Women's Basketball takes care of business in Flagstaff
By SCOTT WARD
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Northern Colorado sophomore D'shara Strange missed just one field goal in the second half Monday night at Rolle Activity Center and grabbed eight rebounds after halftime to lead the Bears past Northern Arizona 75-63.
Strange finished with 21 points against the Lumberjacks (8-20, 3-12 Big Sky) and grabbed nine rebounds as the Bears (18-10, 10-5) won for the 13th time in 16 games against Northern Arizona (13-3) and earned a key Big Sky victory.
Northern Colorado moved into a tie with Eastern Washington (10-5) for second place in the Big Sky Conference standings with just one game left in the regular season—the Bears will face Portland State at 2 p.m. Saturday at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion—and Montana (9-5) remains a half-game behind both the Bears and the Eagles.
If all three teams finish their seasons with identical conference records Northern Colorado would be the second seed in this year's Big Sky Conference Women's Basketball Championship with its head-to-head tiebreaker against both teams.
The Bears swept their regular-season series with Eastern Washington and Montana this season, so they're in line to earn the coveted bye into semifinals that would come with that second seed.
Strange made just one of seven from the floor Saturday at Weber State and scored just seven points. Northern Colorado came into Monday knowing it needed a better performance from its leading scorer (14 points per game).
Northern Arizona got off to a quick start, scoring the first four points and then still lead 4-3 after Brown put in a layup a little more than two minutes into the game. Timm then hit a jumper at 16:48 to give Northern Colorado a lead, 6-4, it would never relinquish.
The Bears pushed their advantage to 12 in the first half and then 17, at 52-35, in the second half when Strange hit a jumper with 9:22 left in the game. Strange made five of 10 overall from the floor, including four of five after the break.
She also made 11 of 13 free throws (both season highs).
For the game Northern Colorado shot 54 percent from the floor (23-43) and made a season-best 56 percent from three (5-9).