Early turnovers hurt Bears against Bengals
GREELEY – The Northern Colorado women's basketball team fought back from a 20-point deficit, but couldn't ever quite get even or keep the momentum in a 64-50 loss to league-leading Idaho State on Thursday night.
The Bears (12-9, 4-4 Big Sky) used a 17-4 run to start the second half and close within four of the Bengals (15-5, 7-0 Big Sky) at 40-36 with 11:40 to play, but Idaho State senior Chelsea Pickering hit a three-pointer to stop the run and give the Bengals the lift they needed to stay undefeated in conference play.
"We couldn't play worse, that's the way we have to look at it," said Head Coach Jaime White. "That is the worst first half, the worst half of basketball we've played this year. I asked them (at halftime) if they thought Idaho State was that better than them and their response, obviously, was no. We can't play that way in the first half and expect the second half for them to just roll over. They're a good team and they're going to continue to play hard."
Junior forward Lauren Oosdyke, who scored 13 of her 17 points in the second half, led the team in the scoring column for the third straight game. Oosdyke played the entire 40 minutes of the game for the first time in her career, adding three rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot to her 17 points.
Senior Amy Marin led the team with a career-high six rebounds as the Bears were out-rebounded for the first time in 11 games, 43-27. The Bears also had just five offensive rebounds in the game, tied for the fewest this season (Denver).
"They're a good rebounding team," said White. "They're very physical and I don't think we were ready in there. Going along with hitting three's, that was a deadly combination."
Idaho State hit nine three-pointers in the game, including four by Pickering and six different players connected from beyond the arc.
"Without Lauren tonight we would have been in a lot of trouble," said White. "I thought she put the ball on the ground and drove pretty good to the basket."
In the first half, the Bears were plagued by turnovers, as they had 15 of their 21 in the first 20 minutes. They also had 10 assists on 12 made baskets in the second half after having just two assists on seven buckets in the first stanza.
Sophomore Lindsey Reed led the Bengals with 15 points, while Pickering added 14 and Ashleigh Vella scored 13. Cydney Horton led all players with 10 rebounds.
The Bears have a week off before playing at Sacramento State next Thursday and play five of their next seven games on the road.
"It's much better to make a late run than an early run," said White. "But it takes hard work and we have to take care of the things we're doing wrong."