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Buffs, Cowgirls Renew Rivalry Monday

Nov 20, 2005

THE GAME: The University of Colorado (1-0) will host the University of Wyoming (1-0) on Monday, Nov. 21, at 6 p.m. in the Coors Events Conference Center.

BROADCAST: Monday's game will televised live on Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain with Dave Benz at the call and former CU head coach Ceal Barry with the color commentary. All Colorado women's basketball regular and post season games are broadcast live on KKZN AM 760, Boulder's Progressive Talk station. Tim Smile will handle play by play duties and is joined by USA Basketball's Carol Callan with the color commentary.

THE BUFFALOES: With a new coach for the first time in 23 years, and a new up-tempo offense, Colorado exploded for 58 first half points and ushered in the Kathy McConnell-Miller era with a 100-71 win over Cal State-Fullerton on Nov. 18 at the CECC in the season-opener for both teams.

Junior Jasmina Ilic and sophomore Jackie McFarland each had 34 points, both career highs, marking the first time in team history two players hit the 30-point mark in the same game. McFarland recorded her sixth career double-double, grabbing a personal-high 15 rebounds. Ilic also had a personal-best 12 field goals and tied a career mark with 10 rebounds.

Ilic and McFarland each had 17 points in the first 20 minutes as the Buffaloes recorded the sixth-most first half points in team history.

Senior Whitney Law dished out a school record 15 assists, breaking the previous record of 14, which was done twice, last by La Shena Graham vs. Missouri in 1998. She also had nine assists in the first half, breaking a 26-year old school record. Sandy Bean recorded eight assists in a half against Northern Colorado on Feb. 1, 1979.

Colorado recorded its first 100 point game since a 114-52 win over St. Francis (Pa.) on Nov. 28, 1994. The Buffaloes hit 36-of-76 from the field and 21-of-29 from the free-throw line. CU also had a sizeable advantage on the boards, out rebounding the Titans 56-38. Freshman Caley Dow and junior Anna Nedovic each had seven rebounds.

BUFF DEBUTS: Colorado had three players -- two freshmen and a junior -- make their initial appearance in a Buffaloes uniform on Friday against Cal State Fullerton. Freshman forward Caley Dow hit all three of her field goal attempts and finished with seven rebounds, six points and four steals in 15 minutes. Guard Hannah Skildum had four points on 2-of-4 shooting and three rebounds in 13 minutes. Junior forward Courtney Wallace made her official CU entrance in the closing seconds of Friday's contest.

WALLACE ACTIVATED: Junior forward Courtney Wallace has waited more than a year to put on the Buffaloes uniform and now she will get her chance. Wallace, a walk-on transfer from CU-Colorado Springs, was officially added to the active roster on Nov. 17. Wallace practiced with the Buffs for most of last season as she sat out her NCAA mandated redshirted year after transferring from the Springs campus. She has been practicing and conditioning with the Buffaloes since the start of the school year. Wallace played two years for the Mountain Lions and was a two-year letterwinner for Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs, graduating in 2004.

ON THE MEND: Sophomore center Kara Richards is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks after suffering a fracture in her left foot during practice on Nov. 15. Richards underwent surgery on Nov. 16 to repair the fracture to the fifth meta-tarsal, also known as a "Jones fracture." Richards started in 26 of 28 games for the Buffaloes as a true freshman last winter, averaging nine points, 5.3 rebounds and one block per game. She earned a spot on the Waco Tribune-Herald's All-Big 12 Conference Freshman team in 2004-05 and was named the Buffs' Rookie of the Year. A native of Graham, Texas, Richards averaged 12 points and 6.5 rebounds in CU's two exhibition games earlier this month.

Senior center Tami Garnett, missed the exhibition schedule, recuperating from preseason surgery on the meniscus in her left knee. Garnett has returned to practice and played the last minute of the first half against Cal State-Fullerton.

ABOUT THE COWGIRLS: Wyoming opened the season on Nov. 19 with a 47-35 home win over Sacramento State in Laramie. Senior guard Erin Hicks had nine points and seven rebounds to pace the Cowgirls. Sophomore forward Hanna Zavecz, a second team All-Mountain West Conference selection, also had nine points to go along with three steals, three assists and three rebounds. Wyoming hit just 38 percent from the field (16-of-42) and had 23 turnovers, but the Cowgirls' defense was able to hold Sacramento State to just 29 percent shooting (12-of-42) and forced 24 turnovers. Wyoming was picked to finish seventh in the nine-team MWC.

SERIES RECORDS: Colorado and Wyoming will meet for the 40th time on Monday, with the Buffs holding a commanding 32-7 edge in the series. The CU-Wyoming series is the most played non-conference match-up for the Buffaloes with Colorado State a close second at 36. Colorado had a 13-game winning streak in the series snapped last season as Wyoming prevailed 72-67, on Dec. 1, in Laramie. The Buffaloes have won 29 of the last 31 dating back to the 1978 season. CU has won 19 straight over Wyoming in Boulder including a 71-39 decision in the last meeting at the CECC on Dec. 28, 2003. Wyoming's only win in Boulder was a 52-45 showing on Feb. 20, 1976.

Kathy McConnell-Miller has never faced Wyoming in her six-year head coaching career.

BUFFS IN OPENERS: With its win over Cal State-Fullerton, Colorado moved to 27-5 (.844) all-time in season openers and a whopping 31-1 (.969) all-time in home openers. CU has won six straight season debuts and 19 of its last 20 with the lone loss in that span coming at Denver on Nov. 19, 1999.

STRONG START PROMISING: Of the 26 seasons in which Colorado has won the season opener, the Buffaloes are 22-4 in the next game. One of the exceptions was last season, when the Buffaloes beat Loyola Marymount 75-58, only to lose to Nevada on its home court the next night, 69-59. The Buffaloes have opened a season with two (or more) straight home games 18 times and have come out of that stretch with a 2-0 record in 16 of those instances. The lone exceptions are CU's inaugural season in 1975 (a 50-44 loss to Utah State in game two) and in 1990 ( an 87-60 loss to No. 15 Washington).

CENTURY MARK REVISITED: Colorado reached the century mark for the 27th time, and the first since the 1994-95 season, with its 100-71 win over Cal State-Fullerton on Nov. 18. So what usually happens in the next game? The Buffaloes are 20-6 in their next outing after scoring 100 points and the output doesn't fall off too drastically. CU's scoring average in those 26 games is 86.9 points per contest including 12 games of 90 or more points. CU has scored 100 points in back-to-back games on three occasions, the last coming during the 1979-80 season with wins over Northern Arizona (112-76) and New Mexico State (106-75).

NOVEMBER SUCCESS: Fast starts in November are common for Colorado. The Buffaloes are 89-22 (.802) all-time in the month of November and a stunning 74-9 (.892) at the Coors Events Conference Center. CU is 16-2 at home in November since 2000, with the two losses coming against Villanova in 2002 and No. 2 LSU in 2004.

BUFFS IN PRESEASON: Colorado has had five straight seasons with a record of .500 or better during the non conference schedule. The Buffs have only finished below .500 twice during the nonconference schedule in the Big 8/Big 12 era going 5-6 in 1999-2000 and 4-9 in 1984-85. A five-game winning streak last December allowed CU to keep the string alive at with a 7-6 preseason mark.

CLIMBING THE ?3' LADDER: Juniors Jasmina Ilic and Anna Nedovic entered CU's top 20 for all-time 3-point field goals last year and both have legitimate shots to enter the top 10 sometime this season. Ilic is currently 14th on the all-time list with 43 and just one shy of reaching Shelley Garcia (1994-99) for 13th. Nedovic is right behind in 17th place with 37.

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. 5 in the season's first USA Today/ESPN coaches 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 the AP poll and has climbed to No. 22 in the first USA Today/ESPN coaches poll. 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 three votes in the coaches poll.

HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 290-78 all-time record at the Coors Events/Conference Center (.788). 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: Colorado will host the 19th annual Coors Classic Nov. 25-26 at the Coors Events Conference Center. Illinois and Utah State will play in the first game at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and the Buffs will host Northern Iowa in the late game at 8:30. Saturday's consolation game is slated for 5 p.m. followed by the championship game at 7 p.m. CU has won 12 of the previous 18 Coors Classic titles.

For the complete release, including player notes and statistics, click on the link below (pdf).