August 4, 2006

Women's Basketball Releases 2006-07 Schedule

Aug. 4, 2006

2006-07 Schedule

GREELEY, Colo. - The University of Northern Colorado women's basketball program released its 2006-07 schedule on Friday.

The schedule features 13 games against 2005-06 Northern Colorado opponents, as well as eight games against teams that made it to the postseason last year. It is the inaugural season for Northern Colorado in the Big Sky Conference, as the Bears will play a full conference schedule and will be eligible to compete in the WNIT Postseason Tournament. First-year head coach Jaime White, with successful assistant coaching stops at Wyoming and Utah, will lead the Bears on the voyage.

"We're looking forward to our challenging schedule this season," White said. "I think we've got several Top 25-caliber teams in the non-conference set of games, which will help prepare us prepare for the always tough Big Sky Conference. We're also excited about competing against the in-state teams at home this year."

The Bears will break in the newly renovated Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion with the first basketball contest of the season at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3, as they take on Division II foe Regis University in an exhibition game.

Northern Colorado will open its season on the road for the fourth consecutive season, traveling to Kansas City, Mo., to take on the UMKC Kangaroos for a game at 1 p.m. on Nov. 11. The Bears are 1-1 all-time against UMKC, with Northern Colorado coming out on top of last season's contest 86-69 in Greeley.

On Nov. 15, Wyoming will come to Greeley for White's first home game as a Bear. The last two times Northern Colorado played Wyoming, White was on the opposing side, as she was an assistant coach for the Cowgirls from 2003-06. The Bears hold a 6-15 all-time record against the Cowgirls, with Wyoming winning the last four in the series. UW posted a 21-9 record last season and made it to the WNIT Postseason Second Round.

Two nights later on Nov. 17, Air Force will come to Butler-Hancock for a 5 p.m. battle. Air Force has won the last two games by an average of six points. The Falcons won last season's game 67-60 at the Academy in the first game of the season. Northern Colorado is 13-19 all-time against Air Force.

Northern Colorado will try to avenge last season's 72-71 overtime loss to Lamar in Beaumont, Texas, as the Cardinals will take on the Bears on Nov. 20 at Butler-Hancock. Senior forward Heather Barbour led the Bears with 17 points and five 3-pointers in last season's game.

On Nov. 22, Northern Colorado will head to Champaign, Ill., to take on Illinois. The Bears defeated the Illinois 65-55 last season at Butler-Hancock in what could be termed the biggest win in Northern Colorado program history. It was Northern Colorado's first win over a major conference Division I opponent. Illinois lost to Marquette 64-44 in the WNIT Postseason First Round in 2005-06. UI's biggest win last season was an 86-75 decision over NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 participant and No. 2 seed Oklahoma.

Louisville, who made it to the NCAA Tournament Second Round in 2005-06, will highlight Northern Colorado's home schedule, as the Cardinals will come to Butler-Hancock on Nov. 26 for a 7 p.m. match up. The Bears gave the Cardinals all they could handle last year at Freedom Hall before falling 67-59.

In-state rival Colorado State will visit Butler-Hancock on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. The Rams claimed a 69-59 win when they last played in Greeley in 2004-05. CSU also came out on top of last year's contest, 81-66, at Moby Arena in Fort Collins. Colorado State holds a 16-8 series advantage.

Northern Colorado will then hit the road for a three game set against Cal State Fullerton (Dec. 9), Oklahoma (Dec. 17) and Wichita State (Dec. 19). The Bears handed CSF an 88-64 shellacking last year at Butler-Hancock in the second game of the 2005-06 season. Returning senior guard Jena Fosdick led all scorers with a season-high 26 points.

Oklahoma closed out the 2005-06 regular season by going 16-0 in the Big 12, the first any team has accomplished such a feat. The Sooners extended their streak to 19 games before falling to No. 3 seed Stanford 88-74 in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. OU is led by prolific center Courtney Paris, who as a freshman last season was a consensus All-American and became the first player in NCAA women's basketball history to record 700 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks in one season.

Wichita State tallied a 15-13 record last season and finished fifth in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Shockers will take on the Bears in the first-ever series meeting.

The Bears will close December out with a Dec. 29 rematch at home against Fairleigh Dickinson, who defeated Northern Colorado by a score of 74-58 last February in Hackensack, N.J.

Northern Colorado will begin its conference slate in January with a trio of road games against Weber State (Jan. 4), Sacramento State (Jan. 6) and Northern Arizona (Jan. 11). The Bears defeated Weber State 65-51 last January at Butler-Hancock, for Northern Colorado's first-ever Division I win over a Big Sky opponent. The Wildcats made it all the way to the Big Sky Tournament finals before falling to NAU, 74-59.

Sacramento State finished eighth in the Big Sky last season and compiled a 9-17 overall record. NAU finished its season 22-11 overall after winning the BSC Tournament Championship and falling to No. 3 seed Baylor 74-56 in the NCAA Tournament First Round.

The Bears will head back to Greeley for a three-game home stand against Idaho State (Jan. 13), Portland State (Jan. 18) and Eastern Washington (Jan. 20).

Idaho State won the regular season Big Sky Championship last year after posting an 11-3 conference record and gained an automatic bid to the WNIT Postseason Tournament. The Bengals were upset by Weber State in the BSC Tournament semifinals, 71-70.

Portland State finished sixth in the BSC standings last season, while EWU was fifth.

On Jan. 25, the Bears will hit the road for a two-game swing against Montana State (Jan. 25) and Montana (Jan. 27). MSU finished in the bottom of the Big Sky standings last season after posting a 3-23 overall mark and 2-12 conference record. Montana took second in the Big Sky regular season but fell to Northern Arizona in the BSC Tournament semifinals, 73-66.

Northern Colorado will head back to Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion for a three-game set against Sacramento State (Jan. 31), Weber State (Feb. 1) and in-state rival Denver (Feb. 4). Denver beat the Bears twice last season in a home-and-home series. On Dec. 31, DU took down Northern Colorado 63-47 in Greeley. On Feb. 16, the Pioneers edged out the Bears 55-48 at Hamilton Gym. The Bears hold a 20-18 series advantage, but DU has won three straight.

The Bears will head to Pocatello, Idaho, on Feb. 8 for a showdown with Idaho State before coming back home to play NAU (Feb. 17), MSU (Feb. 22) and UM (Feb. 24).

Northern Colorado finishes its season with games on the road against Eastern Washington (March 1) and Portland State (March 3).

Season ticket information will be available on UNCBears.com at a later date. The new Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion will be complete with state-of-art chair back seating, VIP floor seating, a new scoreboard and message center, a new sound system, a new Hall of Athletics area, a new ticket center and renovated restrooms.