December 17, 2007

Women's Basketball Heads To Wyoming, Hosts UMKC

Dec. 17, 2007

Weekly Release: at Wyoming, vs UMKC Get Acrobat Reader


Games #10-11

Northern Colorado (5-4) at #24/25 Wyoming (8-1)

Monday, Dec. 17 • Laramie, Colo. • Arena-Auditorium (15,000) • 7:00 p.m.

UMKC (6-5) at Northern Colorado

Wednesday, Dec. 18 • Greeley, Colo. • Butler-Hancock (2,734) • 7:05 p.m.


The Series......................... WYO.................... UMKC

Overall Record.................... 7-15........................ 1-2

In Greeley........................... 4-5........................ 1-0

At Opponent........................ 3-10........................ 0-2

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

Last Meeting..................... 2006-07.............. 2006-07


The Coaches

Northern Colorado..... Jaime White (9-27, second year)

Wyoming..................... Joe Legerski (75-48, fifth year)

UMKC...................... Candace White-Whitaker (13-16, second year)



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


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Pair of Games

Northern Colorado begins the week with a trip to #24 Wyoming to face the defending WNIT Champions in the Cowgirls on Monday before hosting UMKC on Wednesday. The Bears lost to both teams last season, starting the season with a 71-46 setback to the Kangaroos and in the very next game, fell 76-46 to the Cowgirls.



If everything goes according to what's happened the first nine games of the season, the Bears will split the games this week. Northern Colorado has alternated a win and a loss through the first nine contests, posting a 5-4 record. Of course, the Bears are hoping to snap the streak and win at Wyoming on Monday.


Against The Conference

Monday also marks the third game this season against a member of the Mountain West Conference as the Bears defeated Colorado State 70-60 on Nov. 20 and fell 56-53 to Air Force on Wednesday when the last second shot by the Bears rattled out. Since joining Division I during the 2003-04 season, NC has played Mountain West teams a total of 15 times, sporting a 1-14 record.


Matching W's

With the win over Columbia on Saturday, Northern Colorado tied its win total from last season, posting its fifth victory of the year. In 2006-07, the Bears were 5-24, while this year they are 5-4. Through the first nine games last season, the team had just two victories and both were over Division II schools, while this year, all five wins are against Division I teams.


Leave of Absence

Head Coach Jaime White announced last Wednesday she will be taking a medical leave of absence for an unspecified amount of time. In her absence, assistant coach Paige Sauer will be handling the head coaching duties. The University of Northern Colorado requests that everyone respect White's right to privacy during this period.


Annie Oakley

Range. That's what the 2007-08 team has in common with the Wild West sharp-shooter. For the second time this year the Bears made 10 or more three-pointers in a game, draining 13 against Columbia surpassing the previous season-best of 12 from the Colorado State game. Northern Colorado has made at least five triples in all but one game this year and four times have shot above 35 percent from beyond the arc. Freshmen Kate Kevorken and Courtney Stoermer lead the way with 23 and 18 three-pointers, respectively this year.


A Case Of The Splits

Last week, the Bears split a pair of games, dropping a 56-53 decision to Air Force before rebounding to defeat Columbia 71-51. Scoring was fairly even for NC as senior center Danielle Hagen and freshman guard Courtney Stoermer each scored 22 points in the two games, while junior guard Jamie Schroeder and freshman guard Kate Kevorken each tallied 21. Schroeder also led the team averaging 10.5 rebounds, while Hagen averaged 8.0 per game.


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. She also led the squad with 3.8 assists per game and was third on the club with 5.3 rebounds per game.


Transfers Turn It Up

Both junior college transfers Lizzie Cooper and Jamie Schroeder turned it up a notch last week. Cooper had a career-game in her first start for the Bears nailing two three-pointers for six points, grabbed two rebounds, had a career-best five assists, notched a blocked shot and a steal against Columbia. Schroeder posted a double-double against the Lions with a career-best 18 points and had her third straight double figure rebound game with 11. Schroeder is now second on the team averaging 6.1 rebounds per game.


Down On The Block

Senior center Danielle Hagen hit a major milestone over the week, tallying her 600th career rebound and now has 607, which ties her for ninth on the all-time lists at Northern Colorado. She needs just 48 more to tie for eighth, tying Marianne Clark (1996-00) with 655. Hagen also tied her career-high with six assists against Columbia and now has 211 in her career, needing just 15 to break onto that career list.


De-Fense, De-Fense

Northern Colorado has played tough defense all year, limiting opponents to 60.7 points per game, which is the second lowest output in the Big Sky Conference. The Bears are also third in the league in field goal percentage defense, allowing just .375 from the field and second with .265 from the three-point line. NC also currently ranks first in The Sky with a +3.2 rebounding margin and first with 28.89 defensive rebounds per game. Last year, the Bears allowed 71.7 points per game and opponents shot .455 from the field and .359 from beyond the arc. The Bears also had a -4.1 rebounding margin.


Let's Play Them All

Freshman guard Courtney Stoermer must have something against the Mountain West Conference as five of her eight blocked shots this season have come against teams from that league. Against Air Force on Wednesday, Stoermer blocked a career-high three shots, bettering her previous high of two from the game against Colorado State.


Take Two, They're Free

In all nine games this year, Northern Colorado has shot a higher free throw percentage than the opponent. The Bears are connecting on .699 percent of their charity stripe attempts, compared to just .603 for the opposition.


Protecting The Hoop

With the 5-4 record, the Bears have put together a solid defensive effort. They have held six of the nine opponents below 30 percent shooting from the three-point line and seven of nine below 41 percent from the field, including two below 30 percent. The Bears have also forced double figure turnovers seven times.


Making The Most

Northern Colorado is doing a great job this season of capitalizing on opposition mistakes. The Bears have scored 140 points through the first nine games off opponent turnovers, while the opposition has scored just 128. NC is also making the most of second chance opportunities, scoring 101 this year.


Double-Double Trouble

Northern Colorado has had at least one player record a double-double six times already this year. Senior center Danielle Hagen tallied 12 points and a career-high 20 rebounds against Colorado State, freshman guard Kate Kevorken had 15 points and 10 rebounds against Southeast Missouri State and junior guard Jamie Schroeder had 11 points and 11 rebounds against Pacific and 18 points and 11 boards against Columbia. Junior guard Whitley Cox notched two; one in the opener against San Francisco with 25 points and 10 rebounds and one at New Mexico State with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Last season there were only six double-doubles recorded in 29 games.


Leading The Way - Team Wise

Through games played on Dec. 11, Northern Colorado leads the Big Sky Conference in rebounding offense (42.6), rebounding margin (+3.2), defensive rebounds (28.89) and three-pointers made (7.89) and is second in scoring defense (60.7), three-point field goal percentage defense (.265) and  offensive rebounds (13.67).


Leading The Way - Individually

In the individual Big Sky Conference statistics, senior center Danielle Hagen ranks second in the league in rebounds (10.7) and both offensive (3.11) and defensive rebounds (7.56) and seventh in free throw percentage (.788), while junior Whitley Cox is second in scoring (20.1) and sixth in assists (3.75). Junior Jamie Schroeder ranks ninth in rebounds (6.8). Freshman Courtney Stoermer ranks fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.462), sixth in blocked shots (0.89), seventh in steals (1.67) and ninth in field-goal percentage (.440) while fellow freshman Kate Kevorken is second in three-pointers made (2.56)


Wire To Wire

Northern Colorado led the game from the opening tip to the closing buzzer against both San Francisco and Columbia. The Bears scored the first nine points of the game against the Dons and led by as many as 28 with just under 11 minutes to play in the second half. Against the Lions, the Bears scored the first eight and led by as many as 22. Last season the Bears never led a contest from the beginning through the end of the 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.


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.


On The Horizon

Northern Colorado continues to inch closer to a large program milestone. The win against Columbia on Saturday marked the 484th win in program history and the team now needs 16 for 500. The Bears are 484-472 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 Cowgirls

Wyoming suffered its first loss of the season at the hands of the Colorado Buffaloes, 69-55 in Boulder and faces Texas Woman's University on Saturday before hosting the Bears. The Buffs are the lone team the two have already faced this year with NC dropping a 69-60 decision.


Seniors Hanna Zavecz and Justyna Podziemska lead the Cowgirls with 15.1 and 13.3 points per game, respectively, while sophomore Aubrey Vandiver comes off the bench to lead the team with 6.7 rebounds and is also adding 13.9 points per game. Zavecz also leads the team with 4.6 assists per game, while Rebecca Vanderjagt is getting 1.7 blocks per game.


Wyoming is averaging 62.3 points and 34.1 rebounds per game this season, while shooting .411 from the field, .322 from beyond the arc and .713 from the free throw line. Opponents are averaging 55.4 points and 31.3 rebounds, while connecting on .393 from the floor, .368 from the three-point line and .679 from the charity stripe.


Scouting The Kangaroos

UMKC enters the game with the Bears sporting a 6-5 record and play at Missouri before facing NC at Butler-Hancock. They have already played two league games, falling to IPFW (62-51) and Oakland (78-50) in early Summit League (previously Mid-Continent Conference) contests. UMKC is 2-1 against teams the Bears have faced, defeating Air Force and Colorado State and falling to San Francisco. Northern Colorado is also 2-1 against those teams, defeating the Dons and Rams and losing to the Falcons.


Chazny Morris leads the Kangaroos in scoring and rebounding with averages of 19.6 and 6.8, respectively. Alysa Klein is also averaging double figures in scoring with 12.1 points per game.  Sierra Radke leads with 34 assists, while Klein has a team-best 16 blocks and Taushelle Rushing has 28 steals to lead the club.


UMKC is averaging 66.4 points and 39.9 rebounds per game while shooting .384 from the floor, .248 from the three-point line and .685 from the free throw line. Kangaroo opponents are averaging 66.1 points and 41.1 rebounds per game and shooting .384 from the field, .307 from the arc and .710 from the charity stripe.


A Glimpse Into The Future

The Bears round out the calendar year at San Jose State on Dec. 28 and St. Mary's on Dec. 30. They then begin Big Sky Conference play at Idaho State on Jan. 3 (7:05) before facing Weber State on Jan. 5 (2:05).