Pressure Defense Helps WBB Come From Behind For Win
GREELEY, Colo. - "This just shows hard work pays off."
The quote by junior forward Jayne Strand in the post-game interviews sums up the entire night for the Northern Colorado women's basketball team.
Trailing by eight points with 1:31 remaining, the Bears (2-4) used a full-court press defense and got five points from junior guard Courtney Stoermer to knot the score against Colorado Christian (2-5) and force overtime where they held on for the 79-77 victory.
"I feel very good about our pressure late in the game," said Head Coach Jaime White. "I also feel really positive about how we played the last eight minutes and the overtime. Jayne Strand did a great job tonight, she got several offensive rebounds and stops on the defensive end."
Strand posted her first double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead all players on the glass. Senior guard Whitley Cox led the Bears with 22 points, while Stoermer chipped in 16. Freshman Victoria Timm tallied a career-best four assists.
"Offensive rebounds are usually worth two points, so Strand's six was great," stated White. "Every game she's getting better for us. Whitley also made some transition baskets and that helped calm down the team from off the bench."
Cougars senior forward Juanise Cornell, a transfer from Colorado State, led her team with 22 points. Abby Rosenthal scored 16, Jodie Krall had 12 and Kelsie Hert came off the bench to score 10. Both Rosenthal and Brittany Long led CCU with nine rebounds.
For the first time in her career, Cox made four three-pointers in a game, bettering her previous high of two, which she had accomplished five times. She connected on 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, making two in the second half and the only three for the team in overtime. With her 22 points, she moved up one more spot on the career scoring chart into eighth and now has 1,134 points surpassing Jill Reifschneider (1993-97) who scored 1,121.
Stoermer also climbed on the career charts, moving up one into ninth with 202 career free throws made. She passes Cathy Bowles (1995-99) who sunk 201.
The score was tied eight times and there were 11 lead changes during the game. The Bears led by as many as eight points with 5:15 in the first half and the Cougars held their biggest lead at eight with 6:54 and 1:31 remaining in the second half.
In the team's first home game of the year, the Bears shot .397 (25-63) from the floor, .412 (7-17) from beyond the arc. The team once again struggled from the free throw line, hitting just .579 (22-38). Colorado Christian shot .412 (28-68) from the field, .207 (6-29) at the three-point line and .682 (15-22) from the charity stripe. The Cougars out-rebounded the Bears 46-44, but NC grabbed a season-best 19 offensive boards.
Northern Colorado heads back on the road for two more contests, playing at Wichita State on Friday at 7:05 p.m. (Central) and Kansas at noon on Sunday.