GREELEY, Colo. – It took five extra minutes of play, but the University of Northern Colorado women's basketball team was able to get head coach Jaime White her 50th career victory on Tuesday evening against the Colgate Raiders in overtime, 57-53. With the win, the Bears move to 5-8 on the season and win their fifth-straight in Butler-Hancock, while the Raiders fall to 5-7 on the year.
Sophomore forward Lauren Oosdyke shined throughout the game, posting a season-best in both points and rebounds with 23 and 11, respectively, garnering her first double-double of the year and fifth of her career. She also tied her career-highs in steals with five and blocked shots with two.
"Lauren had probably had one of her smartest and best nights tonight," said White. "She stayed composed and battled inside. She didn't go away from contact and we talk about that all the time. We talk about how you can't always go around people, when you're down there, you have to go through them and she did that."
Sophomore guard Victoria Timm, getting just her second career start, was the only other player in double figures, scoring 10 points. She also posted a career best with three blocked shots. Senior guard Courtney Stoermer led the team with four assists, which moved her into third all-time on the Northern Colorado charts with 346 assists and her one steal put her into a tie for second on the career list with 182 steals, tying Jill Reifschneider (1993-97).
Timm hit quite possibly her biggest shots of the night with just six seconds remaining in overtime as she nailed a pair of free throws for the four-point advantage.
"That's something that we've been working on, free throws in the waning minutes," said White. "I felt really good about our overtime. I think our kids stepped up and did some good things against a tough team in Colgate."
The game marked the return to the lineup to both junior guard Amy Marin and senior forward Lara Merritt. Marin missed five games after having an appendectomy and it was Merritt's first game after recovering from ACL surgery over the summer. Marin played just six minutes and Merritt two, but both were extremely excited to be back on the floor.
Northern Colorado also blocked 11 shots in the game, establishing a new school Division I record, surpassing the previous record of nine from two games in 2008.
Colgate was led by guard Jhazmine Lynch with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Tayler Wejnert scored 10 and Kelly Korkowski added 10 boards.
Neither team shot extremely well from the field as the Bears made just .321 and the Raiders shot .257. Northern Colorado edged Colgate in the rebound column by one, 50-49 and both teams had 11 assists on 18 made baskets with four three-pointers. The Bears held the advantage in the steals department, 10-6, while the Raiders committed two less turnovers, 17-15.
"For our kids to rally and really put the puzzle pieces together as we went, it was really good."
The game was the final non-conference tilt of the season for the Bears as they enter Big Sky Conference play on Jan. 6 at Montana.
"We've got to play solid 40 minutes," said White about Big Sky action. "The road hasn't been our best friend and our young kids have got to play well. We've got to get healthy – it's hard to put it together day in and day out – I know both Kaisha and Courtney are sick, as well as Jayne and both Lara and Amy are just coming back. We have to finish and we have to be ready to go."