March 1, 2005

Women's Hoops Looks For Independent Title in Utah

Complete Northern Colorado WBB Notes in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

NCAA Division I Independent Tournament

University of Northern Colorado Bears (10-15)

vs. IPFW Mastodons (4-21)

Game #26 l  Thursday, March 3, 2005  l  2 p.m. (Mountain)

Orem, Utah  l  McKay Events Center (8,500)


University of Northern Colorado Bears (10-15)

at NCAA Division I Independent Tournament

Game #27/#28 l  Friday-Saturday, March 4-5, 2005  l  2 p.m./4:30 p.m./7 p.m. (Mountain)

Orem, Utah  l  McKay Events Center (8,500)



The University of Northern Colorado Bears' women's basketball team will be the No. 3 seed at this week's NCAA Division I Independent Tournament on the campus of Utah Valley State College in Orem, Utah. The Bears will take on IPFW in the opening round on Thursday. The winner and loser of the No. 3 vs. No. 4 seeded game will automatically move on to the semifinal but the loser will play the top remaining seed, while the winner will play the lowest remaining seed. The second round pairings will be officially determined following the final game on Thursday night.


NCAA Division I Independent

Tournament Schedule

Thursday, March 3

2 p.m. - IPFW vs. Northern Colorado

4:30 p.m. - Savannah St. vs. Texas-Pan Am

7 p.m. - Utah Valley State vs. Texas A&M-CC


Friday, March 4

2 p.m. - TBD

4:30 p.m. - TBD

7 p.m. - TBD vs. Utah Valley State


Saturday, March 5

2 p.m. - TBD

4:30 p.m. - TBD

7 p.m. - Championship


Radio: Bears' Radio Network (Flagship Station - Newstalk KFKA 1310-AM in Greeley).  Scott McVay (play-by-play) will have the call on a tape delayed basis. Available free online at


Television: None


Internet: Log onto for the latest information on the Bears program including live stats, rosters, bios, statistics, releases, feature stories, box scores and much, much more.


Tickets: Call 970-351-2327 for more information.






The Bears will be taking part in the Division I Independent Tournament on March 3-5 in Orem, Utah. The six teams taking part in the tournament this year include: Northern Colorado, Utah Valley State, IPFW, Texas-Pan American, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Savannah State. Ticket prices for the tournament are $25.00 (3-day tournament pass), $10.00 (1-day individual pass), $25.00 (1-day family pass) and $6.00 (1-day visiting student pass - must show current school I.D.). The teams' seeds are as follows: #1 - Texas A&M-Corpus Christi; #2 - Texas-Pan American; #3 - Northern Colorado; #4 - IPFW; #5 - Savannah State; #6 - Utah Valley State. First round games will feature seeds 1 vs. 6, 2 vs. 5 and 3 vs. 4. There will be three games each day with start times set for 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day. Utah Valley State will play in the 7 p.m. game each of the first two days of the tournament. On the final day of the tournament, the championship game will be played at 7 p.m.



Northern Colorado has faced three members of the Division I Independent tournament field this season. The Bears scored season sweeps over IPFW and Utah Valley State, while falling at home to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Bears scored a 77-48 win over IPFW in Greeley on Dec. 30 and then tallied a 78-65 win in Fort Wayne on Feb. 6. UNC notched a 75-57 win over Utah Valley State on Jan. 29 and then most recently scored a 68-64 win over the Wolverines in Orem on Feb. 26. The Bears did not play Texas-Pan American or Savannah State this season. Last season, UNC scored a 57-56 overtime win at Texas-Pan American on Feb. 3, 2004.



Sophomore guard Jena Fosdick torched the nationally-ranked Maryland Terrapins on Monday night as she tallied a career-high 29 points. Fosdick's effort nearly allowed the Bears to upset the Terrapins on their home floor. Fosdick went 10-of-17 from the field, including 6-of-9 from beyond the three-point arc. Fosdick also dished out a team-high seven assists and tallied three steals.



In UNC's first matchup with a nationally-ranked Division I opponent, the Bears came within an eyelash of a huge upset of the Maryland Terrapins. Northern Colorado held a 72-68 lead with 5:45 to go and a 75-72 advantage with 4:23 to go in the game. The Bears tied the game at 77-77 on a Danielle Hagen layup with 2:58 remaining in the game. But could not stop the Terrapins' Crystal Langhorne, who notched a game-high 33 points, down the stretch and suffered the 87-79 loss at the Comcast Center.



Northern Colorado set a season-high with 16 three-pointers made in the 87-79 loss to Maryland. The Bears were efficient as well from long-range by drilling 50 percent (16-of-32) from beyond the arc. The UNC school record for three-pointers made in a single game is 18 vs. Colorado Mines (Nov. 28, 2003).



Over the past nine games, sophomore center Nicole Ford has stepped up her play for the Bears. Ford is averaging 9.1 points and 6.4 rebounds in the last nine contests. Ford tied a career-high in the Bears' 68-64 win at Utah Valley State when she scored 19 points. Ford also hit a career-best four three-pointers in the win over the Wolverines.



Northern Colorado began the season with a 3-13 mark, but have caught fire of late by winning seven of its last nine contests. The Bears' only two losses since Jan. 13 have come against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and nationally-ranked Maryland.



Senior guard Kayla Flavin put on quite a show in her final home on Jan. 19 against Western State. Flavin scored a career-high 31 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the floor. Flavin drained five three-pointers and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line. Flavin started the game on fire as she tallied 14 points in less than four minutes to help put the Bears on top 17-5. Flavin's 31-point outburst was the first since Amber Elliott torched the nets for 32 points against South Dakota State on March 1, 2003. Flavin leads the Bears in scoring at 8.9 points per game.



Northern Colorado came within one steal of tying the school record for steals in a game against Western State. The Bears recorded 24 steals against the Mountaineers. The UNC school record also came against Western State when the Bears' notched 25 steals on Dec. 2, 2003.



Sophomore guard Bailey Dillon had her school-record tying free throw streak snapped in her first attempt against UCCS. Dillon had made 25 straight free throws, which tied her with Shelley Lindstrom. Lindstrom set the mark in the 1991-92 season.



Sophomore forward Danielle Hagen had a solid all-around effort against CU-Colorado Springs. Hagen grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and also tallied a game-high five assists. Hagen chipped in with nine points in the victory.



Junior forward Cindy McCarroll tied a career-high with 14 points against Maryland on Feb. 28. McCarroll also tied a career-high by hitting a trio of three-pointers in the contest.



Sophomore guard Bailey Dillon tied the Bears' single-game record for highest free throw percentage by making all 10 of her free throws. Dillon tied a record held by Carol Franta (12-12 - Feb. 20, 1987), Jill Fadenrecht (11-11 - Dec. 19, 2000) and Petra Olsen (10-10 - Feb. 6, 1999).



Freshman Dani Veal returned to action on Jan. 29 in the Bears' 75-57 win over Utah Valley State. Veal had missed 11 straight games after injuring her left hip in the first half of the Bears game at San Diego State on Dec. 4. Veal has seen action in 12 games this season. She started three contests prior to her injury. Veal has scored 22 points and grabbed 38 rebounds in her limited action. Veal was also a member of the Bears' volleyball squad this past fall.



Sophomore guard Heather Barbour will miss the rest of the season after having a rod inserted in her right leg. Barbour missed the second half of the 2003-04 season with a leg injury as well. Barbour played in 15 games (started eight games) this season and averaged 6.3 points per game. In 2003-04 Barbour played in 13 games (started 11 games) and averaged 11.4 points per game.



The Northern Colorado women's basketball team, along with the men's team, helped sponsor a free basketball clinic for area youngsters on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The clinic was attended by nearly 250 children in the eighth grade or younger. All of the attendees received a free ticket to a future Northern Colorado home basketball game.



Northern Colorado has been bombing away from three-point land all season, but the Bears took it to another level against Colorado State on Jan. 2. The Bears drained 15 of 48 three-pointers attempted against the Rams before falling 69-59. The Bears were four attempts away from tying the NCAA single-game record of 52 attempts. UNC's single-game record for 3's attempted is 51.



Northern Colorado has attempted 753 three-pointers for an average of 30.1 attempts per game. The Bears have made 226 three-pointers, while the opposition has drained 177. Nine different Bears have drained at least 10 three-pointers this season. Jena Fosdick leads the team with 44 three-pointers made.


Top-notch competition

UNC will play seven games against teams that competed in postseason tournaments last season. UNC will take on Nebraska (WNIT), Drake (WNIT), Iowa State (WNIT), Colorado (NCAA), Colorado State (WNIT), UNLV (WNIT) and Maryland (NCAA) this season. Both Iowa State and UNLV reached the national semifinals of the WNIT.



The UNC women's basketball team will look to build upon last season's 16-11 record. Last season was the Bears' first year of a four-year transition to Division I.


early signings

University of Northern Colorado Women's basketball head coach Ron Vlasin has announced the team's first two signings for next season. Alisa Christopherson of Montana and Jabrenta Hubbard of Nevada will join the Bears' roster next season. Christopherson is a 5-11 forward from Sentinel High School in Missoula, Mont. She averaged 13 points a game after returning from a foot injury early in her junior year.  Even though she played in only 11 games as a junior she was named first-team all-state and was also selected to the Montana state championship all-tournament team. She led Sentinel High School to a third-place finish in the 2004 State Tournament. Hubbard, a 5-6 point guard from Green Valley High School in Henderson, Nev., averaged 19.9 points, 4.5 assists and 5 steals a game during her junior season.  She was ranked the 38th best player in the country last season by NCAA, and Street and Smith's 2004 ranked her as one of the top players in the West. Academically, she is a member of the National Honor Society and is currently ranked 29th of 595 students in her class with a 3.86 GPA.  



The University of Northern Colorado athletic department is in the midst of a four-year transition to NCAA Division I and the 2004 season will be year two of four. While currently an independent institution, Northern Colorado has submitted its proposal and application to join the Big Sky Conference. Membership in the Big Sky Conference will not only be financially beneficial to UNC, but will also bring Northern Colorado's highly competitive athletic programs to the Big Sky Conference for outstanding competition and sport rivalries at the Division I level. The Big Sky Conference currently sponsors 15 sports; Northern Coloradocompetes in 11 of those. Five of Northern Colorado's sports would continue to compete as independents baseball, softball, swimming, men's golf and wrestling. Currently, Football is a charter member of the Great West Football Conference.



A six-member group from the conference, headed by commissioner Doug Fullerton, fanned out across campus Wed., Feb. 2, to collect information about the school.


"I think the impression they left was really favorable - they left no stone unturned," Fullerton said before leaving.


A report based on the group's vist will be written to Fullerton and forwarded to Big Sky presidents.


"Our presidents will have that decision made no later than their meeting in May. I anticipate sometime in April," Fullerton said. "It would require a two-thirds vote, but one person could derail it if the feeling was strong enough."


Fullerton said the school would need to work on budgeting and fund-raising enough money for 60 football scholarships _ up from the current 50 _ as well as for additional scholarships for women's sports.


"We are going to demand some things if this marriage is consummated and that would mean they would have to get there within three years," Fullerton said.



The Big Sky Conference Presidents Council moved to take a closer look at the University of Northern Colorado for possible membership.


"We're thrilled that the Big Sky Conference has chosen to take a closer look at the University of Northern Colorado," University of Northern Colorado President Kay Norton said. "We believe they will like what they see when they come to Greeley in early January. Yet we take nothing for granted and will continue to work to enhance our viability and to show them that we would be an excellent fit with the conference."


The Presidents Council met in August and developed a set of expansion criteria and formalized an expansion process. At the time, the Presidents Council discussed adding between one and three schools or remaining at the current eight-team makeup. North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Southern Utah were the other institutions that expressed public interest in the Big Sky Conference.


"Every institution had support from the Presidents, but the Big Sky Conference Presidents were committed to building a consensus in this process,'' said Big Sky Conference Commissioner Doug Fullerton. "The University of Northern Colorado is where they reached a consensus. I sensed a strong commitment to each other by the Presidents of our member institutions."


The Presidents Council established criteria to evaluate the interested schools. The criteria included academic quality, athletic competitiveness, commitment to gender equity, commitment to student-athlete success and geography with regards to cost of travel and travel time. A team comprised of a University President, an Athletic Director, a Faculty Representative, a Senior Women's Administrator and Commissioner Fullerton will visit the Greeley campus in early 2005. The traveling team will report to the Presidents Council during a conference call in March. A formal invitation for membership could come as early as March, sometime in April, or not at all.


Weber State University President Dr. F. Ann Millner, the Chair of the Presidents Council, chaired Monday's meeting. Six of the other seven Big Sky Presidents were in attendance. Sacramento State President Dr. Alexander Gonzalez was unable to attend because of the recent death of a respected faculty member. The Big Sky Conference is currently made up of eight institutions over seven states - Eastern Washington University, Idaho State University, The University of Montana, Montana State University, Northern Arizona University, Portland State University, Sacramento State and Weber State University. The Big Sky Conference was established in 1963 with six charter members - Idaho, Idaho State, Gonzaga, Montana, Montana State and Weber State. This is the Big Sky's fourth year of its current membership.


The Big Sky Conference was a nine-team league for the first time in 1987 when Eastern Washington joined. It remained a nine-team league until 1992 when the University of Nevada left. The Big Sky was once again a nine-team league from 1996-2000. Boise State and Idaho left the Big Sky following the 1995-96 season. Sacramento State, Portland State and Cal State Northridge joined the league in the fall of 1996. Cal State Northridge left following the 2000-2001 campaign, leaving the Big Sky with eight institutions.