Strong Second Half Surges Bears Past T-Wolves
Boxscore: CSU-Pueblo at Northern Colorado
GREELEY, Colo. - A strong second half saw the Northern Colorado women's basketball team score 41 points to extend their lead and earn them a 70-53 victory over Colorado State Pueblo in the final of the team's exhibition games of the year.
The Bears shot 50 percent from the field in the second stanza after shooting just 27.8 in the first half to extend the lead from three points at the half, 29-26, to the 17 point final margin.
Freshman guard Kaisha Brown led the team with 14 points, while senior forward Jamie Schroeder added 13 and seven rebounds to go along with a game-high four steals. Junior guard Whitley Cox crashed the boards hard, leading all players with 11 - 10 of which were in the first half. She also ended the night with nine points and six assists.
The Thunderwolves were led by Amanda Bartlett with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Mary Rehfeld and Michelle Ambuul each grabbed six rebounds and Rachel Espinoza finished with nine points.
"There are two things you can do (in the locker room)," said head coach Jaime White. "You can either rip them a new one, or you can be like Mom and act like you know what you're doing. So, we went with the calm route, and it worked. Our kids know that they didn't play well in the first half - mainly that we just didn't hit our shots. We had open shot after open shot. But I thought we turned up the defense in the second half. And the young kids played well again. "
Northern Colorado continued its trend from last year of being solid at the free throw line as they made 13-of-14 attempts for a 92.9 percent. The Bears were also aggressive on the defensive end notching 13 steals and they took care of the ball on the offensive end finishing with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio at 17-to-14.
CSU Pueblo led for most of the first seven minutes of the game before a pair of free throws by sophomore guard Courtney Stoermer gave the Bears the 9-8 lead. A three-pointer by Schroeder extended the lead to four with 12:36 to go. The Thunderwolves stayed close throughout and regained the lead with 2:18 left on a three-pointer by Rehfeld before Schroeder hit back-to-back layups to end the half.
The Bears scored the first eight points after the break and never looked back, stretching the lead to 21 points with 9:21 remaining (55-34) on a layup by Brown.
Nine of the 12 players who saw action for the Bears scored at least two points on the evening and seven different players tallied at least one steal.
Northern Colorado begins its regular season on November 14 at Air Force. Tip-off is slated for 7:05 p.m.