Northern Colorado plays just one game this week, traveling to Sacramento State for a 3:05 pm (Mountain) tip-off on Saturday. The Hornets have yet to win a conference game and have been eliminated from postseason competition. The Bears have just four games remaining on the regular season schedule.
Last Time Out
GREELEY, Colo. – Northern Colorado mounted a furious comeback in the second half after trailing 45-30 with 15:08 to play, but Montana was able to make two free throws in the final 26 seconds for the 53-51 victory. The Bears used a 14-0 scoring run to pull within one, 45-44 with 8:38 to play on a Kim Lockridge jumper and with 3:05 remaining, took their first lead since early in the first half with two free throws by D'shara Strange, 49-47. The Lady Griz went to the free throw line nine times in the final 2:52 to seal their eighth win of the year in league play. Strange sparked the comeback with back-to-back steals for fast-break layups and ended the game with a team-best 13 points (10 coming after the break) and four steals. Courtney Stoermer led all players with 10 rebounds, a season-high for the senior guard. She also added eight points, four assists and two steals in the game.
NC vs Sacramento State
Northern Colorado is 3-6 all-time against the Hornets, however they have never won at The Nest, posting an 0-4 record. The Bears are 3-2 in Greeley and all nine games have come since NC joined the Big Sky Conference for the 2005-06 season. The win on Jan. 20 for the Bears snapped a four-game winning streak in the series for Sacramento State, as the Hornets swept the meetings in both 2009 and 2010.
Scouting Sacramento State
Probable Starters: F-24 Kylie Kuhns (15.9 ppg, 11.3 rpg); C-44 Natasha Torgerson (7.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg); G-1 Tika Koshiyama-Diaz (7.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg); G-3 Sami Field-Polisso (8.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg); G-10 Jasmine Cannady (9.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg).
• Sacramento State has been eliminated from postseason contention and currently sits in ninth place with an 0-11 mark in Big Sky play and a 3-21 overall record.
• The Hornets are losing in conference play by an average of 23.7 points per game, however they lost to Montana by just nine and Montana State by 13 last weekend.
• Kylie Kuhns is the only Hornet to average double figures in scoring with 15.9 per game. She also averages double digits in rebounds with 11.3 a contest, though the Bears limited her to four boards in the first meeting.
• Against all opponents, Sacramento State leads the Big Sky in scoring offense (70.5), rebounding offense (41.8), assists (17.1) and three-pointers per game (7.8). Individually, Kylie Kuhns leads in rebounding (11.3) and Tika Koshiyama-Diaz leads in assists (5.6). In conference play, Kuhns leads in rebounds (9.8).
• All five starters scored in double figures as Northern Colorado defeated Sacramento State 91-59. Kaisha Brown scored a season-best 19 points, while Courtney Stoermer scored 13, D'shara Strange had 12 and both Brittany Fernandez and Lauren Oosdyke each added 10. The 91 points is the most the Bears have ever scored in a Big Sky Conference game. Kylie Kuhns led the Hornets with 14 points and Mallorie Franco had nine rebounds.
On This Date
• In games played on February 19, the Bears are 6-5 all-time with a 1-2 mark on the road. In Big Sky action, NC is 0-2 on the 19th with losses to Portland State in 2009 and at Eastern Washington in 2010.
Sophomore guard Victoria Timm currently ranks fourth in the Big Sky Conference in free throw percentage at .833) She has made 23 of her last 24 from the charity stripe after shooting just .590 (13-for-22) from the line during non-conference play.
Around The Block
Against Montana State on Thursday, Northern Colorado recorded nine blocked shots, the highest total for the Bears in Big Sky action this season. Six of the eight players who saw action had at least one in the game. In league games, the Bears lead the way with 4.3 blocks per game.
Hitting The Mark
Northern Colorado has shot .450 or better from the field nine times this season and are 9-0 in those games. In Big Sky games, the Bears are shooting a league-best .461 from the field and have shot 50 percent or better four times. A year ago, the Bears were 6-1 in games where they shot .450 or better and they connected on at least half just twice in conference play.
Defending The Arc
Northern Colorado has also held 12 opponents this season to less than 25% from the three-point line. The last four opponents have shot .286 or worse from beyond the arc and this season, opponents are shooting just .297, which is second-best in the Big Sky Conference.
Stealing The Record
This season, the Bears have recorded 253 steals, which ties the school's Division I record from 2008-09. Four players on the team have 30 or more steals, led by D'shara Strange with 58 and Victoria Timm with 54. The Bears and Northern Arizona are the only teams in the Big Sky to have four players with 30 or more steals, but the Bears are the only team to have anyone with 50.
From The Bench
In the win over Montana State on Thursday, the Northern Colorado bench outscored the Bobcats' 30-0 and on Saturday they outscored the Lady Griz 22-11. This season the Bears bench is averaging 20.1 points, 16.5 rebounds, 4.1 steals and 3.6 assists per game while shooting .435 from the floor, bettering their opponents in every category.
Double, Double Toil and Trouble
Freshman D'shara Strange recorded her third double-double of her career in the win over Montana State with 17 points and 10 rebounds. She leads the team with three double-doubles. Sophomore Lauren Oosdyke has two this season, while Kaisha Brown and Kim Lockridge also each have one.
Northern Colorado shot .550 from the field (22-40) in the win over Montana State, the best shooting percentage of the season for the Bears and the seventh-best single game performance since Jaime White took over as head coach in 2005. The 2008-09 team holds the best mark after shooting .574 in a win over Washington State.
Charity (Stripe) Case
Senior guard Courtney Stoermer made four more free throws in the two games over the weekend to bring her career total to 334. Stoermer's total now ranks her 18th in Big Sky history and she is just six shy of breaking into the top 15.
Triples Responsible For
Senior guard Courtney Stoermer is responsible for 67.3 percent of the team's three-pointers in conference play. Stoermer has made 18 triples against league foes, and has assisted on 17 others, making her responsible for 35 of the team's 52 treys. Overall this season, Stoermer has made 33 and has assisted on 32 others, for 58.0% of the responsibility of shots from beyond the arc.
The Law Of Averages
If the season ended today, Northern Colorado would break the school single-season Division I records in scoring average (65.4), rebounding (39.7), steals (10.1), blocked shots (4.0) and assists (13.6). This year's team would also break the field goal percentage record (.416).
Streaking Through Butler
The Bears ended their home winning streak at 11 games, tied for the second-longest winning streak in school history.
1. 16 Feb. 15, 1997 - Feb. 21,1998
2. 11 Nov. 14, 2010 - Feb. 10, 2011
11 Dec. 4, 1985 - Nov. 29, 1986
A Win This Weekend Would:
• give the team 10 Big Sky wins for the first time.
• ensure the Bears advance to the Big Sky Tournament for just the second time in school history.
• give the Bears their third regular season sweep of a team this year (Eastern Washington, Weber State).
• be the first-ever at Sacramento State.
Best In The Big Sky
Northern Colorado currently leads the Big Sky Conference in scoring defense (59.8), scoring margin (+5.6), field goal percentage defense (.364), rebounding defense (35.0), rebounding margin (+4.7) and blocked shots (4.0). In league games only, the Bears lead in field goal percentage (.461), field goal percentage defense (.367), rebounding defense (30.8), rebounding margin (+7.7) and blocked shots (4.3). Individually, D'shara Strange leads the league in steals (2.3) and Courtney Stoermer leads in minutes played (34.8) in all games.
Senior center Brittany Fernandez broke the school's Division I record of 26 blocked shots held by Courtney Stoermer from 2009-10 with her one block against Montana on Saturday. Fernandez has had at least one block in eight of the last nine games. A total of 22 of her 27 blocks have come in the last 15 games.
Crashing The Boards
After being out-rebounded in six of the first 10 games of the season, the Bears have turned the tide and have out-rebounded 14 of the last 15 opponents and have been bettered on the boards just once in conference play (at Weber State). The Bears lead the league in rebound margin at +4.7 in all games and +7.7 in conference games.
Defensively, Northern Colorado has held 15 opponents to 60 or fewer points this season, including seven of the last eight, and is 13-2 in those games (Denver, Montana). The Bears now lead the Big Sky in scoring defense, allowing just 59.8 points per game. Last season's team held opponents to 60 or less 10 times, going 8-2 in those games.
It's A Positive
Senior guard Courtney Stoermer is fourth in the Big Sky statistics in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.6. Her ratio also is 75th in Division I basketball. Stoermer has 104 assists and 65 turnovers this year and her assist total is double or better than anyone else on the team.
The Sky's The Limit
Courtney Stoermer is currently the active leader in the Big Sky Conference in career free throws made (334), steals (201), assists (403) and is second in scoring (1,269) and three-pointers made (169). She is two steals and three triples shy of appearing on the all-time top 20 list.
What An Honor
Lauren Oosdyke averaged 21.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 1.5 assists per game, while shooting .545 from the field (12-22) and .850 from the free-throw line (17-20) in the wins over Portland State and Eastern Washington en route to being named the Big Sky Player of the Week.
Theft Ring Exposed
Northern Colorado has three players on the team with more than 40 steals on the year as D'shara Strange has 58, Victoria Timm 54, and Lauren Oosdyke 47. It is the first time since 2002-03 the Bears have three with 40 or more steals in a season. It also marks just the third time two players have had 50 or more steals in a year (1989-90, 1983-84) and no team has had three players with 50+ swipes.
Sounding Like A Broken Record
Senior guard Courtney Stoermer broke the career steals record at Northern Colorado and now has 201, passing the old record of 189 by Renee L'Heureux (1981-85). Stoermer also holds the career record for minutes played (4113) and games started (114). She is also second in three-pointers (169), assists (403), third in free throws made (334) and seventh in both scoring (1,269) and blocked shots (73).
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. With four games to play, the Bears are already insured of finishing better than eighth.
Earlier this season, head coach Jaime White won her 50th game at Northern Colorado, doing so with a 57-53 overtime victory against Colgate. White now ranks fourth on the coaching victories chart with 59 wins, passing Greg Bruce.
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 4,113 minutes in 115 games, breaking the previous record of 3,256 minutes by Shelley Lindstrom (1988-92). Stoermer averages 35.7 minutes per game through her career and has played 40 or more minutes in 33 games.
Kaisha Brown needs five points for 600 and five three-pointers to move into fifth on the career charts. Brittany Fernandez' next block will be the 50th of her career. Lara Merritt needs 12 points for 300, while Courtney Stoermer needs 31 points for 1,300 and four three-pointers to tie the school record. Jayne Strand needs just three points to score the 200th of her career with the Bears and Victoria Timm is 18 rebounds from 200.
Good Things Happen
When scoring at least 70 points under Coach Jaime White, Northern Colorado has a record of 35-8, including a 7-2 mark in 2010-11. A year ago, the Bears went 8-2 when putting at least 70 on the scoreboard.
Northern Colorado has now made at least one three-pointer in 293 consecutive games, dating all the way back to Jan. 20, 2001 at South Dakota State.
Coach Jaime White announced three players, from three different states, have signed National Letters of Intent for Northern Colorado. Lindsay Mallon, Amber Van Deudekom, and Stephanie Lee all signed.