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San Francisco Women's Basketball Team Opens 2007-08 In Colorado

Nov. 8, 2007

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STORYLINE: The San Francisco Women's Basketball team opens the 2007-08 season with a road games versus Northern Colorado Sunday and Colorado State on Tuesday. Tip off for Sunday's game from Greeley is set for 3 p.m. PT, while the Dons' matchup in Fort Collins on Tuesday starts at 6 p.m. PT. Radio for both contests will be available at www.USFDons.com.

GAME 1 • NOVEMBER 11 • AT NORTHERN COLORADOALL-TIME SERIES: First MeetingLAST FOUR: @ Portland State 77, NCOL 63 (3/3/07)        @ Eastern Washington 68, NCOL 47 (3/1/07)        Montana 74, @ NCOL 56 (2/24/07)        Montana State 77, NCOL 49 (2/22/07)

SCOUTING NORTHERN COLORADO:

• HEAD COACH: Jamie White (Southern Utah `94)

RECORD AT NCOL: 5-24 / 2nd Year

CAREER RECORD: Same

• CONFERENCE: Big Sky

• 2006-07 RECORD: 5-24, 2-14 in conference

2006-07 TEAM COMPARISON

TEAM PPG MARGINFG %3FG %FT %RPG APGTOSPGBPGNCOL55.6-16.1.354.292.66734.38.95165.41.8USF58.6-4.9.399.254.68636.212.95496.41.7

Northern Colorado enters is first season as a full fledged NCAA Division I university and thus is at the beginnings of shaping its identity within it's new status. Like most schools the transition to DI competition has proved to be a challenge for the Bears. They won five of their 29 games in 2006-07, two in Big Sky conference play. With that said Northern Colorado has almost an entirely new roster this season with only three of it's 14 letterwinners from a season ago returning so the outcome of the new year is up in the air.

Junior guard Whitney Cox is Northern Colorado's top returner. Cox averaged 14.9 points and 2.85 assists per game as a sophomore. In the Bears lone exhibition game versus Colorado School of Mines on November 2, Cox scored a game-high 23 points while also collecting seven rebounds and six assists.

Senior center Danielle Hagen and sophomore forward Alisa Christopherson are the Bears other returners. Hagen saw her first action in over a year after missing all of the 2006-07 season during last week's exhibition. She collected nine rebounds in the Northern Colorado win. Christopherson scored three points in 15 minutes.

Freshman guard Kate Kevorken came off the bench to add 16 points, including three three-pointers in her first collegiate game. Freshman guard Courtney Stoermer had five assists and four steals.

The Bears were selected to finish ninth in the Big Sky in the conference preseason coaches' poll.

GAME 2 • NOVEMBER 13 • AT COLORADO STATEALL-TIME SERIES: Colorado State leads USF, 3-2LAST FOUR: Air Force 47, CSU 46 (3/6/07)        UNLV 63, @ CSU 58 (3/3/07)        @ Wyoming 72, CSU (2/25/07)                       @ CSU 67, San Diego State 56 (2/22/07)

LAST TIME VERSUS THE RAMS: (November 17, 2006) The Dons won 62-51 at War Memorial Gym to snap a three-game losing streak against the Rams and give Head Coach Tanya Haave her first win at the Dons' helm. Forward Nickie Warren collected a career-high 21 rebounds, to go along with 10 points, in front of the home crowd. Her rebound total was the most for a USF player since Mary Jane Krueger (1999-05) collected 21 against New Mexico in 2003. In 31 minutes off the bench, Dons' sophomore guard Katie Mihalco chipped in a game-high 22 points, converting 7-of-13 from the field, including a remarkable 5-of-6 from three point range. Senior Lisa Olden also had a double-double with 10 points, 13 rebounds versus the Rams. Freshman Kelly Jo Mullaney was Colorado State's top performer with 17 points and six rebounds.

IN FORT COLLINS: USF is 0-2. The Dons last traveled to Fort Collins during 2004-05 for the season opener. The Dons lost that game 72-64 to Colorado State. Center Mary Jane Krueger led the Dons with 12 points, five rebounds and center Leeane Jensen added 10 points of her own. Freshman guard Dominique Carter, in her collegiate debut, scored eight.

SCOUTING COLORADO STATE:

• HEAD COACH: Jen Warden (Colorado `93)

RECORD AT CSU: 17-41 / 3rd Year

CAREER RECORD: 46-100 / 6th Year

• CONFERENCE: Mountain West

• 2006-07 RECORD: 8-21, 3-13 in conference

2006-07 TEAM COMPARISON

TEAM PPG MARGINFG %3FG %FT %RPG APGTOSPGBPGCSU59.0-7.9.380.326.69337.111.25176.62.7USF58.6-4.9.399.254.68636.212.95496.41.7

Colorado State, a member of the Mountain West Conference, will play the Dons for the second straight season. In 2006-07, USF won by 11 points on the hot shooting of guard Katie Mihalco.

The Rams split two exhibition contests this year, losing 55-42 to Metro State College of Denver on October 31 and then winning 58-42 over Colorado State-Pueblo on November 3. The Rams will open their season at Northern Iowa on Friday.

In the two preseason games, senior guard Sara Hunter led the Rams with a combined 31 points. Hunter, Colorado State's best returner, averaged 12.6 points per game in 2006-07. In last year's game versus the Dons, Hunter netted 10 points and grabbed five rebounds.

Returnees Kelly Rae Finley, Juanise Cornell and Emily Neal will also be counted on to produce for the Rams. As freshmen, Cornell scored 7.7 points and collected 6.8 rebounds per game, Neal netted 6.3 ppg and Finley scored 4.5 ppg.

Colorado State has added four junior college transfers to their roster over the off season and it is hoped they'll make an immediate impact. Highlighting the class of transfers is Britney Minor, a 5-10 forward transfer from Bill College (Texas). Kandy Beemer also joins the team by way of Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Mo. Beemer, a sharp shooting guard from Bedford, Iowa, led the nation in three-point shooting percentage , connecting on 51.5 percent of her attempts.

THE DONS IN SEASON OPENERS: San Francisco has posted a 13-18 record in season openers in its 31 year history. The Dons have dropped their last three opening contests dropping a 62-56 contest at Colorado (11/10/06), falling 80-62 at No. 17 Minnesota (11/19/05) and taking a 72-64 setback at Colorado State (11/19/04). USF's last opening win came in a convincing 72-46 victory against South Carolina State (11/21/03). After starting the decade with a 105-51 dismantling of UC Riverside (11/19/00), the Dons have managed just one win in their last six season debuts.In last year's game, senior Dominique Carter scored 22 points on 10-of-19 from the field and Nickie Warren had 11 points, nine rebounds. San Francisco shot .421 (24-57) from the field for the game, while Colorado shot .521 (25-48) including a sizzling .714 (15-21) after the intermission.

BROADCASTS: USF women's basketball returns to the airwaves and cyberspace for the 2007-2008 season with all games available live at USFDons.com and at KUSF 90.3 FM. Join George Devine for the play-by-play in his 12th year behind the microphone. Former USF standout point guard Jamie Shadian will add color commentary for selected games. Other features available on USFDons.com include GameTracker, courtesy of CSTV.com with live play-by-play and streaming video of all home games courtesy of Yahoo Broadcast. Road games will also be available at 88.7 FM with frequency subject to change depending on the venue.

CARTER'S PURSUIT: USF's Dominique Carter, a three-time West Coast Conference First Team selection, has a chance of doing something only one other player in WCC history has ever done - earn four first team nods. The other player to accomplish the feat is San Francisco's all-time great Brittany Lindhe. Carter has dominated the league since becoming a Don in 2004-05, winning the WCC Newcomer of the Year award following an initial campaign where she scored 15.3 points per game and shot .470 from the field. Entering the 2007-08 season, Carter sits seventh on the Dons' career record list for points with 1,262. Over her career she's had 20 games scoring 20 or more points, including two with 30.

THE RETURNING AWARD WINNERS: Leading USF's eight returning letterwinners is senior forward Dominique Carter. For the third straight year, Carter was the Dons' top scorer in 2006-07, averaging 14.4-points per game on a .468 shooting percentage and for her efforts she earned her third All-West Coast Conference First Team selection.

06-07 WCC Honorable Mention junior guard Shay Rollins will be an impact player for USF once again. Rollins was key in USF's upset of San Diego in the first round of the WCC Tournament last year, dropping in 21 points on 8-for-14 shooting. Last year, Rollins averaged 10.7 points, 2.6 assists and 1.25 steals per game.

Sophomore forward/guard Heidi Heintz, a WCC All-Freshman team member, wears the green and gold for a second year. Heintz collected 6.4 ppg on a .489 shooting percentage, .435 from behind the arc, in 2006-07.

THREE STRAIGHT ALL-FRESHMEN PERFORMERS: 2006-07 marked the third straight season San Francisco had a player earn WCC All-Freshmen honors. Dominique Carter received the recognition during the 2004-05 season followed by Shay Rollins in 2005-06. History looks good for Heintz as Carter and Rollins are this season's top returning scorers for USF. The following chart shows how each player performed during their freshmen and then their sophomore years.

1ST YEARPLAYER    PPGFG%3PT%FT%RPGAPGSPGDominique Carter 15.3.470.382.7674.60.90.8Shay Rollins6.8.327.250.6003.12.41.3Heidi Heintz6.4.489.435.7074.01.30.6

2ND YEARPLAYER PPGFG%3PT%FT%RPGAPGSPGDominique Carter 13.9.477.353.8365.21.51.0Shay Rollins10.7.366.242.7293.52.61.3

OLDEN'S IMPROVEMENT: USF senior center Lisa Olden took a huge jump statistically from her sophomore to junior seasons, giving the Dons an X-Factor at times. As a junior, Olden averaged 7.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game compared to her sophomore output of 3.5 ppg and 2.8 rpg. A great example of her newly found impact came in the 2006-07 season series versus Santa Clara where she averaged 19 points a game.

SOME POINTS ON PEACE: Senior Nykia Peace looks to close her career out on a high note. The Dons' guard started all 31 games for USF in 2006-07 averaging 5.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.74 assists and 1.29 steals per game. She ranked eighth in apg last year. For her career, Peace has averaged 1.3 spg.

MIHALCO BACK AND READY: Sophomore Katie Mihalco returns to the USF rotation after being sidelined the final 18 games of the 2006-07 season due to a knee injury. Mihalco, a long range shooter, averaged 4.6 points per game while shooting .343 from downtown. She scored a game-high 22 points versus Colorado State on November 17, 2007, landing 5-of-6 three pointers.

THE NEWCOMERS: A name which could be heard around the WCC this season is Necolia Simmons. Simmons, a forward/center who transferred from San Joaquin Delta College, was a Kodak JC All-American a year ago averaging 16-points and nine rebounds per game. She has the ability to make an immediate impact on the inside for the Dons. Simmons, skilled at almost all parts of the game, provides power under the basket, something the Dons have lacked in recent years. San Francisco beat out Big-12 school Indiana as well as Nevada, to name a few, for her services the next two years.

Alexis Musante transferred to USF from DePaul this offseason as well. A Bay Area native, Musante returns home after a one year stint with the Blue Demons. After walking onto the Blue Demons roster Musante saw action in nine games in a season that saw DePaul go all the way to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. Due to NCAA transfer rules, Musante will be eligible to play when the spring term begins.

Jordan Kuzma, Donnisha Taylor, Jakkie Boka-Timmerberg and Keshia Suhail are this year's freshmen class.

Kuzma is described as the most college ready first year player on the USF roster and a great addition at the post. As a senior in high school, Kuzma averaged 15 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks a game, and was named D2 League MVP. The Dons' staff sees her also filling in at the center position.

Hailing from Skyline High School in Oakland, Calif., is Taylor. As a senior, she put up 17.2 points and nine rebounds a game for the Bay Area prep.

In the same process of making the transition to the college game will be Boka-Timemrberg. The 6-3 forward from Urban High in San Francisco has great blocking ability and can guard both inside and out. She has three-point range and it is hoped she'll be able to knock down a few from outside the arc once the season gets underway.

Keshia Suhail, a guard from Millbrae, Calif., was a preseason walk-on to the Dons' club.

THE EXHIBITION SEASON: The San Francisco Dons went 2-0 in exhibition play this season. In total USF averaged, 75 points per game on .505 shooting, collected 35.5 boards per game and dished out 18 assists per game.

VERSUS SONOMA STATE: Senior forward Dominique Carter scored 24 and junior forward Necolia Simmons collected 19 points, seven rebounds in her Dons' debut as San Francisco defeated Sonoma State 81-53 in exhibition play last Thursday evening.

Simmons made her presence felt early scoring the first nine of the Dons' eleven points. The second frame belonged to Carter, who had 16 of her game high point total after halftime. In the last 20-minutes, Carter shot 6-for-10 from the field, including 2-for-4 from three.

Junior Shay Rollins would finish the night with a double-double, 10-points and 10 assists. The Dons as a team collected 24 dimes.

The Dons shot 58.2% from the field, 40% from behind the arc. Sonoma State didn't shoot bad, hitting 45.2% of their attempts, but 25 turnovers added to the Dons' success.

VERSUS SAN FRANCISCO STATE: Led by 18 points, seven rebounds from junior Necolia Simmons, four San Francisco players scored in double figures in a 69-57 exhibition victory over San Francisco State.

Along with Simmons, senior Dominique Carter registered 11 points, 15 rebounds for the Dons. Sophomore Heidi Heintz collected 16 points and junior Shay Rollins had 11.

USF shot 54.5 percent from the floor, 93 percent from the line to close out the game. In total, the Dons shot 42.9-percent from the floor, 76-percent from the line. Simmons, listed as a forward/center, was a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe.

EXHIBITION TOTALSPLAYER    PPGFG%3PT%FT%RPGAPGSPGNecolia Simmons18.5.5651.000 .9097.02.02.0Dominique Carter 17.5.536.286.7508.53.01.0Heidi Heintz14.0.600.400.7275.02.50.5Shay Rollins10.5.533.286.7502.56.02.5Lisa Olden9.0.538.000.6675.52.02.0

BACK-TO-BACK UPSETS IN THE WCC TOURNAMENT: The last two seasons of USF Women's Basketball have been topped off with dramatic upsets in the West Coast Conference tournament. In 2006-07, the seventh-seeded Dons defeated the second-seeded San Diego Toreros 80-69 in the first round. The year prior in the opening frame, No. 7 USF defeated No. 2 Gonzaga, 75-67 It was only the fourth time overall in WCC Tournament history the No.7 seed dispatched the No. 2. Prior to the Dons improbable opening round victories, Portland downed Santa Clara 85-65 in 2001.

06-07 BIG TIME VICTORIES: USF defeated the following notable opponents in 2006-07... Southern Illinois, the 2006-07 Missouri Valley Conference Champions, 67-60... Florida State, a NCAA Sweet Sixteen team, 67-64... Nevada, an eventual WNIT tournament team, 65-55.