March 16, 2011

WBB Preview: at Cal State Bakersfield

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Northern Colorado Notes

Post-Season Bound
Northern Colorado heads back to California after earning the sixth-seed in the West of the Women's Basketball Invitational in the team's first-ever post-season berth since transitioning to Division I. The Bears face third-seeded Cal State Bakersfield (19-11) in the first meeting between the two schools on the hardwood.

Last Time Out
PORTLAND, Ore. – In a season where Northern Colorado wasn't even supposed to make the Big Sky Conference Tournament according to the coaches, the team battled through to win a share of the regular season title, but were upset by fourth-seeded Montana in the semifinals of the tournament, 55-46. Freshmen Kim Lockridge and D'shara Strange combined to score 21 of the team's 46 points. Lockridge led the team with 11 points, while Strange had 10 points, six rebounds and seven steals. Sophomore Victoria Timm also tied the team lead with six rebounds in just 11 minutes of play. Strange also recorded a career-best seven steals.

Scouting The Roadrunners
Probable Starters: F-05 Jana Smith (5.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg); F-32 Nikki Leon (6.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg); G-03 Amber Williams (14.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg); G-21 Kristine Herman (10.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg); G-25 Breana Fields (7.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg)
• The Roadrunners are 19-11 on the season and are three-seed in the west bracket of the WBI. CSUB is independent in women's basketball.
• The Roadrunners are 3-1 against Big Sky Conference teams this year. In the second game of the year, CSUB defeated Montana, 74-54. They also defeated Sacramento State 97-88 and Weber State 72-58 and lost at Montana State 75-61.
• Four players average double figures in scoring in Amber Williams (14.7), Britney McGhee (12.7), Kristine Herman (10.5) and Tyonna Outland (10.5).

Bringing In The Hardware
Senior guard Courtney Stoermer was named the co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Big Sky Conference with Montana State senior Sarah Balian, while freshman guard D'shara Strange was the coaches' unanimous selection for Freshman of the Year. Sophomore forward Lauren Oosdyke was also named to the All-Conference First Team, becoming just the second Bear to earn honors.

On This Date
• Northern Colorado has never played a game on March 16. The latest date the Bears had competed on previous to this season was March 13 back in 2008 in the opening round of the Big Sky Tournament.

Strange Steals
Freshman guard D'shara Strange tallied a career-best seven steals in the semifinals of the Big Sky Tournament against Montana to bring her career total to 73. She breaks the Northern Colorado single-season Division I record of 68 held by Courtney Stoermer from 2008-09. She is now 12 steals shy of the all-time record of 85 by Lisa Burch (1990-91).

Minute Woman
Senior guard Courtney Stoermer has now played over 1,000 minutes in all four seasons and is 26 minutes from breaking her own school record for minutes played in a season. Her current record is 1,087 minutes from last season, while this year she's played in 1,062 and has played in 4,306 minutes during her career.

Bear Down
Northern Colorado has held 18 of 30 opponents to 60 points or less this season and the Bears are 15-3 this season when keeping teams below 60. Northern Colorado leads the Big Sky Conference in scoring defense and rank in the top 100 in Division I play.

Division I Records Fall
• Senior guard Courtney Stoermer now has 120 assists on the year, breaking her own single-season school's Division I record of 115 from 2007-08.
• Sophomore forward Lauren Oosdyke has made 114 free throws, breaking the DI record of 104 by Heather Barbour in 2006-07.
• Freshman guard D'shara Strange has 73 steals to break Stoermer's record of 68 from 2008-09.
• Senior center Brittany Fernandez breaks Stoermer's blocked shot record with 29 swats this season.

A Little Of This
Senior guard Courtney Stoermer is one of just two players in the Big Sky Conference with 40 three-pointers and 15 blocked shots this season. Northern Arizona's Tyler Stephens-Jenkins recorded 50 triples and 22 blocks.

Locking It Down
Freshman forward Kim Lockridge became the sixth different player to lead the team in scoring when she had 11 in the Big Sky semifinals against Montana. Lauren Oosdyke (13), D'shara Strange (7), Kaisha Brown (6) and Victoria Timm (3) and Courtney Stoermer (1) have all led the team in the points column in 2010-11.

What Can Brown Do For You?
Junior forward Kaisha Brown has done a great job taking care of the ball lately. In the last 182 minutes in which she's played (six games), she has turned the ball over just three times. It is the fewest turnovers of any of the Bears who have played in all six games and she also has 17 assists and 11 steals during that stretch. Brown is one of two players on the team with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio this year: 67 assists, 43 turnovers, joining Courtney Stoermer (120 assists, 80 turnovers).

By The Numbers
Northern Colorado has had a very balanced attack this season, as witnessed by the following firsts in Division I play:
• The Bears have five players with 10 or more blocked shots. The previous high was three in both 2009 and 2010.
• There are four players with 50 or more assists. The previous high was three in both 2008 and 2009.
• Six players have brought down 100 or more rebounds. The 2008 and 2010 squads each had five.

Chart Climbing
Junior forward Kaisha Brown jumped one more spot into fourth on the Northern Colorado career chart in three-pointers made. Brown now has 140 triples in her career, passing Jennifer Altman's 139 (1994-98). Brown is five shy of moving into third and is 35 off the all-time record, held by teammate Courtney Stoermer at 176.

Another Record In Sight
Senior guard Courtney Stoermer will play in her 121st career game at Cal State Bakersfield. That breaks the all-time school record for appearances by Whitley Cox (2005-10) who played in 120 games over five years - Cox played in eight contests in 2009 before receiving a medical hardship.

Free For All
Sophomore forward Lauren Oosdyke made 5-of-6 from the free throw line against Montana, increasing her Northern Colorado single-season Division I record for free throws made with 114. Her total also ranks fifth on the all-time school lists. She became just the second player in school history to make 100 or more free throw in back-to-back seasons, joining Missy McVoy who did so every year of her career (1999-03).

Sharing The Title
Northern Colorado won a share of its first-ever regular season conference title this year, tying Portland State. The Bears won the Continental Divide Conference Tournament in 1983, defeating Air Force and Colorado College but this is the first regular season crown.

Accuracy Is Key
In the conference games-only Big Sky statistics, the Bears had three players ranked in the top five in field goal percentage. Freshman Kim Lockridge won the shooting title as a freshman, shooting .555. Freshman D'shara Strange finished fourth after connecting on .497 and sophomore forward Lauren Oosdyke was fifth at .491.

Rewriting The Books
Senior guard Courtney Stoermer now owns four Northern Colorado career records. She holds the three-pointers record with 176, the steals record with 213, the career starts mark at 119 and career minutes played with 4,306. She has also tied the career games played record at 120, ranks second in assists (419), third in free throws made (335), seventh in scoring (1,301) and blocked shots (75).

Playing The Percentages
Freshman Kim Lockridge is on pace to break the school Division I record for field goal percentage. The center is shooting .536 (89-166) for the year, which would break Lara Merritt's record from last season of .485 (50-103). (minimum 100 attempts)

More About The W's
Northern Colorado has 17 wins on the year, tying for the fourth most wins in a single-season. The record for victories is 21 by 1997-98, and the 17 by the 2010-11 squad is already a Division I record.

Go Figure
Freshman guard D'shara Strange has scored in double figures in each of the last eight games and 10 of the last 11. Strange leads the Big Sky freshmen in scoring (11.2), rebounding (6.5), field goal percentage (.454) and steals (2.4). Strange has scored in double figures in 19 of the 30 games this season and now holds the Northern Colorado Division I freshman scoring record with 337 points (325, Kate Kevorken, 2007-08).

Rewrite
The 2010-11 team has already broken 10 school Division I records in scoring (1954), field goals made (698), field goals attempted (1676), offensive rebounds (399), assists (408), blocked shots (115), steals (306), rebounds (1170), field goal percentage (.416) and rebounding average (39.0).

Guard The Ball
Both freshman D'shara Strange and sophomore Victoria Timm rank in the top 10 on the school's single season steals list. Strange leads the Big Sky with 2.4 steals per game and has 73 overall, while Timm is fourth in the league with 2.0 per game and 60 overall.

Hitting The Mark
Northern Colorado has shot .450 or better from the field 10 times this season and is 10-0 in those games. In Big Sky games, the Bears shot a league-best .454 from the field and have shot 50 percent or better five 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.

Double, Double Toil and Trouble
Freshman D'shara Strange recorded her fifth double-double of her career in the win at Northern Arizona with 16 points and 12 rebounds. She leads the team with those five double-doubles. Sophomore Lauren Oosdyke has two this season, while Kaisha Brown and Kim Lockridge also each have one.

Best In The Big Sky
Northern Colorado leads the Big Sky Conference in scoring defense (59.8), scoring margin (+6.0), field goal percentage (.419), field goal percentage defense (.366), rebounding defense (34.8), rebounding margin (+4.6) and blocked shots (3.8). In league games only, the Bears led in scoring margin (+9.3), field goal percentage (.454), field goal percentage defense (.371), three-point field goal percentage (.368), rebounding defense (31.4) and rebounding margin (+6.8).

The Sky's The Limit
Courtney Stoermer is currently the active leader in the Big Sky in career free throws made (335), steals (213), assists (419), is second in scoring (1,301) and third in three-pointers made (176). She is now 14th in steals, 15th in triples, 18th in free throws made and 20th in assists in Big Sky history.

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.

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 were in the top four, respectively.

Time Invested
Courtney Stoermer broke the school's record for career minutes played in the second game of her senior season. Stoermer has played 4,306 minutes in 119 games, breaking the previous record of 3,256 by Shelley Lindstrom (1988-92). Stoermer averages 35.7 minutes per game through her career and has played 40 or more minutes in 36 games.

Now Fourth
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 62 wins, passing Greg Bruce.

Milestone Watch
Senior Brittany Fernandez is 12 rebounds shy of 200 for her career with the Bears, while senior Lara Merritt is 10 points from 300. Freshman D'shara Strange needs five rebounds for 200 and her next assist will be her 50th.

Good Things Happen
When scoring at least 70 points under Coach Jaime White, Northern Colorado has a record of 37-8, including an 9-2 mark in 2010-11. A year ago, the Bears went 8-2 when putting at least 70 on the scoreboard.

Going Streaking
Northern Colorado has now made at least one three-pointer in 298 consecutive games, dating all the way back to Jan. 20, 2001 at South Dakota State.