Colorado Hosts Kansas In Big 12 Women's Action
THE GAME: The University of Colorado (5-9, 0-2 Big 12) will host the University of Kansas (12-1, 1-1 Big 12) on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m., in the Coors Events Conference Center.
BROADCAST: Tuesday's game will be televised live on Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain. Dave Benz will provide the call of the game with former CU head coach Ceal Barry giving the color commentary. The Kansas game will be broadcast live on KKZN 760 AM, 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. Internet audio streaming of the game will be available through Yahoo! Sports.
THE BUFFALOES: Colorado will be looking to stop a two-game losing streak in Big 12 play, and three overall, when Kansas comes to Boulder on Tuesday. The Buffaloes have won four of eight at home this season averaging just over 70 points per game and are shooting 39.3 percent from the field.
After averaging 75.9 points and hitting 43 percent from the field over the first 10 games of the season, the have Buffs averaged just 62.8 points over the last four games while shooting only 36.5 percent. The Buffaloes have also given up their edge on the boards in the last four games as the Buffs are being outrebounded by four per contest (38.8-34.8).
Sophomore post Jackie McFarland and junior forward Jasmina Ilic are in a virtual tie for the CU scoring lead at 18.4 points per game. McFarland is nearly sporting a double-double through the first 14 games, leading the Buffaloes at 9.8 rebounds per game. She ranks fifth in the Big 12 in scoring is fourth in rebounds. Ilic is seventh in the Big 12 in scoring, and has scored at least 20 points in five of the last 11 outings, including a 36-point performance against Nebraska. McFarland and Ilic have scored 20 or more points in the same game four times this season and the Buffs are 3-1 in those outings (lone loss at Creighton). After a relatively slow start, junior forward Anna Nedovic is heating up. She has hit 48.3 percent from the floor the last 10 games (30x62) after hitting only 16.7 percent over the first three games (3x18). Colorado's back-court trio of senior Whitney Law and sophomores Lauren Lubin and Yari Escalera have put up some impressive numbers. Law, who returned to action against Nebraska after missing the previous two games, recorded a career-high 22 points against Colorado State and ranks sixth among Big 12 players in assists with 4.6 per game. Escalera, the second-best foul shooter in the Big 12 at 90.7 percent, had a career-high seven assists and scored 14 second-half points against South Dakota State. Lubin, who has started the last 11 games, is hitting nearly 50 percent from the field as a starter (18x39) and is second on the team in assists and rebounding. Escalera (.907), Lubin (.842), Law (.800) and Ilic (.783) each rank in among the top 15 free-throw shooters in the Big 12.
Colorado's freshman duo of forward Caley Dow and guard Hannah Skildum are getting some key minutes off the bench for the Buffaloes. Dow is averaging 15.5 minutes a game and has at least four rebounds in 10 of 14 contests. Skildum has scored in nine of the last 10 games and has recorded at least one rebound in all 14 outings and one assist in 12 of 14 games.
LUBIN OUT AGAINST KANSAS: Sophomore guard Lauren Lubin will miss Tuesday's game against Kansas with a mild concussion suffered in the first half of the Oklahoma game. Lubin, who had started the last 11 games, averages 5.8 points per game and is second on th eteam in rebounding (5.4 rpg) and assists (2.7 apg).
LAST TIME OUT: Courtney Paris had 17 points and 17 rebounds as No. 18/16 Oklahoma used a strong first half to defeat Colorado 84-61 in a Big 12 Conference game on Jan. 7 at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.
Colorado falls to 5-9 overall and 0-2 in the Big 12, dropping its fourth straight overall to Oklahoma. The Sooners climb to 12-3 overall and remain unbeaten in league play at 2-0.
Oklahoma, the top rebounding team in the Big 12, showed why in the first half. The Sooners had more offensive rebounds in the first period (13) than the Buffaloes had total as OU held an overall margin of 27-12. Paris had 10 of those first half rebounds to go along with nine points. Twin sister Ashley Paris had seven rebounds and was one of nine Sooners to score in the first half as OU ran out to a 22-9 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game en route to building a 50-29 halftime lead.
CU shot 38.5 percent overall in the first half (10-of-26) and Oklahoma held the Buffs' leading scorer and rebounder Jackie McFarland to three points and no boards in the first 20 minutes.
Colorado played nearly even with the Sooners in the second half and cut the OU lead to 68-51 with just over six minutes remaining.
More than 50 percent of Colorado's scoring came off the bench in Saturday's game. Senior guard Whitney Law scored 14 points in her most extended action since a sprained ankle that forced her to miss two of the last three games. Freshman guard Hannah Skildum had a career high 12 points on 5-of-10 from the field and four assists.
Colorado junior Jasmina Ilic had 11 points to lead the CU starters.
FIRST 14 GAMES: Comparing statistics from Colorado's first 14 games last year, and the first 14 games this year, the most significant improvements for the Buffaloes are in scoring, rebounding and free-throw shooting. CU is averaging 7.6 more points per game than at the same time last year. The Buffs have scored 80 or more points five times this season as opposed to once in the entire 2004-05 campaign. Many of those points are coming off free throws. Colorado is getting to the line eight more times per game and making good on 7.9 more per game reflecting a solid .756 free-throw percentage -- currently tops in the Big 12 -- as opposed to .658 last season. Colorado is also averaging 4.3 more rebounds than this time last year and enjoying an even greater rebounding margin. CU's averaging 4.8 more rebounds per game than its opponent this year while the Buffs were +0.3 through 14 games in 2004-05.
CU has fallen off on its 3-point field-goal shooting, down 4.8 percent from last year. The Buffs are actually giving up fewer turnovers from last year (+1.8) and have a better assist/turnover ratio (+0.12) but their turnover margin is 1.0 higher than this time last year.
Colorado Statistics Through 13 Games
Record 7-7 5-9
Points 64.5 72.1
Points Allowed 69.0 69.4
Scoring Margin -4.5 +2.8
Field Goals 23.5 23.7
Field Goal Att. 56.8 57.4
Field Goal Pct. .414 .413
3-pt Field Goals 5.3 4.6
3-pt Field Goal Att. 15.4 15.5
3-pt Field Goal Pct. .343 .295
Free Throws 12.2 20.1
Free Throw Att. 18.6 26.6
Free Throw Pct. .658 .756
Offensive Rebounds 12.2 14.6
Defensive Rebounds 25.7 26.5
Total Rebounds 37.9 41.1
Rebounding Margin +0.3 +4.8
Fouls 15.9 18.6
Assists 13.0 13.9
Turnovers 19.6 17.8
Assist/TO Ratio 0.66 0.78
Turnover Margin -2.4 -3.4
Blocks 3.2 3.4
Steals 7.4 7.4
McFARLAND 20-10: Jackie McFarland is the first player in CU women's basketball history to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds over the first seven games of a season, in fact, she was the first to do it in the first four games of a season. McFarland dipped below the double-double numbers while at the San Juan Shootout, and is currently residing at 18.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
ILIC, McFARLAND IN TOP SIX: Jackie McFarland and Jasmina Ilic own the fourth and sixth best season scoring averages through the first 14 games in team history. McFarland has ranked among the top five all season, while Ilic just joined the top six after her 36-point performance against Nebraska.
POINTS AVERAGE FIRST 14 GAMES
Name (Season) PPG
1. Tera Bjorklund (2003-04) 20.2
2. Jamillah Lang (1993-94) 19.4
3. Lisa Van Goor (1980-81) 18.7
4. Jackie McFarland (2005-06) 18.4
4. Lisa Van Goor (1981-82) 18.4
6. Jasmina Ilic (2005-06) 18.4
LUBIN BACK-TO-BACK DOUBLES: With her performances against Utah State and Colorado State sophomore guard Lauren Lubin became just the fifth true guard in team history to record two or more points-rebounds double-doubles in a career and only the second to do it back-to-back games. Former Big Eight Conference MVP Bridget Turner did it in back-to-back games during the 1988-89 season and leads all CU guards with nine total points-rebounds double-doubles. Lubin joins three other guards with two points-rebounds double-doubles and included in that list is teammate Whitney Law who had a pair last season. Lubin had 13 points and 13 rebounds against Utah State and had 15 points and 10 rebounds at CSU.
CLIMBING THE ?3' LADDER: Junior Jasmina Ilic hit two 3-point field goals against Oklahoma and ranks 10th on CU's all-time list with 70. Next on the radar screen for Ilic is Sabrina Scott (1999-03) who is in ninth place at 74.
Junior Anna Nedovic is tied with Shelley Garcia (1994-99) for 14th on the all-time list with 44.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS: Kansas is 12-1 overall, beginning the season with a school-record 12 game win streak before dropping its first game of the year, 73-61, at Nebraska on Jan. 7. The game against Nebraska was the first of the year for KU away from Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks, who received votes in the latest Associated Press poll, are led by senior forward Crystal Kemp who averages 19.5 points and 8.4 per game. Both marks rank in the top six of the Big 12. Kemp is complimented senior guard Erica Hallman averaging 14.4 points and 5.0 rebounds. Hallman is second on the team in assists trailing freshman Ivana Catic who is fourth in the Big 12 at six assists per game. Kansas ranks third in the Big 12 in field goal percentage (.455) and second in 3-point field goal percentage (.383), but ranks last in field goal percentage defense (.404).
SERIES RECORDS: This will be 56th meeting between Colorado and Kansas with the Buffaloes holding a slim 28-27 series lead. Kansas swept the season series from CU last year for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. The Jayhawks' 65-60 win in Boulder on Jan. 25, 2005, broke a nine-game CU winning streak in the series. Colorado's last win against KU was a 75-56 decision in Boulder on Feb. 24, 2004.
CU'S LAST 10 GAMES AGAINST KANSAS IN BOULDER:
Date Result Date Result
1/25/05 L, 60-65 2/1/00 L, 66-74
2/24/04 W, 75-56 1/20/99 W, 76-65
2/5/03 W, 73-42 2/4/98 L, 45-65
1/29/02 W, 80-41 2/15/97 L, 60-72
1/20/01 W, 72-63 2/2/96 L, 57-67
Kathy McConnell-Miller has never faced Kansas as a head coach.
MILESTONES GALORE IN SEASON OPENER: Several milestones were reached in Colorado's season-opening 100-71 win over Cal State-Fullerton.
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.
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. CU's 58 first-half points tied for the sixth-most in team history, a feat also achieved against TCU on Dec. 7, 1993 and vs. St. Francis (Pa.) on Nov. 28, 1994.
CLASSIC IN REVIEW: Colorado placed third in the 19th Annual Coors Classic Tournament Nov. 25-26 at the Coors Events Conference Center. The Buffaloes fell to Northern Iowa, 74-65, in overtime marking the first time in Coors Classic history that CU lost a first round match up. Colorado rebounded to take the consolation game from Utah State, 73-56. Northern Iowa would go on to take the tournament title by defeating Illinois 71-47.
Jackie McFarland was named to the All-Tournament team as she averaged 18 points, 8.5 rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Northern Iowa senior center Cassie Hager, who had 21 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks against CU, was the tournament MVP.
WALLACE ACTIVATED: Junior forward Courtney Wallace has waited more than a year to put on the Buffaloes uniform and now laces them up with the rest of the squad. 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, who has missed the first 14 games of the regular season due to a Jones fracture in her left foot suffered in practice on Nov. 15, had her cast removed on Dec. 28 and began limited practice drills on Dec. 29. She will be evaluated this week to determine her return to the line up. 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.
McCONNELL-MILLER 100 IN DEBUT: Kathy McConnell-Miller led Colorado to the century mark in her first game as head coach, by far the best total of any current Big 12 Conference coach in their debut at their school. Bill Fennelly of Iowa State was the closest as he led the Cyclones to an 82-55 win over Idaho State in his debut in 1995. Ironically, McConnell-Miller is not the first Colorado women's coach to debut with a 100-point performance. Sox Walseth led the Buffs to a 107-73 win over Colorado Women's College in his first game as women's head coach on Nov. 18, 1980. Here is the list of current Big 12 coaches and their first games:
Coach, School Opponent Date W/L Result
Kathy McConnell-Miller, Colorado Cal State Fullerton 11/18/05 W 100-71
Bill Fennelly, Iowa State Idaho State 11/24/95 W 82-55
Marsha Sharp, Texas Tech Abilene Christian 11/19/82 W 78-64
Kim Mulkey-Robertson, Baylor Miami (Ohio) 11/18/00 W 75-62
Cindy Stein, Missouri Bradley 11/19/98 W 73-57
Jody Conradt, Texas McLennan CC 11/22/76 W 72-58
Kurt Budke, Oklahoma State Texas State 11/19/05 L 69-77
Deb Patterson, Kansas State Memphis 11/22/96 W 68-60
Connie Yori, Nebraska Grambling State 11/22/02 W 63-40
Sherri Coale, Oklahoma Oral Roberts 11/22/96 W 62-50
Gary Blair, Texas A&M La Salle 11/22/03 L 62-67
Bonnie Henrickson Texas-Arlington 11/21/04 L 49-53
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.
BUFFS IN PRESEASON: After its loss to Oregon, Colorado dropped to 5-7 overall meaning the Buffaloes string of five straight seasons of .500 or better during non conference action will end. It will be only the third time CU has finished below .500 during the nonconference schedule in the Big 8/Big 12 era going 5-6 in 1999-2000 and 4-9 in 1984-85.
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. 5 in the most recent Associated Press poll and No. 5 in the most recent USA Today/ESPN coaches polls. Oklahoma is 16th both polls, while Missouri is the newest member of the rankings checking in at No. 24 in the AP poll. Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, South Florida and Kansas State are all receiving votes in the latest AP poll.
HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 293-82 all-time record at the Coors Events/Conference Center (.781). 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 travel to Manhattan, Kan., this weekend to play Kansas State University on Saturday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m. MST.
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