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WBB: Pedersen emerges as scoring threat

Jan 10th, 2014 @ 9:25 am | Author: Mark Potts, Sports Information Director
Entering this season, the Valley City State women's basketball team returned just one of its top four scorers from last year's national tournament team.

Leading scorer Brittany Lehner was back, but the Vikings would need someone else to step up and score on a regular basis. Midway through the season, it appears Stephanie Pedersen has become another scoring threat.

After a slow offensive start to the season, the junior from Mandan has picked up her game lately, averaging 15 points a game over the last six contests. Known more for her defense than offense entering the year, Pedersen has taken a step forward offensively and is also creating offense with her defense. Pedersen leads the team in steals, averaging 2.1 per game, and has been able to create transition points for herself and her teammates.

"We know that she's going to come out and play hard and give us defensive presence and defensive effort every game," said head coach Cathy Hanek. "The scoring is icing on the cake for us. She's making the shots she's given and she's getting out in transition for us, which is probably her biggest asset offensively."

Over the last six games, Pedersen is shooting 47 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3-point range, both well over her career averages. She scored 21 points on Jan. 4 in a 77-55 win over Minnesota-Morris, raising her season average to 10 points a game.

Pedersen is second on the team in scoring behind Lehner, who averages 16 points a game and has been the mark of consistency. Lehner has reached double figures in 10 out of 12 games this year, including the last nine. Lehner is 6th in the nation in field goal percentage, making 59.8 percent of her shots this season.

Led by Lehner and Pedersen, the Vikings have won three of their last four games and have climbed back to .500 at 6-6. VCSU will try to move above .500 for the first time this season when they play Northern New Mexico and Johnson & Wales in Denver, Colo., on Friday and Saturday.