Defensive Effort Lifts WBB Past Wichita State
WICHITA, Kan. - A balanced scoring attack and a swarming defense helped the Northern Colorado women's basketball team win its second game in three days as they defeated Wichita State 65-54 at Charles Koch Arena in front of 1,392 people.
Senior guard Courtney Stoermer did a little bit of everything in the game, scoring 15 points, grabbing five rebounds with five assists, five steals and a career-best four blocked shots.
Senior guard Whitley Cox led the team in scoring with 19 points, while junior forward Lara Merritt scored a season-best 13 and freshman forward Lauren Oosdyke chipped in 11 points and led the game with nine rebounds. Cox and senior guard Lizzie Cooper each also had four assists.
"I can say enough about our kids," said Head Coach Jaime White. "They played fearless tonight. We challenged them to play like they did the last eight minutes against Colorado Christian and they responded to that challenge. We defended perfectly and they knew they could win. They (WSU) really struggled with our on-ball offense and we had some great passes tonight."
Marisah Henderson led Wichita State with 11 points, while Morgan Boyd and Jessica Diamond each scored 10, while Sheena Johnson led the way with eight rebounds.
"Lara did a great job," stated White. "She had some great takes to the basket, playing physical enough yet smart enough. I thought Lauren really gave us a lift in the first half."
The Bears scored eight of the first nine points of the game, with three baskets by Stoermer in the first 3:42. The Shockers fought back to take the lead at 10-8. Northern Colorado regained the lead at the 8:06 mark on another Stoermer jumper with a Merritt assist for the 18-17 lead. The two teams continued to battle back-and-forth in the first half and entered the locker room tied at 26-26.
The second half started as the first ended, with the two teams going back-to-back until it was tied at 38-38 with 13 minutes remaining. Timm and Stoermer then hit consecutive three-pointers to break open a six-point lead, 44-38 with 11:23 on the clock and the Bears never trailed again.
Northern Colorado shot .424 from the field for the game, despite struggling from the three-point line .182 (2-for-11). Wichita State connected at a .313 clip and hit .357 from beyond the arc (5-for-14). The Bears out-rebounded the Shockers 42-41 and had less turnovers, 15-14. It also marked the second time this year the team had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio with 15 assists.
The Bears conclude the road trip on Sunday at noon at Kansas. NC then takes a week off from competition for final examinations before returning to the hardwood on Dec. 15 when they host Mesa State at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion at 7:05 p.m.