March 4, 2008

Women's Basketball Closes Regular Season With Two At Home

March 4, 2008

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Games #28-29

Northern Arizona (10-18, 6-9 Big Sky) at Northern Colorado (12-15, 6-8 Big Sky)

Thursday, March 6 • Greeley, Colo. • Butler-Hancock (2,734) • 7:05 p.m.

Sacramento State (6-21, 4-11 Big Sky) at Northern Colorado

Saturday, March 8 • Greeley, Colo. • Butler-Hancock (2,734) • 2:05 p.m.

 

Regular Season Closeout

Northern Colorado concludes the regular season this week with a pair of home games against Northern Arizona on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. and Sacramento State on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. The Bears defeated the Lumberjacks, 63-56 earlier this season in Flagstaff and dropped a 64-62 decision at Sacramento State. Senior center Danielle Hagen averaged a double-double against the two teams with 24.5 points and 14.5 rebounds. Hagen, as the team's lone senior, will be honored prior to Saturday's game along with senior student-athletic trainer Heather Clapp and former player Kendra Lambrecht.

 

It's In Their Hands

Northern Colorado is poised to be one of the six teams to advance to the Big Sky Conference Tournament. The Bears currently sit in fifth place with a 6-8 record with two games remaining on the schedule. Montana, Portland State, Idaho State and Montana State have taken four of the six spots in the tournament, which will either be in Missoula or Portland. One win for the Bears will clinch a berth and they could still advance with a pair of losses, depending on the outcome of the Weber State-Idaho State game on Saturday. Montana has clinched at least a share of the Big Sky Conference regular season title.

 

Series History

The Bears are 5-2 all-time against Northern Arizona after winning in Flagstaff earlier this year and are now 1-2 against Sacramento State with all three contests coming in Big Sky Conference play. The Bears are 2-1 against the Lumberjacks and 1-0 vs. the Hornets in Butler-Hancock.

 

Senior Saturday

Saturday marks senior center Danielle Hagen's last game in Butler-Hancock. Hagen has etched her name firmly in the Northern Colorado annals as one of the best players to wear the blue and gold. She has played and started in all 110 games during her career, breaking the school records for games started (106, Jill Fadenrecht, 1999-03) and consecutive games started (98, Fadenrecht) and needs to play in two more to tie the record for consecutive games played (112, Shelley Lindstrom, 1988-92). Hagen is also closing in on 1,000 career points (936), ranks fourth in career rebounds (756), is fifth in assists (260) and 10th in blocked shots (57).

 

Better As We Go

Northern Colorado has improved its free throw percentage during every month of the season. The Bears started the year shooting just .696 in November, then shot .738 in December, .778 in January and .810 in February. In one game in the month of March, the Bears hit .857 from the charity stripe bringing their season average to .761, which ranks second in the Big Sky Conference and 19th in the NCAA Division I statistics.

 

Launching The Long Ball

Freshman guard Kate Kevorken tied her career high with six three-pointers against Montana State. She has now hit four or more from beyond the arc seven times and has hit at least one three-pointer in 23 of 27 games this year. Kevorken currently has 64 triples, which ranks fifth on the NC single-season records list.

 

V Foundation Finalist

Senior center Danielle Hagen was today named a finalist for the eighth annual V Foundation Comeback Award. The annual award is given to an individual or a team who has accomplished a personal triumph in the face of true adversity, be it in health, life or moral dilemma.  In 2006, Hagen was diagnosed with a partially collapsed lung along with a blood clot in her lung and later was diagnosed with Factor V (five) Leiden, a genetic disorder that causes increased risk of excessive blood clotting.

 

Second Time Through

Junior Jamie Schroeder has scored at least 15 points in each of the last six games, or the second half of Big Sky Conference play. She is averaging 18.8 points and 7.3 rebounds during that stretch and is shooting .463 (37-80) from the field, .370 (10-27) from three-point range and .853 (29-34) from the charity stripe. She also has posted three double-doubles in those six games.

 

Doubting Thomas'

In both the coaches and media preseason Big Sky Conference polls, Northern Colorado was picked to finish ninth in league play. The Bears can finish no lower than seventh and as high as fifth depending on the last week of play. At the beginning of the year, NC received 11 points in the coaches poll and 34 in the media poll. Montana, Idaho State and Montana State were picked to finish 1-2-3 in both polls, while Portland State - a team still in the mix to host the championship tournament, was chosen sixth in both polls.

 

Getting The Early Lead

Northern Colorado has had a much easier time winning games this season when the conclude the first half of play with the lead. The Bears are 11-3 on the year when entering the locker room up on the scoreboard and just 1-12 when they trail after the first 20 minutes of play.

 

Another Step Closer

Senior center Danielle Hagen moved into fourth place on the Northern Colorado rebounds list over the weekend and now has 756. With 17 more she will move past Jill Reifschneider (1993-97), who tallied 772 in her career. The school record for rebounds is 951 by Trish Williamson (1987-91).

 

Freshmen Tandem

Northern Colorado has the best freshmen tandem in the Big Sky Conference in Courtney Stoermer and Kate Kevorken. The pair have combined for 555 points, 242 rebounds, 116 assists, 24 blocked shots and 50 steals. Only Kelly Marchant and Kelli Valentine from Portland State have combined for more steals with 52 and Sami Field-Polisso and Emily Christensen from Sacramento State have more assists with 138.

 

Rebounding By Committee

For the first time since the 2003-04 season, four players have tallied more than 100 rebounds in a season. Senior center Danielle Hagen leads the team and ranks second in the Big Sky Conference with 245 boards, while junior Jamie Schroeder has 169, freshman Kate Kevorken has 129 and freshman Courtney Stoermer has 113. Sophomore guard Chelsie Luhring is also closing in on the century mark as she has 92. This season, the Bears are averaging 37.7 rebounds per game, which ranks third in the Big Sky Conference.

 

Road Warriors

The Bears have won six games away from home this season, five on the road and one at a neutral site. It is the most wins on the road since the 2003-04 team won nine road games and posted an overall record of 16-11.

 

On Pace

If the season ended today, the 2007-08 team would shatter the school record for free throw percentage. The Bears are shooting .761 from the charity stripe this season to rank 19th in the nation and the school record is .719 from the 1989-90 squad.

 

Play It Clean

A good rule of thumb in Big Sky Conference play: Don't Foul. Northern Colorado currently ranks second among league teams shooting .761 from the free throw line and is second shooting .798 against conference opponents. In the NCAA statistics this week, three conference teams rank among the top 20 in free throw percentage. Idaho State leads the nation shooting .833, while NC ranks 19th at .761 and Montana is 20th at .761.

 

Double, Double Toil and Trouble

In seven of the last eight games, someone on the Bears roster has posted a double-double. At Sacramento State and Northern Arizona, senior Danielle Hagen and junior Jamie Schroeder each have three double figure rebound+scoring games during the stretch, while freshmen Courtney Stoermer and Kate Kevorken have each tallied one double-double.

 

She Shoots, She Scores

Of the eight players on the active roster, seven have scored in double figures at least once this season. Freshman guard Paige Ricker was the latest to get in on the action, scoring a career-best 10 against Idaho State, hitting 3-of-4 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free throw line. Only freshman Lara Merritt has yet to notch double figures in the scoring column.

 

Bookworm

Senior center Danielle Hagen was recently named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team. Hagen is currently pursuing her master's degree in sports administration after completing her bachelor's degree in finance last May. She graduated with a 3.9 grade point average and has a perfect 4.00 in graduate school. She is also one of four Big Sky players honored.

 

Back On Track

After not scoring in double figures at Sacramento State or Northern Arizona (she had eight in each), junior Jamie Schroeder is back to scoring double figures, as she has now scored over 10 points in 14 of the last 16 games and six straight, including five where she topped 20 points.

 

Now Appearing

Freshman guard Kate Kevorken continues to sink three-pointers at an alarming rate and has 64 on the year to rank fifth on the school's single season chart. The school record for single-season three-pointers made is 72 by Diane Dittburner (1999-00). With one more triple, Kevorken will tie for fourth on the chart and six more will tie her for third.

 

It's An Honor

For the first time since joining the Big Sky, a Bear earned Player of the Week honors, as senior Danielle Hagen shared the award with Natalie Doma of Idaho State. Hagen averaged 17.5 points, 12 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, while going 61.1 percent from the field and 85.7 percent from the free-throw line in the wins over Eastern Washington and Portland State.

 

Short Bench

Northern Colorado has been hit by the injury bug and currently has just eight active players on the roster. Junior guard Whitley Cox is out for the remainder of the season with a left leg injury, while sophomore Alisa Christopherson is out for an unspecified amount of time with knee troubles, freshman Lexie Boyce is taking a personal leave of absence from the team and freshman Cayla Maneotis is redshirting her first year after having knee surgery.

 

The Century Club

Senior center Danielle Hagen played and started in her 100th career game against Portland State and has now started in 110, starting in every game played during her career with the Bears (she sat out the 2006-07 season). Hagen broke the school record for consecutive games started breaking Jill Fadenrecht's (1999-03) total of 98 and the record for games started with 106, which was also held by Fadenrecht. The school record for most games played is 113 by Kara Ketterer (1996-00), while the record for consecutive games played stands at 112 by Shelley Lindstrom (1988-92).

 

Bears Among National Leaders

Senior center Danielle Hagen ranks 44th among Division I players in rebounds with 9.1 per game and is 54th in free throw percentage, shooting .824 from the charity stripe. Junior guard Jamie Schroeder is 49th in the same category, hitting at an .828 clip. Freshman guard Kate Kevorken also ranks 84th in three-point field goal percentage at .352 and is 53rd in three-pointers made per game, hitting 2.4 a game. The team ranks 23rd in the same category with their 6.9 a contest and are 19th in free throw percentage, shooting .761 from the charity stripe.

 

Non-Conference Recap

The Bears posted a 6-7 non-conference record during 2007, including their first true road victory during Jaime White's tenure as head coach with the 69-46 win at San Jose State on Dec. 28. They also won a neutral site contest against Southeast Missouri State back on Nov. 24 at New Mexico State.

 

Going Streaking

Northern Colorado has now made at least one three-pointer in 204 consecutive games, dating all the way back to Jan. 20, 2001 at South Dakota State.

 

Closing In

Several Bears are closing in on career or season milestones. Senior center Danielle Hagen is now just 64 points shy of 1,000 for her career and she needs just six steals for 100. Freshman guard Kate Kevorken needs eight points for the 300th this season and is nine three-pointers shy of tying the school's single-season record. Sophomore guard Chelsie Luhring needs just eight rebounds for her 100th, while freshman forward Lara Merritt needs four for 50. Freshman guard Courtney Stoermer is seven assists shy of 100 for the year.

 

Leading The Way - Team Wise

In the Big Sky stats, Northern Colorado leads in three-point field goal percentage defense (.299), and rebounding defense (36.2), ranks second in free throw percentage (.761), field goal percentage defense (.390), rebounding margin (+1.5) and three-pointers made (6.85), and third in scoring defense (64.1), rebounding offense (37.7) and defensive rebounds (26.74). In conference play only, the Bears lead in three-pointers made (6.64), and are second in free throw percentage (.798), three-point field goal percentage (.351) and rebounding defense (34.6).

 

Leading The Way - Individually

In the individual Big Sky Conference statistics, senior center Danielle Hagen ranks second in the league in rebounds (9.1), 10th in scoring (12.9) and sixth in free throw percentage (.824). Junior Jamie Schroeder ranks eighth in scoring (13.1), fourth in free throw percentage (.828), ninth in three-point field goal percentage (.381) and 11th in rebounding (6.3). Freshman Kate Kevorken is second in three-pointers made (2.37) and 18th in scoring (10.8), while fellow freshman Courtney Stoermer ranks seventh in steals (1.37), ninth in assists (3.44) and second in minutes played (35.81).

 

No One Likes To See That

Unfortunately, junior guard Whitley Cox suffered a season-ending injury to her left knee in the game against Air Force. Cox will hopefully be able to receive a medical hardship and have two full seasons of eligibility remaining. She was leading the team and ranked second in the Big Sky Conference averaging 20.1 points per game.

 

Now Eligible

The Northern Colorado women's basketball team is now eligible to compete in postseason play in 2007 after successfully making the transition to Division I. This year marks the first year the Bears are also eligible to win the Big Sky Conference Championship as well as compete in the Big Sky Tournament.

 

On The Horizon

Northern Colorado continues to inch closer to a large program milestone. The win against Eastern Washington marked the 491st win in program history and the team now needs nine for 500. The Bears are 491-483 all-time.

 

Bears Add Three

Head Coach Jaime White announced the signing of three student-athletes in Kaisha Brown, Courtney Kranz and Lauren Oosdyke.

Kaisha Brown, 5-10, G/F, Spirit Lake, Iowa (Spirit Lake HS)

Brown averaged 14.0 points and 4.9 rebounds per game as a junior with four games over 20 or more points in a game. Was a second-team All-Northwest Iowa Girls Basketball selection last year.

Courtney Kranz, 6-3, C, Mendota Heights, Minn. (Visitation HS)

Kranz is a three-time letterwinner entering her senior season with the Blazers. She is also a two-time all-conference selection and was the only unanimous pick as a junior. She helped lead her team to the conference championship last year and also is a three-time letterwinner in volleyball, where her team was three-time conference champions. She plays club basketball for the NC Heat where they placed third at the AAU Nationals last season.

Lauren Oosdyke, 5-11, F, Coto de Caza, Calif. (Santa Margarita Catholic HS)

Was a first-team All-Trinity League selection as a junior after being named a second-team all-conference selection in the Sierra League as a sophomore. She has also been named to several all-tournament teams throughout her career. Averages 10 points and eight rebounds per game to go along with a 58% field goal percentage from the field.

 

Scouting The Lumberjacks

Northern Arizona is one-half game behind Northern Colorado in the Big Sky standings and along with Weber State are the three teams battling for the final two golden tickets to the Big Sky Conference Tournament, which will be held in either Missoula or Portland.

 

The Lumberjacks are led by Laura Dinkins and Ashley Ingle. Dinkins leads with 15.6 points and is second, averaging 8.3 rebounds per game, while Ingle is second with 12.2 points and leads with 8.4 boards and 3.4 blocks per game. Sade Cunningham, who has hit two game winning field goals in conference play this year, averages a team-best 5.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game.

 

Northern Arizona has won three of its last five games, but is just 2-12 in games not played in Flagstaff.

 

Northern Arizona averages 62.8 points, 36.0 rebounds, 3.9 three-pointers, 13.6 assists, 16.7 turnovers, 7.1 steals and 4.6 blocked shots per game, while shooting .376 from the field, .294 from the three-point line and .694 from the free throw line. Opponents are averaging 70.9 points, 41.2 rebounds, 5.5 three-pointers, 15.8 assists, 17.8 turnovers, 8.5 steals and 3.0 blocks per contest, while connecting on .427 from the floor, .345 from beyond the arc and .734 from the charity stripe.

 

Scouting The Hornets

Sacramento State has been eliminated from post-season contention with a 4-11 conference mark and they are 6-21 overall. The Hornets have lost six straight games and are 2-12 on the road this year.

 

Atty Boyer is the only player averaging double figures in scoring with 12.8 points per game, and she also leads the team with 7.4 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per game. Sami Field-Polisso needs just one more assist for 100 on the season, averaging a team-best 3.7 per game, while Erika Edwards paces the team with 1.1 steals per contest.

 

The Hornets average 61.1 points, 34.4 rebounds, 6.1 three-pointers, 13.0 assists, 19.1 turnovers, 6.1 steals and 1.4 blocked shots per game. They are also shooting .381 from the field, .311 from the three-point line and .736 from the free throw line. Opponents are averaging 76.8 points, 39.9 rebounds, 6.4 three-pointers, 17.5 assists, 14.9 turnovers, 7.4 steals and 2.8 blocks per game, while shooting .447 from the floor, .333 from beyond the arc and .742 from the charity stripe.