November 21, 2007

Women's Basketball Ready For Thanksgiving Classic

Nov. 21, 2007

Weekly Release #3: Aggie Thanksgiving Classic Get Acrobat Reader

Games #4-5

Northern Colorado (2-1) at Aggie Thanksgiving Classic

Friday, Nov. 23 • at New Mexico State • Las Cruces, N.M. • Pan American Center (12,482) • 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 24 • vs Southeast Missouri State • Las Cruces, N.M. • Pan American Center (12,482) • 4:00 p.m.

The Series......................... NMSU................... SEMO

Overall Record..................... 2-3........................ 0-0

In Greeley........................... 2-1........................ 0-0

At Opponent......................... 0-2........................ 0-0

At Neutral Sites.................... 0-0........................ 0-0

White vs.............................. 0-0........................ 0-0

The Coaches

Northern Colorado

   ............................ Jaime White (7-25, second year)

New Mexico State

   .......................... Darin Spence (364-153, 17th year)

Southeast Missouri State

   .................................. John Ishee (57-29, fifth year)


KFKA 1310 AM................. J.J. McKay, play-by-play

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Tournament Time

     The Northern Colorado women's basketball team plays in its only regular season tournament of the season as they head to Las Cruces, N.M. to play in the Aggie Thanksgiving Classic, hosted by New Mexico State. The Bears open on Friday against the host Aggies and then will face Southeast Missouri State on Saturday. Both opponents are undefeated early in the year with 2-0 and 4-0 records, respectively while NC is 2-1. Texas State is also at the tournament, but the Bears and Bobcats will not meet.

A Long Time Coming

     For the first time since 1978-79 and the first time in 16 tries, Northern Colorado defeated Colorado State, defeating the Rams 70-60 at Butler-Hancock on Tuesday evening. Junior guard Whitley Cox scored a game-high 25 points, matching her season high. She also led the game with five assists and made 13-of-14 from the free throw line. Senior center Danielle Hagen notched a double-double with 12 points and a career-high 20 rebounds. Freshman guard Kate Kevorken also came off the bench to tie her career-high with 16 points and hit five three-pointers and she notched a career-high eight rebounds. Northern Colorado hit a season-best 12 three pointers and six different players made at least one. The Bears defense also held the Rams to no three-pointers and forced 18 turnovers.

Crashing The Boards

     Senior center Danielle Hagen shattered her career-high in rebounds and ended just two shy of the school record when she brought down 20 against Colorado State. Hagen's previous career high of 16 came against Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 20, 2005. The school record of 22 is held by Beth Lindquist vs. Colorado, 2/21/76 and Susan Rupp vs. Fort Hays State, 12/2/78.

Unlucky 13?

     Junior guard Whitley Cox made 13-of-14 free throws in the win over Colorado State, sinking her final 13 attempts from the charity stripe. Her 13 single shots ties the school record for free throws in a game, tying Missy Borell from Feb. 1, 2002 against Morningside and breaks the consecutive free throws in a game record of 12 from Carol Franta against Eastern Montana on Feb. 20, 1987. The consecutive free throw record stands at 25 by two different players.

Coincidence? I Think Not.

     In both of Northern Colorado's victories this season, junior guard Whitley Cox has led the team in scoring with 25 points, while freshman guard Kate Kevorken has come off the bench to score 16 points.

Arc Explosion

     In the first two games of the season, the Bears combined to make 11 three-pointers. Against Colorado State on Tuesday, NC hit 12 triples, tying the season-high from last year at Montana. Tuesday marked the third time since head coach Jaime White took over the reins the team has made 10 or more three-pointers in a game. The Bears lead the Big Sky Conference with 8.67 three-pointers per game this year.

Leading The Way

     Junior guard Whitley Cox leads the Big Sky Conference in scoring, averaging 22.3 points through the first three games, while senior center Danielle Hagen ranks second in rebounding with her 12.3 per game average and is first in defensive rebounds at 10.0. Freshman guard Kate Kevorken also leads the league with her 3.33 three-pointers per game. The team ranks second in offensive rebounds, averaging 14.00 per game and they lead with 8.67 three-pointers a contest.

Double Trouble

     In the 29 games last season, there were only six double-doubles in points and rebounds recorded with Nicole Ford recording three of them. This season through the first three games, the Bears have two double-doubles as junior guard Whitley Cox had 25 points and 10 rebounds in the season opener against San Francisco, while senior center Danielle Hagen tallied 12 points and a career-high 20 rebounds in the win over Colorado State. Cox now has two double-doubles in her career, while Hagen has five.

That's Offensive

     Northern Colorado is averaging 67.0 points per game through the first three games of the 2007-08 season after scoring just 55.6 a year ago. The Bears are also shooting quite a bit better as last year they hit .354 from the field, .292 from beyond the arc and .667 from the free throw line and this year they are connecting on .373 from the field, .347 from the three-point line and .717 from the charity stripe.

Taking Advantage

     The Bears have forced 17.7 turnovers per game this year and are taking advantage of the oppositions miscues, scoring 62 points off turnovers. That amounts to 30.8 percent of the total scoring through the first three games.

Wire To Wire

     Northern Colorado led the game from the opening tip to the closing buzzer against San Francisco. The Bears scored the first nine points of the game and led by as many as 28 with just under 11 minutes to play in the second half. Last season the Bears never led a contest from the beginning through the end of the game.

On The Horizon

     Northern Colorado continues to inch closer to a large program milestone. The win against Colorado State marked the 481st win in program history and the team now needs 19 for 500.

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.

Oral Roberts Recap

     Sophomore guard Whitley Cox led the team with 17 points, but it was not enough as Northern Colorado dropped an 83-56 decision to Oral Roberts. Cox did most of her damage in the second half, scoring 11 of her 17. Freshman Courtney Stoermer, for the first time in her collegiate career, also reached double-digits with 14 points. Stoermer also led the team in assists for the second time with five helpers and totaled four steals. Freshman Kate Kevorken came off the bench to grab five rebounds, tying for the team lead with senior Danielle Hagen.

A Look Ahead

     After the Aggie Thanksgiving Classic in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the Bears will face another instate rival in Colorado on Wed., Nov. 28 in Boulder. They then have three straight home games in Pacific (Dec. 2), Air Force (Dec. 5) and Columbia (Dec. 8).

Chosen Ninth

     The University of Northern Colorado women's basketball team was chosen by both the Big Sky Conference coaches and media to finish ninth in league play during 2007-08. The Bears received 11 votes in the coaches poll and 34 in the media poll. Montana was picked to win in both the coaches and media preseason polls, while Idaho State is picked to finish second in both polls. Currently, the Bears sit in second place in the standings with the early 2-1 record.

They're All A Threat

     Of the 10 players to have seen action in a game this year, nine have hit at least one three-pointer during their career with the Bears. This season, freshman Kate Kevorken leads the way with 10, while junior guard Whitley Cox and freshman guard Courtney Stoermer each have five and sophomore guard Chelsie Luhring has three. The only player to have not hit a three-pointer during her career is freshman Lara Merritt.

Creating The Rivalries

     Head Coach Jaime White has done a good job in scheduling the local schools to create the close rivalries. The Bears host Colorado State (Nov. 20) and Air Force (Dec. 5) this season and play at Colorado (Nov. 28) and Wyoming (Dec. 17) to face all other Division I front range schools before the holidays.

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 Aggies

     New Mexico State is 2-0 on the year with wins over UC Irvine and Kent State. The Aggies are led by Sherell Neal, who is averaging a double-double with 16.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game to lead in both categories. Anikia Jawara is second on the team in both columns with 13.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, while Brittany Henderson is also in double figures in scoring with 10 per contest.

     Madison Spence leads the way with 10 assists through the first two games, while Neal has a team-high six steals and Henderson has five blocks.

     The Aggies are shooting .391 (52-for-133) from the field, .333 (8-for-24) from beyond the arc and .658 (25-for-38) from the free throw line to average 68.5 points per game. Defensively, they are allowing 58.0 points per game with .314 (37-for-118) from the floor, .167 (4-for-24) from the three-point line and .717 (38-for-53) from the charity stripe.

Scouting The Redhawks

     Southeast Missouri State has started the season 4-0 with victories over Tulsa (67-45), Henderson State (59-58), Central Arkansas (91-60) and Cumberland (73-57) with the lone road game coming at Central Arkansas.

     Missy Whitney leads the team with 19.3 points per game and she is second in rebounds, averaging 6.3. The only other player averaging double digits in the scoring column is Sonya Daugherty with 15.3 per game. She also leads the club with 6.8 rebounds a contest.

     Ashley Lovelady has a team-best 15 assists, while she and Daugherty each have 11 steals and Whitney has six blocked shots.

                The Redhawks are averaging 72.5 points per game and are shooting .396 (103-for-260) from the floor, .290 (18-for-62) from the three-point line and .660 (66-for-100) from the free throw line thus far. They are allowing just 55.0 points per game as well as .392 (80-for-204) from the field, .357 (25-for-70) from three-point land and .648 (35-for-54) from the charity stripe.