Buffs On Road At Kansas State Saturday Night
THE GAME: The University of Colorado (6-9, 1-2 Big 12) will travel to play Kansas State University (11-3, 1-2 Big 12) on Saturday, Jan. 14, at 6 p.m. MST, at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan.
BROADCAST: Saturday's 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. Live video streaming of Saturday's battle will be available to Stampede Online subscribers at CUBuffs.com.
THE BUFFALOES: Colorado broke a three-game losing slide and gave head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller her first Big 12 Conference victory with a 74-65 win over Kansas on Jan. 10 at the Coors Events Conference Center. The Buffaloes will be looking to put halt a second streak on Saturday, a nine-game winless skid on the road since a 56-51 triumph at Missouri on Jan. 18, 2005.
Offensively Colorado has held its own in three road games this season averaging 72 points per game and shooting 42.4 percent -- a mark that's just slightly better than its overall season average of 41.9 percent. CU's problems have come on the defensive end and with turnovers. Opponents have averaged 82.3 points per game and shot a solid 46.6 percent from the field (89x191) in Colorado's road contests this year. The Buffaloes have averaged 21 turnovers in their three outings, giving up nearly five more per game than the opposition.
Colorado hopes its offensive success against Kansas will carry over to its meeting with its Sunflower State rival. After shooting just 37.3 percent from the field and averaging 62 points over a five-game span, the Buffaloes shot 50.9 percent against the Jayhawks and hit the 70-point mark for the first time against an NCAA opponent since an 84-83 overtime loss to Northern Arizona on Dec. 19.
Sophomore Jackie McFarland leads the Buffaloes in scoring (18.4 ppg) and rebounding (10.1 rpg) and is one of only four players in the Big 12 currently sporting the season double-double (Oklahoma's Courtney Paris, Baylor's Sophia Young and Texas Tech's LaToya Davis are the others). McFarland has four games of 15-plus rebounds this season including the latest -- a 15-board performance against Kansas. Junior Jasmina Ilic ranks just behind McFarland in scoring, by one point actually, and much like last season has upped her average during the Big 12 schedule. Ilic, who led the Buffs in conference scoring last winter (11.4 ppg), is currently at 21.7 points through three league games including a Big 12 season-best 36 against Nebraska. After a relatively slow start, junior forward Anna Nedovic is heating up. She has hit 49.3 percent from the floor the last 12 games (33x67) after hitting only 16.7 percent over the first three games (3x18).
When they haven't been fighting injuries, CU's back-court trio of senior Whitney Law and sophomores Lauren Lubin and Yari Escalera have put up some impressive numbers. Law, who has scored in double-digits the last two games, has ranked among the Big 12's top 10 in assists and assist/turnover ratio all season. Escalera, the fourth-best foul shooter in the Big 12 at 86.3 percent, had a career-high seven assists and scored 14 second-half points against South Dakota State. Lubin, who started 11-straight games before being sidelined with a mild concussion, is hitting nearly 50 percent from the field as a starter (18x39) and is second on the team in assists and rebounding. Escalera (.863), Lubin (.842), McFarland (.775) and Ilic (.773) each rank in among the top 15 free-throw shooters in the Big 12.
NOT JUST FRESHMAN ANYMORE: With the beginning of the Big 12 season, Colorado's freshman duo of forward Caley Dow and guard Hannah Skildum are seeing their roles increase as well as their productivity. Skildum is averaging seven points through three Big 12 games, up from a 4.5 season average, and is second on the team in assists in league contests. She recorded her first career start against Kansas in place of an injured Lauren Lubin and scored four of CU's first six points. Dow is averaging five points through three Big 12 games, hitting 50 percent from the field, and is the team's second leading rebounder (4.3 rpg).
LUBIN OUT AGAINST KANSAS STATE: Sophomore guard Lauren Lubin will miss her second-straight game with a mild concussion suffered in the first half of the Oklahoma game. Lubin, who had started the previous 11 games, averages 5.8 points per game and is second on the team in rebounding (5.4 rpg) and assists (2.7 apg).
RICHARDS WILL REDSHIRT: Sophomore center Kara Richards, who has not played in a regular season game this season due to a broken foot, will miss the remainder of the year and use this as her redshirt season CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller announced on Tuesday.
Richards suffered a Jones fracture ? a fracture to the fifth meta-tarsal ? in her left foot on Nov. 15, just three day's before CU's season opening win over Cal State University-Fullerton. She underwent surgery on Nov. 16 and the initial diagnosis had her missing anywhere from four to eight weeks. Richards was in a cast until Dec. 28, and returned to light practice last week, but was not making the progress needed to return to the line up in the near future as soreness from her injury continues.
Richards will be a sophomore in eligibility for the 2006-07 campaign. She did appear in CU's two exhibition games in November averaging 12 points and 6.5 rebounds.
A native of Graham, Texas, 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.
LAST TIME OUT: Jackie McFarland and Jasmina Ilic each had 18 points and hot second half shooting propelled Colorado to its first Big 12 Conference win in the Kathy McConnell-Miller era with a 74-65 decision over Kansas on Jan. 10 at the Coors Events Conference Center.
Colorado improves to 6-9 overall, snapping a three-game losing skid and moves to 1-2 in league play. Kansas falls to 12-2 overall, 1-2 in the Big 12.
After shooting just 38.3 percent in its first two Big 12 games, Colorado hit a season-high 65.2 percent in the second half against KU. Ilic scored 11 of her points in the second half and erased some shooting woes of her own. The junior forward began the game 2-of-7 from the field but hit 4-of-6 in the final 20 minutes.
Leading by one (40-39) with 14:47 remaining in the game, Colorado went on a 13-0 run over a 4:09 span that saw the Buffaloes hit five straight field goals and 6-of-7 overall. Ilic led off the run with a 3-point field goal ? answering KU's Erica Hallman who had just cut the lead to one with a 3-pointer of her own ? and ended with a lay up with 10:38 left that gave CU a 53-39 lead.
Kansas was able to cut a 15-point CU lead to six in the final minutes of the game thanks to its 3-point shooting and below average free-throw shooting by Colorado. The Jayhawks made a CU opponent season-high 11 3-pointers, five each from Hallman and guard Kaylee Brown. Colorado, which entered the game leading the Big 12 in free-throw percentage at 75.6 percent, hit just 16-of-28 for a season low 57.1 percent.
Brown's final 3-pointer made the score 68-62 with 1:22 left, but Kansas would not get any closer. Sophomore guard Yari Escalera, who entered the game ranking second in the Big 12 in free-throw percentage at 90.7 percent, hit 4-of-6 in the final minute ice the win.
Overall, Kansas made 47.8 percent from beyond the arc (11-of-23), but did not do too much inside. Colorado owned 38-29 rebounding edge and held Kansas to an opponent record-low two free-throw attempts. The Jayhawks missed both attempts, marking the first time in CU history an opponent went scoreless from the foul line.
Law had 11 points for the Buffaloes and Dow pitched in nine points and six rebounds off the bench. Freshman guard Hannah Skildum, making her first career start in place of the injured Lauren Lubin, had five points and four rebounds in a solid 25 minutes.
Brown led all players with 19 points while Hallman had 17 for Kansas.
ABOUT THE WILDCATS: Kansas State is 11-3 overall, 1-2 in the Big 12, and among those receiving votes in the latest Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches' polls. The Wildcats will be looking to rebound from a tough two-game road trip where they scored just 81 total points in back-to-back losses at Missouri and at Texas A&M. Kansas State is 6-1 at home this year with the lone loss coming against St. Joseph's, 78-68, on Dec. 3. Junior forward Claire Coggins (11.7 ppg), leads a Kansas State offensive attack that features seven players averaging six or more points per game. The Wildcats have started three freshmen for most of the season. Two of those first-year starters, guard Shalee Lehning and forward Marlies Gipson, are tied for the team lead in rebounding at six per game. Lehning, a 56 percent field goal shooter, tops the Wildcats in assists with 61. Gipson leads KSU with 32 blocks and is hitting 55 percent from the field. Kansas State possesses the third-best field goal percentage defense in the Big 12 (.361) and is second in blocked shots (6.21 bpg) and 3-point field-goals made (6.21 mpg).
SERIES RECORDS: This will be 56th meeting between Colorado and Kansas State with the Buffaloes holding a 29-26 series lead. The Wildcats have owned the series as of late riding a six-game win streak and having claimed 11 of the last 15 overall. Saturday's contest will mark the first time in nine games that neither team is ranked in the top 25 of either poll. The last time both teams were unranked was also Colorado's last win at Bramlage Coliseum, a 67-62 decision on Jan. 6, 2001. CU is 11-14 overall in Manhattan and has dropped its last four, including a 73-51 setback on Feb. 19, 2005.
CU'S LAST 10 GAMES AGAINST KANSAS STATE IN MANHATTAN:
Date Result Date Result
2/19/05 L, 51-73 3/1/00 L, 47-64
2/8/04 L, 53-79 2/17/99 W, 57-54
1/11/03 L, 36-61 1/21/98 L, 52-64
1/9/02 L, 72-75 2/19/97 L, 62-68
1/6/01 W, 67-62 1/7/96 W, 64-58
Kathy McConnell-Miller has never faced Kansas State as a head coach.
McFARLAND vs. McFARLAND III: Colorado sophomore forward Jackie McFarland will line up against older sister Jessica, a senior center for Kansas State, for the third time in their collegiate careers on Saturday. Jackie has had the upper hand in the statistical battle between the two Derby, Kan., siblings but Jessica's Wildcats have both wins in the previous two meetings.
No. 16 Kansas State 81, Colorado 70, 1/29/05, Boulder
FG-A FT-A Reb Ast Bk St Pts
Jackie 4-8 3-4 7 2 2 1 11
Jessica 2-6 0-0 7 2 0 1 4
No. 18/17 Kansas State 73, Colorado 51, 2/19/05, Manhattan
FG-A FT-A Reb Ast Bk St Pts
Jackie 1-5 2-2 5 0 0 0 4
Jessica 4-5 0-1 3 4 1 0 8
VAST IMPROVEMENTS: With just over half the regular season in the books, a few Colorado players have already surpassed last year totals in several different categories. Whitney Law has a team-best 53 assists this season compared to 48 in 27 games in 2004-05. Jasmina Ilic needs six points to pass her 2004-05 total of 280, and has one more steal (15) than she did in 28 games last year. Yari Escalera has thre more points (108) than she did all of last year and is just one rebound short of her output from her freshman campaign. Jackie McFarland has five more points, six more steals and one more block through 15 games than she did in 27 games as a freshman.
FIRST 15/3: Comparing statistics from Colorado's first 15 games last year, and the first 15 games this year, the most significant improvements for the Buffaloes are in scoring, rebounding and free-throw shooting. CU is averaging 8.4 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 8.3 more times per game and making good on 7.8 more per game reflecting a solid .743 free-throw percentage -- currently tops in the Big 12 -- as opposed to .656 last season. Colorado is also averaging nearly three more rebounds than this time last year and enjoying an even greater rebounding margin. CU's averaging 4.9 more rebounds per game than its opponent this year while the Buffs were +0.3 through 15 games in 2004-05.
CU has fallen off on its 3-point field-goal shooting, down three percent from last year. The Buffs are actually giving up fewer turnovers from last year (+2.4) and have a better assist/turnover ratio (+0.16) but their turnover margin is 1.1 higher than this time last year.
Comparing the first three Big 12 games to last year's first three league contests, Colorado is scoring 10 more points per game, allowing six less points per game, shooting 6.5 percent better from the floor, making 10 more free throws per game and hitting 7.9 percent better from the foul line. CU's early Big 12 schedule is very comparable to last year consisting of two home games, one road game and one contest against a ranked opponent (OU this year, Texas Tech last year).
Colorado Statistics Through 15/3 Games
15 Overall 3 Big 12
2004-05 2005-06 2004-05 2005-06
Record 8-7 6-9 0-3 1-2
Points 63.9 72.3 55.7 65.7
Points Allowed 67.8 69.1 82.3 76.3
Scoring Margin -3.9 +3.2 -26.7 -10.7
Field Goals 23.5 23.9 21.3 22.7
Field Goal Att. 57.0 57.1 59.3 53.3
Field Goal Pct. .412 .419 .360 .425
3-pt Field Goals 4.9 4.5 6.0 3.3
3-pt Field Goal Att. 14.9 15.1 18.0 13.7
3-pt Field Goal Pct. .330 .300 .333 .244
Free Throws 12.1 19.9 7.0 17.0
Free Throw Att. 18.4 26.7 12.0 25.7
Free Throw Pct. .656 .743 .583 .662
Offensive Rebounds 12.2 14.5 13.3 12.3
Defensive Rebounds 25.9 26.4 22.3 22.0
Total Rebounds 38.1 40.9 35.7 34.3
Rebounding Margin +0.3 +4.9 -4.0 -2.3
Fouls 16.1 18.0 17.3 15.7
Assists 12.7 13.9 13.3 11.0
Turnovers 19.7 17.3 22.3 17.0
Assist/TO Ratio 0.64 0.80 0.60 0.65
Turnover Margin -1.8 -2.9 -6.0 -3.0
Blocks 3.1 3.3 2.7 2.7
Steals 7.6 7.3 6.0 6.0
ILIC HITS 30 TWICE: Jasmina Ilic's 36 point performance against Nebraska is the best individual total in the Big 12 Conference this year and third on CU's all-time single game list just behind co-record holders Susan Horner who had 38 against Weber State on Mar. 10, 1979, and Tracy Tripp who also had 38 at Oklahoma State on Feb. 4, 1987. Ilic is the first player in team history to score 33 or more points twice in the same season as she had 34 points in CU's season-opening win over Cal State-Fullerton.
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 20-10 numbers at the San Juan Shootout, but is still averaging a double-double at 18.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.
ILIC, McFARLAND TOP SCORING DUO: Jackie McFarland and Jasmina Ilic are 1-2 in team scoring and are on pace to become the highest scoring duo in team history over an entire season. McFarland currently holds CU's sixth best point total through 15 games while Ilic is right behind in seventh. Lisa Van Goor and Diane Hiemstra hold the title of CU's highest scoring pair. Van Goor averaged 17 points and Hiemstra 16.7 per game in 1982-83.
POINTS AVERAGE FIRST 15 GAMES
Name (Season) PPG
1. Jamillah Lang (1993-94) 20.1
2. Tera Bjorklund (2003-04) 19.5
3. Lisa Van Goor (1981-82) 19.1
4. Lisa Van Goor (1980-81) 19.0
5. Diane Hiemstra (1983-84) 18.8
6. Jackie McFarland (2005-06) 18.4
7. Jasmina Ilic (2005-06) 18.3
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: Jasmina Ilic hit two 3-point field goals against Kansas and ranks 10th on CU's all-time list with 72. 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.
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.
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 and 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 and is just outside the top 25 in the coaches poll. Texas, Kansas, Kansas State and Nebraska are all receiving votes in both polls. South Florida is receiving votes in the AP poll.
HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 294-82 all-time record at the Coors Events/Conference Center (.782). 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 continue its tour of the Big 12 north by visiting No. 24 Missouri on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 6 p.m. MST at the Mizzou Arena in Columbia.