Two score twenty to lift Bears over Lopers
GREELEY – It was a tale of two halves for the Northern Colorado women's basketball team in its season home-opener. Luckily, the second half was the better one as the team pulled away from Division II Nebraska-Kearney and won 69-52 after being tied at 25 at the break.
The Bears (2-2) shot just .333 from the field and missed all eight three-pointers in the first 20 minutes. They also out-rebounded the Lopers by just two, 22-20 and made just 3-of-7 free throws (.429).
After the halftime speech by head coach Jaime White, the team shot .548 from the floor, .333 from beyond the arc and was better from the free throw line at .615 (8-for-13).
"I looked at the numbers in the second half and that's exactly where we want to be," said White. "I'd still like us to hit a few more free throws. I think that first half we just got out of the gates kind of slow and we weren't really disciplined in running our offense and in playing solid defense."
In the second half, the Bears had eight offensive rebounds and turned them into 13 second-chance points, totaling 21 in the game, while holding the Lopers to just three.
Junior forward Lauren Oosdyke led all players with 26 points, just two off her career-high, while sophomore guard D'shara Strange did notch a career-high with 21 points and had her first double-double of the year with a game-high 10 rebounds. Strange also had five assists, to lead the game, and four steals to tie for game-high honors with teammates Victoria Timm and Amy Marin.
"Amy had a good game," said White. "She got in some passing lanes and she's smart. It's hard because of her height, but her jumping ability and her strength allow her to do a good job on the defensive end."
Marin also had four steals, an assist and the second blocked shot of her career, and two in the last three games.
Nebraska-Kearney had two players tally 17 points in the game in Vanessa Jones and Debi Johnson. Jones also led with seven rebounds, while nine different players had 11 total assists.
Rebounds and wins seem to be going hand-in-hand for Northern Colorado this season. Tonight, the Bears won the battle of the boards by 10, 43-33, giving them their second-straight victory when out-rebounding the opponent. In the first two games of the year where they had fewer rebounds, they lost the contest.
The Bears also have scored more points in the second half in three of the four games this year, twice scoring 19 more points after the break than they did in the first stanza, including tonight.
"Thank goodness for second-halves," said White with a chuckle.