Buffs Take On Texas Tech Saturday
THE GAME: The University of Colorado (7-16, 2-9 Big 12) visits the state of Texas for the first time this season as the Buffaloes continue their Big 12 Conference schedule by facing Texas Tech University (11-10, 6-4 Big 12) on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 6 p.m. MST at the United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas.
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.
OPENING TIP: Colorado's has matched its Big 12 win total from a year ago and will be looking for its first win over a Big 12 Southern Division opponent in its last 12 games. Texas Tech is 9-2 at home this season and will attempting to revive an offense that has scored just 48 points in each of the last two games.
THE BUFFALOES: Colorado, which currently resides in 11th place in the Big 12, will be looking for its third win in its last 13 games when the Buffs travel to Texas Tech on Saturday. The Buffaloes are coming off a 67-62 setback at home against Kansas State, their fourth straight loss at home. Colorado will try to reverse its fortunes by going after its first back-to-back wins on the road since December of 2004.
Colorado's 77-71 win at Kansas on Feb. 1 ended a school-record tying 12-game road losing skid that dated back to a 56-51 win at Missouri on Jan. 18, 2005. CU has allowed 77.4 points per game on the road this season, while averaging just 66 points on the offensive end. The Buffaloes are shooting nearly 44 percent on the road, up from their home average of 40 percent. Opponents have shot very well in CU road games, recording a stellar 47 percent. Turnovers have hampered Colorado on the road as the Buffaloes average nearly 21 turnovers a contest in road games which in part has resulted in opponents gaining 10 more field goal opportunities per game (63.3-52.6).
Sophomore Jackie McFarland leads Colorado in scoring (17 ppg) and rebounding (9.3 rpg), just under a season-long double-double. McFarland has 11 games of 10-plus rebounds, the ninth-best single-season performance in team history. Junior Jasmina Ilic is second in scoring (15.4 ppg) and leads CU with 41 3-point field goals, three better than her total from 28 games last season. Ilic has seven games of 20-plus points including a Big 12 season-best 36 against Nebraska on Jan. 4. Junior Anna Nedovic has started all 23 games for the Buffaloes averaging 5.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Nedovic has had seven or more rebounds in three of the last six games.
CU's back-court trio of senior Whitney Law and sophomores Lauren Lubin and Yari Escalera have put up some impressive numbers. Law, who hit the 20-point mark for the third time this season in the win at Kansas, 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 81.4 percent, has scored in double digits in four of the last five games and has 15 3-pointers in the last six. Lubin, who started 11-straight games before being sidelined with a mild concussion, has hit 50 percent of her 3-point attempts this season (11-of-22) and is fourth on the team in assists. Escalera (.814), McFarland (.797) and Ilic (.789) each rank among the top 10 free-throw shooters in the Big 12 for the league's best free-throw shooting team (.744). Lubin is right there as well at .821, but has dipped under the minimum number of attempts to qualify for the Big 12 rankings.
NOT JUST FRESHMAN ANYMORE: Colorado's freshman duo of forward Caley Dow and guard Hannah Skildum have played key roles off the bench this season. In CU's road win over Kansas, the duo combined for 22 points on 9-of-12 from the field and 16 rebounds. Dow recorded her second double-double in the last three games with 12 points and 10 rebounds against Kansas State. She is Colorado's second-leading rebounder at 5.2 per game and has 30 rebounds over the last three contests. Skildum, averaging 4.2 points and 3.4 rebounds, has three games of double-digit points this season, all of them on the road against Big 12 teams.
LAST TIME OUT: For the second straight game, Colorado played toe-to-toe with a perennial Big 12 power, but in the end just couldn't find a way to close the deal.
Sophomore Yari Escalera scored a game-high 18 points and Caley Dow recorded her second double-double in three games, but Kansas State held on for a 67-62 Big 12 win on Feb. 8 at the Coors Events/Conference Center.
The Buffaloes (7-16, 2-9 Big 12) led by one at halftime, but quickly fell behind by eight in the first five minutes of the second half. Dow, a perfect 6-of-6 from the field in the game, scored on back-to-back layups and Escalera hit one of her career-high four 3-point field goals to spark a 9-0 run that put CU in the lead at 40-39.
Dow finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds and has recorded 30 rebounds over the last three games. She had 11 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Kansas on Feb. 1. Escalera, just one off her career-high of 19 points, tied a personal-best by hitting 6-of-13 from the field.
Tied at 53 wit 7:23 remaining, Marlies Gipson hit a 10-footer for Kansas State and Shalee Lehning hit a 3-pointer to put the Wildcats up by five with 3:10 left. Escalera answered with a 3-pointer of her own to cut the lead to 60-58.
Kansas State (17-5, 7-4 Big 12) made just 13-of-25 from the free-throw line, and some key misses kept the Buffaloes in the game in the final minutes. After Escalera's 3-pointer, Gipson was fouled on the other end, but missed the front end of the one-and-one opportunity. In fact, the Wildcats made just 1-of-4 free-throw attempts in an 11 second span with under a minute left.
Colorado could not take advantage though, making just one of its last six field-goal attempts. A Jackie McFarland layup cut the KSU lead to 64-62 with 0:25 left on the clock. The Buffaloes regained possession with a chance to tie, but an Escalera jumper with 15 seconds fell wide. Lehning corralled the rebound and hit her last two free-throws to ice the game.
Lehning scored all nine of her points in the last 3:10 of the contest and led Kansas State with 10 rebounds. Boulder native Kimberly Dietz led the Wildcats on the scoreboard with 12 points on four 3-point field goals.
ABOUT THE LADY RAIDERS: Texas Tech is 11-10 overall and tied with Missouri for fifth place in the Big 12 at 6-4. The Lady Raiders are 9-2 at home this season, coming off a 48-35 home triumph over last-place Oklahoma State on Feb. 8. Texas Tech ranks 10th in the Big 12 in scoring at 65.6 points per game and has reached the 70 point plateau only once in the last 10 games. The Lady Raiders are in the lower half of the Big 12 in field-goal percentage (.410), free-throw percentage (.642) and 3-point field goals (3.3 3pg), but are solid in rebounding ranking fourth on the league charts at 40.3 per contest. Senior forward LaToya Davis is Texas Tech's go-to player ranking fourth in the Big 12 in scoring (19.1 ppg), second in rebounding (11.0 rpg) and field-goal percentage (.592). Junior forward Alesha Robertson averages 12.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game and had a big game against Colorado last season. Robertson scored 27 points on 10-of-14 from the field, including seven 3-point field goals in TTU's 87-41 in in Boulder. Senior guard Erin Grant averages 11.7 points and a team-best six assists per game.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 16th meeting between Colorado and Texas Tech with the Lady Raiders holding a 12-3 series lead. Texas Tech has won the last three contests and nine of 11 since the teams began Big 12 play in 1997. Colorado is 1-4 all-time in Lubbock with its lone win a 74-69 overtime decision on Feb. 3, 2002. Saturday's game will mark the first time since a non-conference affair in 1985 -- a 69-58 TTU win in Lubbock -- that neither team is ranked in the Top 25.
CU'S LAST 10 GAMES AGAINST TEXAS TECH
Date Result Date Result
1/15/05 L, 41-87 (H) 3/8/00 L, 60-76 (N)
2/28/04 L, 51-60 (A) 1/12/00 L, 50-75 (A)
1/26/03 L, 58-80 (H) 2/24/99 L, 71-83 (H)
2/3/02 W, 74-69 OT (A) 3/4/98 L, 49-81 (N)
2/21/01 L, 61-68 (H) 1/17/98 L, 40-80 (A)
Kathy McConnell-Miller is has never faced Texas Tech as a head coach.
SOUTHERN DROUGHT: Colorado will be attempting to snap an 11-game losing streak against Big 12 Southern Division opponents, dating back to the 2003-04 season. CU's last win over a Big 12 South team came in a 72-57 decision over Oklahoma State on Feb. 21, 2004.
McFARLAND NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT: Sophomore forward Jackie McFarland has been named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VII University Division Women's Basketball first team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
McFarland, an accounting major who sports a 3.97 grade point average, is the lone sophomore joining four seniors on the five-member first team. She is now eligible for the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America team which will be announced on Feb. 28.
A native of Derby, Kan., McFarland is a two-time member of the Dean's List and earned the CU Athletic Department's Academic Excellence Award in the fall of 2004 with a perfect 4.0 GPA. She is also a team representative for the Student Athlete-Advisory Committee.
The District VII University Division is comprised of NCAA Division I schools from the states of Colorado, Iowa, Kansas Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. McFarland is the first CU women's basketball player to be named to the academic all-district team since Randie Wirt was a second-team member in 2004.
RECORD NIGHT FROM ?3': Colorado entered its game at Kansas shooting just 30 percent from 3-point range for the season, but on a night when everything seemed to go right, the Buffaloes set a single-game team percentage record (minimum eight attempts) from downtown by hitting 6-of-8 (.750) against the Jayhawks. The previous best was a 69.2 percent performance (9-of-13) against Oklahoma on Mar. 8, 2001.
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, and is nearly averaging a double-double with 17 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
ILIC, McFARLAND TOP SCORING DUO: Jackie McFarland and Jasmina Ilic are 1-2 in team scoring and can threaten to become the highest scoring duo in team history over an entire season. McFarland currently holds CU's seventh best point total through 23 games while Ilic is 11th. 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 22 GAMES
Name (Season) PPG Total
1. Jamillah Lang (1993-94) 19.9 458
2. Tera Bjorklund (2003-04) 19.0 438
3. Lisa Van Goor (1980-81) 18.3 422
4. Lisa Van Goor (1981-82) 18.1 416
5. Diane Hiemstra (1983-84) 17.9 411
6. Lisa Van Goor (1982-83) 17.3 398
7. Jackie McFarland (2005-06) 17.0 391
8. Tera Bjorklund (2002-03) 16.1 370
9. Diane Hiemstra (1982-83) 15.8 364
10. Shelly Sheetz (1992-93) 15.7 362
11. Jasmina Ilic (2005-06) 15.4 354
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.
McFARLAND DOUBLES: Sophomore forward Jackie McFarland has 11 double-doubles this season, the fifth-best single-season mark in team history. She is just the third individual to achieve the feat as Lisa Van Goor (three times) and Erin Scholz hold the other four instances. McFarland, who currently ranks third in the Big 12 in double-doubles, has 16 for her career, tying for sixth on CU's all-time list.
CLIMBING THE ?3' LADDER: Jasmina Ilic hit one 3-point field goal against Kansas State and is in ninth place on CU's all-time list with 80. She needs five more 3-pointers to pass La Shena Graham (1994-98) who currently resides in eighth place with 84.
BLOCK PARTY: Sophomore Jackie McFarland is 11th on CU's all time list for blocked shots with 56. She has 32 this season -- eight more than her freshman season total -- including a school-record tying eight in one game against South Dakota State on Dec. 28. Her 32 blocks are 18th on CU's single-season list and fourth-best single-season performance by a sophomore on the team charts.
GETTING TO THE LINE: Jackie McFarland has 122 free-throws made this season, ranking 11th on CU's single-season list. At her current pace of 5.3 free-throws made per game, she would break the school single-season record of 154 set by Bridget Turner in 1988-89. McFarland, shooting 79.7 from the line this season, has hit 27-of-30 (.900) over the last four games.
Colorado is the top free-throw shooting team in the Big 12 at 74.4 percent, a mark that ranks 20th in the nation. CU has five players with 30 or more free throws made hitting 70 percent or better. Lauren Lubin leads the way at 82.1percent followed by Yari Escalera (.814), McFarland (.797), Jasmina Ilic (.789) and Whitney Law (.738).
Colorado's season mark of 74.4 percent would rank the seventh-best in team history if the season ended today.
FREE THROWS MADE SINGLE SEASON:
Player (Season) FTM
1. Bridget Turner (1988-89) 154
2. Bridget Turner (1987-88) 153
3. Mandy Nightingale (2000-01) 150
4. Erin Scholz (1995-96) 148
5. Tera Bjorklund (2002-03) 134
6. Debbie Descano (1979-80) 128
7. Shelley Sheetz (1992-93) 123
8. Jackie McFarland (2005-06) 122
9. Tera Bjorklund (2003-04) 120
10. Mandy Nightingale (2001-02) 119
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.
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 Jan. 10.
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 the next 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.
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, checks in at No. 11 in the coaches poll and No. 12 in the AP poll. Oklahoma is No. 9 in the AP poll and 12th in the coaches poll. Texas A&M made its debut in the polls this week as the Aggies are tied with Louisiana Tech at No. 24 in the AP poll and are No. 25 in the coaches poll. Missouri is receiving votes in both polls while nonconference opponent South Florida is receiving votes in the coaches poll.
HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 294-86 all-time record at the Coors Events/Conference Center (.774). 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 take a break from Big 12 action by hosting the University of Northern Colorado on Monday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. at the Coors Events/Conference Center.