College Basketball: Christensen ends college career with honors

Catching up on winter performances by former Douglas County basketball standouts and others with Umpqua Community College ties:

Chelsey Christensen shot up a storm in her final college basketball season for Warner Pacific College in Portland, and was rewarded with an NAIA second-team All-American honor.

Christensen, a 5-foot-9 guard who played at Central Catholic High and spent her first two college seasons at UCC, averaged 19.9 points and 6.9 rebounds a game for the Knights, who finished 16-13 overall and 11-7 in Cascade Collegiate Conference play. Warner Pacific lost 71-64 to Southern Oregon in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.

“It (All-American award) is pretty awesome. I was surprised ... happy,” the 22-year-old Christensen said. “It was disappointing we didn’t make it to the (NAIA national) tournament, but this is a really great way to end the season.”

Christensen, the CCC Player of the Year, shot 51 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 87 percent from the line while averaging 33.1 minutes a game. She scored 993 points in two seasons with WP, fifth on the school’s all-time list.

“I did as well (my senior season) as I could’ve hoped,” Christensen said. “Playing for Dave (Stricklin, UCC coach) made a huge difference. My confidence was so much better. I’m not the most athletic player, but I make up for it by playing hard.”

Christensen is pondering her future. One possibility is playing professionally overseas. She’ll graduate this spring from Warner Pacific with a degree in human development and plans to apply for a dental hygiene program.

“I’ve improved so much over my college career,” she said. “I’m thankful for the path I took. We’ll see what happens, but it’s been a good ride.”

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Coleton Baker hasn’t gotten much playing time for the University of Oregon basketball team, but it’s been a memorable season for the walk-on who starred at Oakland High and UCC.

The 6-3 junior guard has played in only 10 games for the Ducks, who defeated fifth-seeded Oklahoma State 68-55 Thursday afternoon in the second round of the NCAA Midwest Regional at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Oregon (27-8), which won the Pac-12 Tournament title last Saturday in Las Vegas, will meet Saint Louis (28-6) on Saturday in the third round.

Baker has played 31 minutes for the Ducks, scoring four points.

He was a first-team All-Southern Region selection for UCC last year, averaging 24.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.6 steals.

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Eric Thompson, a Roseburg High graduate, had a solid sophomore season with the Southern Oregon University basketball team, earning first-team all-Cascade Conference honors for the second straight year and receiving honorable mention on the NAIA All-American team.

The 6-7 forward led the Raiders of Ashland in scoring (16.5 points) and was second in rebounding (6.5). He shot 46 percent from the field, 38 percent from the 3-point line (65 treys) and 71 percent from the line.

Tim Weber, a 6-7 sophomore guard from Roseburg, contributed to SOU’s successful season with 4.2 points and 2.4 rebounds a game. He was third on the team in assists with 67. He shot 49 percent from the field, 37 percent from 3-point range and 77 percent from the line.

The Raiders (25-10), guided by Brian McDermott, were ranked No. 10 in the final NAIA Division II coaches’ poll. They went 1-1 at the NAIA national tournament, defeating Madonna 83-66 and losing to College of the Ozarks 76-59.

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Samantha Thornton, a 5-11 junior forward from Bremerton, Wash., averaged 6.3 points and 3.7 rebounds for Alaska Fairbanks this season and was selected the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player Co-Player of the Week in late February.

Thornton, who played at UCC the past two years, shot 40 percent from the field 77 percent from the line. Kristen Swim, a 5-9 junior guard from Portland who also played at UCC, redshirted this season. The Nanooks finished 5-21 overall and 3-15 in conference play.

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Jameia McDuffie, a 5-2 senior guard, averaged 9.9 points for Hawaii at Hilo. The former Riverhawk, from Bellflower, Calif., led the Vulcans (13-11, 10-7 Pacific West Conference) with 51 steals and was fourth in assists with 50.

Her best game came against BYU-Hawaii, when she scored 21 points and dished out seven assists. McDuffie hit four 3-pointers and went 7-for-7 from the line.

• You can reach Sports Editor Tom Eggers at 541-957-4220 or by email at teggers@nrtoday.com


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The News-Review Updated Mar 22, 2013 12:44PM Published Mar 22, 2013 12:44PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.