Women's Basketball to Face Valley City State in Opening Round

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sterling, Kan. - The Sterling College Lady Warriors have drawn the Vikings of Valley City State University from North Dakota. Valley City State is the Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC) Tournament Champion with an overall record of 23-8 and is currently ranked at no. 19 in the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll. Sterling is the four seed in the fourth bracket and will play on Wednesday, March 9 at 9:15 pm at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. The game will be available on HKFM as well as on The Sterling College Sports Network as an audio broadcast.

Valley City State is coached by Jill DeVries in her 12th year with the school. DeVries was voted the 2010-2011 DAC Coach of the Year.

The Vikings are led by Amanda Brown, a 5'9" senior from Limon, Colorado. During the season, Brown has averaged 12.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.2 assists and was named First Team All-DAC. Brown is an extremely versatile player. Watch for her to possibly play all five positions on the floor.

Caitlyn Wojahn is another player to watch on VCSU. Wojahn is a 5'2" senior guard from Milbank, South Dakota and is the defensive leader for the Vikings. Wojahns averages 9.3 points per game and is ranked 45th in Division II Women's Basketball with 71 total steals, an average of 2.3 per game.

Kristen Bearstail is the third player to watch for Valley City State. Bearstail is the deep threat for the Vikings, making 68 three point field goals on the year and averaging 12.2 points per game.

Look for the Vikings to put heavy pressure on the Lady Warriors and attempt to force Sterling into turning the ball over as VCSU is ranked 39th in the nation in steals per game with 10.4. Valley City State's strengths are on the defensive side of the court where the Vikings allow only 59.3 points per game and are ranked 24th in the nation in defensive rebounds and 42nd in the nation in field goal percentage defense.

Sterling will counter with an even stronger defense as the Lady Warriors rank 2nd in the nation in scoring defense allowing only 54.5 points per game and 3rd in field goal percentage defense holding opponents to 0.339 percent shooting from the floor. The Lady Warriors also have a nationally ranked offense. Sterling is 32nd in the nation in scoring offense with 72.3 points per game and 6th in the nation in scoring margin averaging 17.8 more points per game than their opponents.

KCAC Player of the Year Britany Gasper should have an advantage in the post as either undersized or inexperienced depending on the line-up that DeVries will use. Gasper is averaging 14.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.

Senior Madison Lucas could also have a big game in the post. Lucas comes into the contest averaging 8.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

Look for freshman Laura Patrick to run the show from the point coming off the bench. Patrick was named to the All-KCAC First Team as a freshman and is the Lady Warriors' second leading scorer with 10.5 points per game. Laura also averages 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assist per game.

The winner of this game will advance to the round of sixteen and will play the winner of no. 1 seed Northwestern (Iowa) and no. 8 seed College of Idaho on Friday, March 11 at 5:15 pm.