February 26, 2011

Bears sit alone in first after win at Northern Arizona

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Boxscore | NC Season Stats

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – For the tenth time in Big Sky Conference play, the Northern Colorado women's basketball team held an opponent under 60 points, winning at Northern Arizona 62-56.

"Tonight was a great team effort," said Head Coach Jaime White. "We had to dig ourselves out from the trenches a couple of times, but we made runs and defensive stops when we had to."

Senior guard Courtney Stoermer held the Big Sky's leading scorer, Amy Patton, to just four points in helping the Bears (16-11, 11-3 Big Sky) to their 11th conference win and sole possession of first place in the standings. Portland State upset Montana State in Bozeman to assist the Bears in the standings. The loss also knocks the Lumberjacks (10-18, 5-10 BSC) out off playoff contention and sets the tournament field with Idaho State.

Sophomore forward Lauren Oosdyke scored over 20 points for the sixth time this season, leading all scorers with 21 points. She was also second on the team with six rebounds and made 6-of-8 from the free throw line giving her 101 makes on the season. She becomes only the second player in school history to ever make 100 or more free throws in back-to-back seasons (Missy Borell did so every year of her career, 1999-03).

Freshman guard D'shara Strange had her third double-double in four games, scoring 16 points and grabbing a game-best 12 rebounds. She also had four assists and three steals on the night. Her three steals give her 62 on the year, moving her into third on the school's single season chart.

Junior forward Kaisha Brown was also in double figures in scoring with 10 points and she hit two of the team's three-pointers on the night.

"D'shara and Lauren both did a nice job on offense," said White. "But in reality, everyone added and we played great team basketball."

The Bears played fairly clean basketball, getting more assists than turnovers (18-16) for just the third time in conference play and committing a season-low 10 fouls. The team also won the rebound battle, pulling down 38 compared to NAU's 32.

Northern Colorado shot just .704 from the free throw line for the game (19-27), but as they have done all year, they made them at the end of the game, sinking the final eight attempts over the last 5:38.

The Lumberjacks hit back-to-back three-pointers to take a four-point lead, 56-52, with 3:26 to play. Oosdyke scored eight of the Bears 10 final points and assisted on the other basket (a layup by Kim Lockridge) to give the team their fourth series sweep in league play (Eastern Washington, Sacramento State, Weber State)

The Bears now return home to host Idaho State on Monday for senior night. Tipoff is slated for 7:05 pm and the four seniors will all be honored prior to the start.

Big Sky Standings

1. Northern Colorado

11-3

ISU, at ISU

2. Portland State

10-4

UM, MSU

3. Montana State

10-4

at EWU, at PSU

4. Montana

9-5

at PSU, at EWU

5. Eastern Washington

8-6

MSU, UM

6. Idaho State

7-6

at NC, WSU, NC

7. Northern Arizona

5-10

at SAC

8. Weber State

3-11

at ISU, at SAC

9. Sacramento State

0-14

NAU, WSU