BIG THREE CLASH IN BEMIDJI BEGINS 2012 SLATE FOR BULLDOGS
Monday, January 2, 2012
After the 2011 portion of the season that saw the only three losses for the University of Minnesota Duluth women's basketball squad occur by a combined eight points, the Bulldogs will embark on one final long road swing before enjoying the majority of their 2012 contests at Romano Gymnasium.
First up, in a rare Tuesday (Jan. 3) tilt, will see UMD (7-3, 4-2 NSIC) travel to Bemidji to take on the Bemidji State Beavers (5-6, 3-3 NSIC). Last season, the Bulldogs were able to dispatch the Beavers with little effort – first with a 99-76 blowout in Duluth on January 3, followed by a 63-51 triumph in Bemidji on February 5.
In addition to the season sweep in 2010-11, the Bulldogs own a 57-29 all-time record against the Beavers including an 8-2 mark in their last 10 games. UMD has not dropped a contest in Bemidji since 2007.
The matchup will feature the big three of UMD against a trio of formidable players for the Beavers. Reigning NSIC Player of the Week Shelly Stemper averaged 20 points per game as the Bulldogs went 1-1 in their final two games of 2011.
The biggest star for the Bulldogs so far this season has been sophomore Katrina Newman. The 5-11 Barnum, Minn., native leads the team in scoring with 15.4 points per game and also forms the line in terms of rebounding with 8-2 per contest. The versatile forward has already snared one NSIC Player of the Week citation this season as well.
Rounding out the top three scoring threats for the Bulldogs is sharpshooting guard Courtney Doucette. The Colfax, Wis., native has commanded much attention from opposing defenses as the junior has shot 39.3 percent from long range so far this season. In addition to her prowess from the three-point line, Doucette also leads the team with 28 assists.
The three, along with the rest of the Bulldogs, will likely have their hands full against a Beaver squad that's looking to put an end to its three-game losing skid. Katie Warmack is the first – and most reliable – scoring option for the Beavers, pouring in 13.5 points per game and shooting at a 54.4 percent clip. Warmack also leads the Beavers with 15 blocks.
A pair of guards – Morgan Lee and Shannon Thompson – comprise the remaining members of the primary Beaver threesome. Lee, like Doucette, is also a skilled shooter from downtown and leads the Beavers with a 34.5 percentage from three. Lee averages 12.7 markers per game and does not squander many opportunities from the charity stripe.
Unlike the first pair of Beavers, Thompson employs a pass first mentality as evident by her team-leading 37 assists this season. She leads the Beavers in playing time with 31.2 minutes per game and scores at a clip of 10. points per game.
Live stats will be provided courtesy of the Bemidji State sports information department. To view the live stats, please visit this link. Tip-off between the Bulldogs and Beavers is set for 6 p.m.
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