Women's Basketball Returns To California
COMPLETE NOTES: at Odwalla Classic
The Bears will play in the first of two tournaments this weekend as they travel to San Francisco for the Odwalla Classic. NC faces Washington State in the opening round and then takes on host San Francisco on Saturday. This will be the first-ever meeting between the Cougars and Bears, while the Bears defeated the Dons in the first meeting a year ago.
In the 2007-08 season opener, Northern Colorado defeated San Francisco 75-51. Junior guard Whitley Cox tallied a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds and also led the team with three steals. Sophomore Katie Kevorken added 16 points on four three-pointers and seven rebounds, while senior Jamie Schroeder chipped in 10 points and seven boards in the victory.
Scouting The Cougars
Washington State has also started the 2008-09 season with a 2-1 record. The Cougars lost in the opener at Texas Tech, but have bounced back to defeat Boise State and Montana State. Katie Appleton leads the team with 16.7 points per game, while April Cook averages 15.3 and Rosie Tarnowski is at 14.7. Tarnowski also leads with 7.3 rebounds per game and Jazmine Perkins is getting four assists a game. The Cougars are shooting .430 from the field and .395 from beyond the arc, making almost six triples a contest. Opponents have connected on just five three-pointers, but are out-rebouding WSU 40-39.3.
Scouting The Dons
San Francisco has started the season 1-3 with its lone win over the Academy of Art. The Dons have dropped games to Tennessee, Eastern Washington and UC Davis. Shay Rollins leads the way with 17.5 points per game, while Danesha Wright is the other player averaging double figures at 14.3. Necolia Simmons is getting a team-best 9.0 rebounds a contest, while Wright averages just over three assists a contest. USF is shooting .354 from the field and just .298 from beyond the arc. Opponents are out-rebounding the Dons 40-35.5.
Last Time Out
Against Pacific, the Bears got down early and tried several times to rally, but fell short, falling 72-64 on the road. Sophomore Kate Kevorken hit three three-pointers in the final 1:02 of the game to bring the Bears back within single digits, but it wasn't quite enough as Pacific hit its free throws down the stretch to hang on to the victory. Kevorken ended the game with 14 points in just the second start of her career, while senior forward Jamie Schroeder led the club with 15, despite sitting much of the first half in foul trouble. Sophomore guard Courtney Stoermer and junior guard Whitley Cox were also in double figures in scoring with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Freshman guard Kaisha Brown led the team with nine rebounds, while Kevorken and Cox each had seven. Cox also led the team with five assists.
What White Had To Say
"When we won a couple of games by quite a few points, I think we got a little complacent. I think we need to learn from this game. If you don't learn from a game, there's no reason in playing the game. Their speed of the game and their transition hurt us and we need to come back from that. We can't forget, however, that this is a young team."
Threes Are Wild
In each of the first three games, sophomore Kate Kevorken has hit three three-pointers, giving her nine for the season and 79 for her career. She has hit three or more triples in 12 games during her career which spans 33 games. She now needs just 16 three-pointers to appear on the Northern Colorado career chart as Melanie Drangmeister (2003-07) ranks 10th with 95.
Four Bears are averaging double figures in scoring through the first three games, while seven are averaging better than five points a contest. Sophomore Kate Kevorken leads the club with 14.0, while junior guard Whitley Cox is getting 12.0 and sophomore Courtney Stoermer and senior Jamie Schroeder are each averaging 10.3 points per game. Six different players have connected on multiple three-pointers this season and eight different Bears are averaging 3.0 or more rebounds a game.
Northern Colorado opponents have made just eight three-pointers in the first three games of the season, shooting just .229 (8-35) from beyond the arc. The opposition has hit one less than the Bears top shooter as sophomore Kate Kevorken has nailed nine. Overall, opponents are shooting just .347 from the field (60-173) as the Bears' defense continues to perform well.
Crashing The Boards
In the game last season against San Francisco, Northern Colorado notched 54 rebounds, the second-highest total since the Bears joined Division I. Three times last season Northern Colorado tallied at least 50 rebounds in a game, as they had 51 against Pacific and 50 against Southeast Missouri State.
The Early Lead
In the Big Sky Conference statistics, Northern Colorado leads the league in several categories. The Bears rank first in scoring offense (79.3), scoring margin (+16.7), field goal percentage (.503), three-point field goal percentage (.452), field goal percent defense (.347), three-point field goal percent defense (.220), three-pointers made (9.33), defensive rebounds (28.67) and assist-to-turnover ratio (0.96). Freshman Cassie Lambrecht leads individually in three-point field goal percentage (.833), while sophomore Kate Kevorken is tied for the league lead in three-pointers made (3.00).
Youth Is Served
Northern Colorado has the youngest team in the Big Sky Conference this season as 11 of the 16 on the roster are either freshmen or sophomores. Portland State also has 68.8 percent of its roster as either freshmen or sophomores, but the Bears have six freshmen, compared to four for the Vikings. The Bears also have just one senior on the roster in forward Jamie Schroeder.
Northern Colorado topped the century mark in scoring for just the 15th time in school history and the first time since 2002-03 when they scored 101 against San Jose State. The last time the Bears scored over 100 was 103 against NYIT on Dec. 6, 2003. The school record for points in a game is 115 against Norwich on Jan. 5, 1998.
How The Holidays Impact
Usually, Tuesday evenings at Cables Restaurant will be the place to be to hear Coach Jaime White and men's coach Tad Boyle talk about the season. Due to the holiday season, the schedule will be a little erratic over the next few weeks. Dec. 2 the show will go on as planned, from 6-7 p.m. The next week the show will take place on Wed, Dec. 10. There will be no show Dec. 23, Dec. 30 or Dec. 6.
Junior guard Whitley Cox has made 183 free throws in her career and is now just 10 free throws shy of tying Heather Barbour (2003-07) for 10th on the Northern Colorado career charts with 193. Missy Borell (1999-03) owns the school record for free throws made with 469.
Head Coach Jaime White has been able to test her bench early this season, as 10 different players on the team are averaging at least 10 minutes a game. Not surprisingly, sophomore guard Courtney Stoermer leads the team averaging 30.3 minutes per game. As a freshman last season, Stoermer ranked among the leaders in the Big Sky in minutes played at 35.9. Junior guard Whitley Cox is also seeing a lot of early action, averaging 28.3 minutes played per game.
The Long Ball
Northern Colorado shot .579 from beyond the arc against Air Force, establishing a new school record for three-point field goal percentage (in the Division I era). The Bears made 11-of-19, breaking the old record of .531 (17-32) at Hastings College on Feb. 5, 2004 (minimum 10 makes). Six different Bears made at least one triple with freshman Kaisha Brown and sophomore Kate Kevorken each sinking three. Five times since reclassifying, NC has shot at least 50 percent from beyond the arc and twice since Jaime White took over the reins (.522 vs Eastern Washington, Jan. 17, 2008).
The Big Sky Conference announced recently the 2008-09 preseason polls for women's basketball and the Bears were chosen to finish fourth by both the coaches and media after finishing fifth a year ago. Montana was picked to repeat as champions, while Portland State and Montana State were nabbed second and third, respectively.
A New Voice
For the third straight season, Northern Colorado welcomes a new play-by-play voice to the KFKA broadcasts. Chris Lewis will handle the call for the Bears all season and can be found on the dial at 1310 AM or www.1310kfka.com.
All-Conference Award Winners
Forward Jamie Schroeder was named the 2007-08 Big Sky Newcomer of the Year in a vote by the league's nine head coaches. She also earned honorable mention all-conference honors, while center Danielle Hagen was named to the Big Sky All-Conference Second Team.
Oh So Close
Guard Kate Kevorken finished the 2007-08 season just two three-pointers shy of the Northern Colorado single season record of 72. Her 70 triples ties for third with Amber Elliott from 2003-04, while it also ranks as the ninth most in Big Sky Conference history and was the third highest total in the league behind Rebecca Mercer (Montana State) who had 78 and Sonya Rogers (Montana) who made 72.
The 14 wins by Northern Colorado were the most since the 2003-04 season when the university began the reclassification process to Division I (16-11). In 2006-07, the Bears were just 5-24 and 2-14 in Big Sky play, while they finished 14-16 and went 8-8 in league action for the 11th best turnaround in Division I.
Making The Freebies
Last season's team ended the year shooting .763 from the free throw line, breaking the old school record of .719 from 1989-90. The percentage ranked third in the Big Sky Conference and 18th in the NCAA Division I statistics. NC improved its overall 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, .810 in February and .803 during the four games in March.
Northern Colorado had the best freshmen tandem in the Big Sky Conference last season in Courtney Stoermer and Kate Kevorken. The pair combined for 626 points, 257 rebounds, 144 assists, 25 blocked shots and 56 steals.
Bears Among National Leaders
Center Danielle Hagen ended the season ranked 34th among Division I players in rebounds with 9.4 per game and 62nd in free throw percentage, shooting .821 from the charity stripe. Forward Jamie Schroeder was 46th in the same category, hitting at an .832 clip. Guard Kate Kevorken also ranked 89th in three-point field goal percentage at .350 and 57th in three-pointers made per game, hitting 2.3 a game. The team ranked 23rd in the same category with their 6.8 a contest and were 18th in free throw percentage, shooting .761 from the charity stripe.
Northern Colorado has now made at least one three-pointer in 210 consecutive games, dating all the way back to Jan. 20, 2001 at South Dakota State.
It's Getting Closer
Northern Colorado continues to inch closer to a large program milestone. The win against San Jose State marked the 495th win in program history and the team now needs five for 500. The Bears are 495-485 all-time.
Putting It In Writing
Head Coach Jaime White signed Jayne Strand to a National Letter of Intent recently. As a freshman at Kirkwood Community College, Strand averaged five points and 4.2 rebounds per game in helping the team to the Junior College National Championship. She was a three-sport athlete for the Cyclones of Ames HS, earning four letters in cross country and three each in soccer and basketball. She was a three-time all-conference selection in cross country and an honorable mention all-conference pick in basketball as a senior. She was also a multiple time honor roll selection and a two-time academic all-conference pick.
On The Horizon
The Bears continue the five game road swing, facing in-state rivals Colorado State on Dec. 6 and at UMKC on the 13th before returning home. On Dec. 16, the men's and women's basketball teams will play in a double header. The women start the action at 5:00 with a contest against New Mexico State, while the men will take the court against Portland.