Buffs Face Regis In Exhibition Friday
THE GAME: Colorado will play its second of two exhibition contests on Friday, Nov. 11, against Regis University at the Coors Events Conference Center. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m..
THE BUFFALOES: Colorado opened exhibition play with a 55-28 win over the Colorado School of Mines on Nov. 3.
Junior Jasmina Ilic scored 29 points ? one more than the Orediggers did as a team ? to lead the Buffaloes. CU held the Orediggers to just 16 percent from the field (8-of-45) and forced 26 turnovers. Mines scored just 11 points in the second half and went without a field goal for a 12-minute span in the second half.
Ilic hit 9-of-20 from the field (45 percent), but was even more dangerous from the 3-point arc, nailing 4-of-7 from downtown. Ilic, who was also 7-of-9 from the free-throw line, grabbed six rebounds, dished out three assists and had two steals.
Sophomore Jackie McFarland was CU's only other player in double digits with 10 points. Sophomore Kara Richards, double and triple teamed at times, hit just 1-of-8 from the floor but had a team-high eight rebounds and four steals.
Colorado built an 11-4 lead over the first eight minutes of the game. Mines followed with a 12-4 run taking their first lead (16-13) on a Tomova 3-point field goal with 7:38 left in the first half
The Orediggers were able to climb back in the lead despite hitting only three of their first 19 shots (15.8 percent). Mines held a 17-11 edge in rebounds over the first 13 minutes of the contest including nine on the offensive end.
Colorado led by just two at 19-17 with 2:00 left when Ilic took over. She hit three straight 3-point shots over a 1:30 span to increase CU's lead to 28-17 at halftime. Ilic finished with 19 points in the first half on 5-of-11 from the field.
FIRST TIME IN THE UNIFORM: Colorado's two freshmen -- guard Hannah Skildum and forward Caley Dow -- saw their first action in a Buffaloes' uniform against Colorado Mines. Skildum played 17 minutes off the bench netting two points and two rebounds. Dow saw eight minutes of action recording six rebounds and four points on 2-of-6 from the field.
LOW SCORING AFFAIR: Colorado's 55-28 win over Mines featured CU's lowest point total allowed in an exhibition since 1997, as well as the Buffs' lowest offensive point total. Colorado's previous defensive low was 46 points, which happened twice, last in an 82-46 win over Nebraska-Kearney on Nov. 2, 2000. The Buffs' previous offensive low was 74, scored in a 74-65 win over Texlon Trutnov, out of the Czech Republic, on Nov. 13, 1999.
THE COACH: Kathy McConnell-Miller is in her first season as Colorado's head coach. She has spent the previous six seasons as head coach at the University of Tulsa, leading the Golden Hurricane to a 91-88 mark including two-straight WNIT postseason appearances.
ABOUT THE RANGERS: Regis is an NCAA Division II school located in Denver that participates in the 14-team Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Good things are expected from the Rangers (2-1) in 2005-06 as they were ranked No. 25 in the WBCA/USA Today/ESPN Preseason Division II poll. Regis backed up that ranking with a runner-up showing at the 2005 Disney Division II Tip-off Classic, Nov. 4-6. The Rangers downed No. 11 Bentley, 71-67, in the opener and Nebraska-Omaha, 62-51, in the semifinals before falling to No. 8 North Dakota, 78-70, in the championship game. Junior guard Diana Lopez, a 2005 honorable mention Kodak All-American, averaged 26 points and 7.7 rebounds at the Disney Classic and was named to the All-Tournament team along with teammates Denise Lopez, Diana's twin sister, and senior forward Aiste Slenyte. Diana Lopez was picked as the RMAC's Preseason Player of the Year. Denise Lopez, a second team All-RMAC Eastern Division pick as a sophomore, averaged a double-double with 14.7 points and 10.3 rebounds at the Disney Classic. Regis was selected to repeat as Eastern Division champions in the preseason coaches poll and also edged Metro State College of Denver as the coaches pick to win the overall conference title.
EXPERIMENTAL RULES: Colorado will play its two home exhibition games with a pair of experimental rules. First, the 3-point line will be moved from its traditional distance of 19-feet, 9-inches to an experimental distance of 20-6. The line laid out on the court is actually a 3-inch thick line with the front of the line representing the women's distance of 20-6 while the back of the line is the men's experimental distance of 20-9. So essentially, women's players can have their toes on the line for a 3-point attempt, just not over it. CU's men will use this distance for their two exhibition games. Second, the women will play under the 10-second rule to get the ball across half court currently used in the men's game. Colorado will also play under these two rules at the San Juan Shootout Tournament, an NCAA sanctioned tournament, Dec. 19-21, in Puerto Rico.
BUFFS IN EXHIBITION: Colorado has played at least one exhibition game every season since 1997, featuring a mix of NCAA II schools, foreign teams and traveling all-star teams. The Buffaloes are a perfect 15-0 in those contests, outscoring their opponents by 29.9 points per game (89.9-60.0). CU's closest exhibition contest came in 1997, a 77-72 win over Athletes In Action. Colorado won both its exhibition games last season defeating Fort Lewis College 99-68 on Nov. 6 and downing the University of South Dakota, 81-69 on Nov. 12. Kara Richards had 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Buffs against Fort Lewis while Jackie McFarland recorded a game-high 25 points off the bench in the win over USD.
BUFFS PICKED 12TH: Colorado was picked to finish 12th in the annual Big 12 Conference Coaches Preseason Poll. CU received 14 points meaning no less than eight Big 12 coaches picked the Buffaloes to finish in the 12th spot (coaches do not vote for their own teams). It is the first time the Buffaloes have been picked lower than eighth since the coaches poll began in 1997. Defending NCAA champion Baylor was picked to win its second consecutive Big 12 title, landing six first place votes and 113 total points to edge out second place Texas with two first place nods and 110 points. Texas Tech was a close third with the four remaining first place votes and 108 points. Oklahoma was fourth (91), followed by Nebraska (70), Kansas (66), Texas A&M (59), Kansas State (56), Iowa State (45), Missouri (37), Oklahoma State (23) and Colorado.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: Colorado once again faces a tough schedule, featuring at least 14 games against 2005 NCAA or WNIT tournament teams. Defending national champion Baylor, who the Buffs will face in Waco on Feb. 22, is the highest ranked team on the schedule, checking in at No. 6 in the Associated Press preseason poll and No. 7 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches preseason poll. The Big 12 Conference Southern Division is prominent in the preseason polls. Texas is ranked No. 12 in both polls while Texas Tech is right behind at No. 13. Oklahoma begins the 2005-06 season at No. 25 in both polls. As far as the north, Kansas State and Iowa State are receiving votes in both polls, while Kansas is receiving votes in the AP poll. Oregon is CU's only non conference opponent with recognition in either preseason poll, recording 16 votes in the coaches poll.
HOME AT THE CECC: Although the exhibition games will not count in the record books, Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 289-78 all-time record at the Coors Events/Conference Center (.787). The Buffaloes have won 10 or more games in a season at the CECC in 18 of the previous 27 years including five undefeated seasons (1980-83, 1992-94). Colorado had a rare sub-.500 season last winter at 5-9, marking just the second time the Buffs have been below .500 for a season in the 27-year history of the CECC.
BUFFS ON TV: Colorado's schedule features seven games that will be televised either regionally or nationally by Fox Sports Net. All but one of the FSN games is in Boulder, with the lone exception at Colorado State on Nov. 30. Buffs fans will see a familiar face on their TV sets during those games as longtime CU coach Ceal Barry is scheduled to provide the color commentary on a majority of the broadcasts.
UP NEXT: The Buffaloes will officially open the 2005-06 season, and the Kathy McConnell-Miller era at Colorado, on Friday, Nov. 18, against Cal State-Fullerton, at 6 p.m. in the Coors Events Center. The game is doubleheader with the men's team, who will open their schedule against North Carolina Wilmington with an 8:30 p.m. scheduled tip.