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WBB To Open Season Friday

Nov 20, 2002

Boulder - Ceal Barry's women's basketball team will tipoff the 29th season of Colorado basketball this Friday, Nov. 22 at 5:45 p.m. at the Coors Events/Conference Center against Rice.

The game will be broadcast on KKZN 760 AM, with Tim Smile handling play-by-play duties and Carol Callan on color analysis. The game will be broadcast by BuffVision and the Journalism School on AT&T Broadband Boulder Channel 62 and campus cable channel 22. The CU men will then open their season at 8 p.m. against Cal-Poly. Tickets are good for both games, however seat assignments are only valid for the game the tickets were purchased for.

Colorado brings an almost-brand-new starting lineup to the Sox Walseth Court on Friday, as the Buffs return just one starter from the 2001-02 team in Sabrina Scott. Anchoring the Buff lineup will be junior center Tera Bjorklund, who averaged 20.5 ppg and 6.0 rpg in CU's two exhibition wins and is the returning leading scorer from last season.

"The pressure is on us this year," said Bjorklund. "Every team we play is going to say, 'They went to the Elite Eight,' and they will be ready to come at us. That is going to keep us on our toes for each game we play. We have the same expectations as last year. We practice with the same mental toughness now. We just need to bring 100-percent everyday and keep improving. Our goals are not going to change. We want to make it back to the same place we did last year."

CU's forwards, both Scott and fifth-year senior Linda Lappe, are the two most experienced players on the team. Lappe looks forward to a season without preseason surgery, while Scott looks forward to her senior year and taking charge of the Buffs.

"I have been a leader since high school, but it is a lot different at the college level," said Scott. "This is my last year, so it truly means a lot to me. If something needs to be said, I'll say it. But usually Coach Barry is on top of things and handles things pretty well."

"I think its manageable right now and I have to manage it as long as I'm smart and if it starts to hurt, I take it down a notch or take a day off," said Lappe about her health. "I definitely have off day and on days. If it's really sore, I don't push it.

Historically speaking, the Buffs are 23-5 in season openers and 27-1 in home openers. This is the latest CU has started a season since 1997-98, when the Buffs hosted BYU, also on Nov. 22. Just FYI, CU's earliest season opener was last season on Nov. 9, with the latest coming Dec. 1, which was in 1992. Colorado's only loss in a home opener was the now-infamous Michigan game on Nov. 21, 1999. CU fell 77-63, but the biggest loss was Lappe, who broke her kneecap mid-game. Since then, the Buffs have won 93-43 over Albany and 78-49 over Oral Roberts, an average margin of victory of 39.5 over two games.