longest active streak of 5+ rebounds with Montana's Katie Baker at 10 games, while Sacramento State's Kylie Kuhns has 11 straight. Strange currently leads the team with 7.2 rebounds per game, which also ranks fifth in the league.

The Iowa Connection
In the win over South Dakota Mines, junior forward Kaisha Brown made four shots and three of them were assisted by fellow Iowan Courtney Stoermer. Brown returned the favor, assisting the senior guard on one of her three-pointers. In fact, 14 of Stoermer's 39 assists this year are to Brown, the most common connection on the team. On the flip side, Brown has dished to Stoermer five times this year.

'Tis The Season Of Sharing
Against South Dakota Mines, the Bears recorded a season-best 24 assists and the first 16 buckets of the game were assisted, which included all 14 in the first half. Seven different players had at least one, while Kaisha Brown, Courtney Stoermer and Victoria Timm all tied for game high honors with five each.

What Can Brown Do For You?
Junior forward Kaisha Brown continues to lead the team in scoring this season, averaging 11.5 points per game. Brown has scored in double figures six times this year. She has also played everywhere from point guard to the four position on the floor and currently leads the Big Sky Conference with 2.3 three-pointers per game.

First To 100
Junior forward Kaisha Brown became the first Bear to score 100 points this season. With 5:30 to play in the first half against South Dakota Mines, Brown hit her second triple of the game to give her 102 on the year. With 16:32 left in the game, sophomore forward Lauren Oosdyke became the second player to hit 100 with a layup. Brown now sits at 115 points, while Oosdyke is at 113. Freshman guard D'shara Strange joined the ranks at Nebraska and now has 105 on the season.

A Bunch Of Thieves
Sophomore guard Victoria Timm became the fourth player this season to record four or more steals in a game. Timm had a career-best five steals against South Dakota Mines, joining sophomore forward Lauren Oosdyke, freshman guard D'shara Strange and junior guard Amy Marin as players who have had at least one game with four or more steals.

Class Breakdown
The Bears have started two freshmen, one sophomore, one junior and one senior in each of the last four games. Below is the breakdown of how each class has scored this season.

 

Fr

So

Jr

Sr

South Dakota

8

26

15

8

Air Force

8

25

16

30

Santa Clara

16

15

20

14

Central Michigan

16

25

15

18

Northeastern

22

16

11

4

UC Irvine

23

8

6

15

UC Santa Barbara

12

14

14

14

Colorado State

19

15

15

17

South Dakota Mines

27

19

10

20

Nebraska

15

25

9

4

Double Trouble
D'shara Strange became the first Bear this season to record a double-double, scoring 14 and grabbing 10 rebounds against Northeastern. She backed that up with 17 points and 12 rebounds at UC Irvine. Strange becomes the fourth active player to record double figures in two categories joining Courtney Stoermer, Lauren Oosdyke and Jayne Strand.

Milestone Watch
Several Bears are approaching career milestones. Junior forward Kaisha Brown is just three points from scoring 500 in her career and her next rebound will be her 200th. Senior guard Courtney Stoermer's next board will be her 400th and with 10 more steals she will tie the school record for career steals. Senior center Jayne Strand needs nine points to reach 150 for her career and sophomore guard Victoria Timm needs nine points to reach 200. Timm is also now just two steals shy from 50.

Good Things Happen
When scoring at least 70 points under Coach Jaime White, Northern Colorado has a record of 30-7, including a 2-1 mark in 2010-11. A year ago, the Bears went 8-2 when putting at least 70 on the scoreboard.

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 eighth. She now has 1,143 career points, needing 78 points to take over seventh 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 3,588 minutes in 100 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.

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).

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 eighth in school history with 116 three-pointers, needing 11 more to move into seventh.

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 179. She needs just 10 steals to tie the school record of 189 held by Renee L'Heureux (1981-85).

Going Streaking
Northern Colorado has now made at least one three-pointer in 277 consecutive games, dating all the way back to Jan. 20, 2001 at South Dakota State.