Buffs Out To Tame Tigers Wednesday
THE GAME: The University of Colorado (6-10, 1-3 Big 12) will travel to play the University of Missouri (13-3, 3-1 Big 12) on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 6 p.m. MST, at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo.
BROADCAST: Wednesday'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.
THE BUFFALOES: Hoping to take some momentum from its 74-65 win over Kansas out on the road, Colorado ran into a hungry Kansas State team which sent the Buffaloes to their 10th straight road loss. Colorado will look to break its road woes on Wednesday with a sign the stars might just be in the right alignment. The Buffaloes will play on the same floor and on the same date one year later from their last road win, 56-51 against the Tigers at Mizzou Arena on Jan. 18, 2005.
Offensively Colorado has held its own in four road games this season averaging 70.5 points per game and shooting 42.8 percent -- a mark that's just slightly better than its overall season average of 42.1 percent. CU's problems have come on the defensive end and with turnovers. Opponents have averaged 83 points per game and shot a solid 47.5 percent from the field (123x259) in Colorado's road contests this year. The Buffaloes have averaged 21.8 turnovers in their four outings, giving up six more per game than the opposition.
Sophomore Jackie McFarland leads Colorado in rebounding (10.1 rpg), ranks second in scoring (17.9 ppg) 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 holds the team lead in scoring (18.1 ppg), 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 19.8 points through four 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 13 games (34x69) after hitting only 16.7 percent over the first three (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 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 84.9 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 (.849), Lubin (.842), McFarland (.781) and Ilic (.776) 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 8.3 points through four Big 12 games, up from a 4.9 season average, and is tied for the team lead in assists during league contests. She has started the last two games in place of an injured Lauren Lubin and has registered a personal best 12 points at Oklahoma and at Kansas State. Dow is averaging 6.5 points through four Big 12 games, hitting 50 percent from the field, and is the team's second leading rebounder (4.5 rpg). Dow had her second-best collegiate point toal at Kansas State with 11 points off the bench.
LUBIN SET TO RETURN: Sophomore guard Lauren Lubin, who had missed the last two games with a mild concussion suffered in the first half of the Oklahoma game, is scheduled to return to the lineup on Wednesday against Missouri. 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: Colorado caught Kansas State on the wrong day.
The Wildcats were sorely in need of some home cooking after returning from two road losses where they shot just 32.7 percent and were outscored 134-81. Earlier in the day the KSU men's team beat arch rival Kansas for the first time in 31 games with a four-point win at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.
A big day in the Sunflower State gave Kansas State all the fuel it needed.
The Wildcats scored 56 first half points to run away with an 85-66 Big 12 win over Colorado Saturday night at Bramlage Coliseum.
The Buffaloes drop their 10th straight on the road and fall to 6-10 overall, 1-3 in the Big 12. KSU improves to 12-3 overall, 2-2 in league play.
Kansas State shot a red-hot 68 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes putting up the second-most first half points allowed by a CU team. KSU Junior Twiggy McIntyre scored 15 of her game high 22 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the first 20 minutes as the Wildcats led 56-27 at halftime.
Colorado kept the pace early leading 14-10 five minutes into the game and was up 21-20 at the 10:54 mark of the first half. Kansas State then exploded, scoring the next 17 points over the next 5:40 to take a 37-21 lead. Kansas State's field goal percentage was as high as 71.4 at one point in the first half as the Wildcats hit 15 of their first 21 shots.
KSU cooled in the second half but still finished at 50 percent for the contest. Colorado outscored Kansas State by 10 in the second half, but the margin was too much to overcome.
Colorado sophomore Jackie McFarland registered her ninth double-double of the season finishing with 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Junior Jasmina Ilic led the way on the scoreboard with 14 points.
CU led the battle of the boards 35-55, but committed 25 turnovers which helped contribute to 25 fast break points for the Wildcats.
ABOUT THE TIGERS: Missouri has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2005-06 season. Picked to finish 10th in the Big 12 in the coaches preseason poll, the Tigers are 13-3 overall and tied for second in the Big 12 at 3-1. Missouri has been tough at home, sporting a 9-0 record with wins over Kansas State and defending national champion Baylor. Associated Press poll voters took notice of Missouri's successes by ranking them No. 24 in the Jan. 8 poll. A nine-point loss at Texas on Jan. 14 dropped the Tigers from the rankings and snapped a 12-game win streak. Guard LaToya Bond leads the Tigers in scoring at 18.2 points per game and is dising out a team-best 3.6 assists per contest. Center Christelle N'Garsanet averages 12 points and 7.9 rebounds per game while forward Carlynn Savant pitches in 11.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 58th meeting between Colorado and Missouri, the most played series in team history, breaking a tie with the Nebraska series which showcased its 57th edition earlier this month. CU holds a 34-23 overall lead in the series. The teams split last season, each winning on the road. The Buffs claimed their lone Big 12 road win of 2005 in their first game in the new Mizzou Arena, 56-51 on Jan. 18, 2005. Missouri extracted revenge against CU in the rematch at the Coors Events Conference Center. LaToya Bond hit 3-point shot at the buzzer to give the Tigers a 58-55 win on Feb. 9, 2005. The Buffaloes have won seven of the last nine overall meetings and three of the last four at Missouri.
CU'S LAST 10 GAMES AGAINST MISSOURI IN COLUMBIA
Date Result Date Result
1/18/05 W, 56-51 2/12/00 L, 57-65
1/31/04 W, 68-66 1/16/99 L, 60-63
2/2/03 L, 52-71 2/8/98 W, 71-60
1/26/02 W, 78-56 2/23/97 W, 57-50
2/28/01 L, 61-78 1/14/96 L, 61-72
Kathy McConnell-Miller is 0-1 against Missouri as a head coach.
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 57 assists this season compared to 48 in 27 games in 2004-05. Jasmina Ilic has a team-high 289 points which has passed her 2004-05 total of 280, and has three more steals (17) than she did in 28 games last year. Yari Escalera has seven more points (112) than she did all of last year and has equalled her rebouding output rom her freshman campaign. Jackie McFarland has 16 more points, nine more steals and four more blocks through 16 games than she did in 27 games as a freshman.
FIRST 16/4: Comparing statistics from Colorado's first 16 games last year, and the first 16 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 7.6 more times per game and making good on 7.1 more per game reflecting a solid .740 free-throw percentage -- currently tops in the Big 12 -- as opposed to .658 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 4.8 more rebounds per game than its opponent this year while the Buffs were -0.1 through 16 games in 2004-05.
CU has fallen off on its 3-point field-goal shooting, down 3.3 percent from last year. The Buffs are actually giving up fewer turnovers from last year (+2.5) and have a better assist/turnover ratio (+0.16) but their turnover margin is 1.4 higher than this time last year.
Comparing the first four Big 12 games to last year's first four league contests, Colorado is scoring 10 more points per game, shooting 6.3 percent better from the floor, making eight more free throws per game and hitting 6.7 percent better from the foul line.
Colorado Statistics Through 16/4 Games
16 Overall 4 Big 12
2004-05 2005-06 2004-05 2005-06
Record 8-8 6-10 1-3 1-3
Points 64.3 71.9 55.8 65.8
Points Allowed 68.3 70.1 74.5 78.5
Scoring Margin -4.0 +1.8 -18.7 -12.7
Field Goals 23.6 24.0 21.8 23.3
Field Goal Att. 56.8 57.1 59.5 54.3
Field Goal Pct. .415 .421 .366 .429
3-pt Field Goals 4.9 4.5 4.5 3.5
3-pt Field Goal Att. 14.8 15.0 15.5 13.5
3-pt Field Goal Pct. .333 .300 .290 .259
Free Throws 12.3 19.4 7.8 15.8
Free Throw Att. 18.6 26.2 13.0 23.8
Free Throw Pct. .658 .740 .596 .663
Offensive Rebounds 12.0 14.2 13.0 11.8
Defensive Rebounds 25.9 26.3 24.0 22.8
Total Rebounds 37.9 40.5 37.0 34.5
Rebounding Margin -0.1 +4.8 -2.7 -1.2
Fouls 16.4 17.9 17.8 15.8
Assists 12.6 13.8 12.0 11.5
Turnovers 20.3 17.8 22.3 19.0
Assist/TO Ratio 0.62 0.78 0.54 0.61
Turnover Margin -1.9 -3.3 -2.7 -4.7
Blocks 3.0 3.4 2.5 3.0
Steals 7.8 7.4 7.0 6.5
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 17.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.
ILIC, McFARLAND TOP SCORING DUO: Jasmina Ilic and Jackie McFarland are 1-2 in team scoring and are on pace to become the highest scoring duo in team history over an entire season. Ilic currently holds CU's sixth best point total through 16 games while McFarland 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 16 GAMES
Name (Season) PPG
1. Jamillah Lang (1993-94) 19.9
2. Tera Bjorklund (2003-04) 19.6
3. Lisa Van Goor (1981-82) 18.8
4. Lisa Van Goor (1980-81) 18.6
5. Diane Hiemstra (1983-84) 18.3
6. Jasmina Ilic (2005-06) 18.1
7. Jackie McFarland (2005-06) 17.9
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 one 3-point field goal at Kansas State to increase her career total to 73 and to pull within one of 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.
BLOCK PARTY: Sophomore Jackie McFarland is 11th on CU's all time list for blocked shots with 52. She has 28 this season -- four more than her freshman season total -- including a school-record tying eight in one game against South Dakota State on Dec. 28. McFarland needs seven blocks to move into the career top 10.
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 return home to play Iowa State University on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Coors Events Conference Center.