Buffs Host No. 14 Baylor Wednesday
THE GAME: The University of Colorado hosts No. 14/14 Baylor University on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. MST, at the Coors Events/Conference Center.
BROADCAST: Wednesday's game will be televised live by Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain, with Tim Ring on the play by play and former CU head coach Ceal Barry with the color commentary. Wednesday's game will begin live, and air in its entirety, on KVCU AM 1190 and will join up on KKZN AM 760, Boulder's Progressive Talk station, following the CU-Iowa State men's game. Mike Rice will handle play by play duties with USA Basketball's Carol Callan on the color commentary. Live internet audio can be accessed through Yahoo! Sports.
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 11-14 overall and tied with Oklahoma State University and the University of Texas for seventh place in the Big 12 Conference at 5-8. The Buffaloes remain just one game out of sixth place as Texas Tech University is at 6-7.
Colorado has won just one of its last four games, three of which have come on the road. The Buffaloes are 10-4 at home in 2006-07 with three of the losses coming to teams currently ranked in the nation's top 25. CU has secured its best record since 2003-04 when the Buffs finished 22-8, 11-5 in the Big 12, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Buffs' five Big 12 wins match their totals in the previous two years combined (3-13 in 2005-06 and 2-14 in 2004-05).
Junior forward Jackie McFarland is living up to her All-Big 12 second team status in 2006, and then some. She is averaging 17.8 points and 11 rebounds per game, ranking third and second in the Big 12 respectively. McFarland ranks third in NCAA Division I in field-goal percentage (.616) and 11th in rebounding through games of Feb. 18. She has 11 games of shooting 70 percent or better this season.
She is only the seventh player in CU history to register 1,200 points and 700 rebounds in a career and currently ranks in CU's Top 10 in blocked shots, free-throws made and rebounds. She was named Big 12 Player of the Week for the season's opening weekend (Nov. 13) and named to the Coors Classic All-Tournament Team.
McFarland has 15 double-doubles this season, ranking second in the Big 12, and eight in 13 conference games. She has 34 double-doubles and 35 double-digit rebounding gams in her career, both of which rank third on CU's all-time list. McFarland has missed five other double-doubles this season by a single point or rebound.
Senior guard/forward Jasmina Ilic is second on the team in scoring at 12.6 points per game. She surpassed the 1,000 point mark during the Texas Tech game, becoming the 21st player in team history to reach the milestone and the 10th fastest (84 games). Ilic also tops the Buffaloes with 43 3-point field goals and an 89.2 percent efficiency from the free-throw stripe, which ranks second in the Big 12 and 10th in NCAA Division I.
Freshman Whitney Houston has emerged as the team's starting point guard and has stepped up during the Big 12 season. She leads the team in assists at 2.4 per game and overall is third on the team in scoring at 8.1 points per contest, but was actually averaging 11.1 points over a nine-game span, including a career-high 25 points at Kansas, before being held scoreless at Iowa State.
Colorado is receiving overall strong support from its freshman class. Redshirt freshman guard Bianca Smith has made 13 starts and is averaging 5.4 points per game including a career-high 18 points in the win over Iowa State. She has 30 3-point field goals and ranks ninth in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage (.370).
Guard Candace Rucker is averaging 3.6 points and 2.4 rebounds per game off the bench for the Buffaloes. She had a career-high eight points in her last outing against Iowa State and had seven against Kansas State on Feb. 14, hitting a pair of free throws with just six seconds remaining in regulation to provide the winning margin. Forward Aija Putnina enjoyed her most extended time in over two months playing 32 minutes off the bench against Kansas, recording five rebounds and career-highs with four blocked shots and two assists.
Sophomore center Kara Richards is fourth on the team in scoring (6.4 ppg) and second in rebounding average (4.4 rpg) and field-goal percentage (.576). She missed seven games with a fracture in the fourth metatarsal of her left foot. Junior guard Susie Powers is averaging 4.2 points and 2.2 assists per game and had a stand-out defensive effort against Kansas State while scoring nine points and grabbing six rebounds. She is hitting 40 percent from 3-point range during the Big 12 schedule.
ABOUT THE BEARS: Baylor is 23-4 overall and ranked No. 14 in the latest Associated Press Poll and also No. 14 in the most recently released USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. The Bears are in a three-way tie for first place in the Big 12 at 10-3 along with the University of Oklahoma and Texas A&M University. Baylor has won four straight and eight of its last nine, with the only setback coming at the University of Nebraska, 76-67, on Feb. 3. The Bears have the Big 12's second-best scoring offense at 75.7 points per game and lead the conference in scoring margin as they allow opponents just 59.6 points per contest. Baylor leads the nation in blocked shots at 7.8 per game and its 210 on the season is already a school record and is closing in on the Big 12 regular season mark of 232 set by Texas Tech in 2005.
Senior forward Bernice Mosby paces Baylor, averaging 17.9 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Her points average ranks second in the Big 12, just ahead of CU's Jackie McFarland while she is third in the league in rebounding, trailing only McFarland and Oklahoma's Courtney Paris. Junior guard Angela Tisdale averages 11.3 points per game and leads the Bears with 42 3-point field goals and 102 assists.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 15th meeting between Colorado and Baylor with the Buffaloes holding an 8-6 series advantage. The Bears have won the last two, including the last meeting between the two teams in Boulder, an 84-65 win on Feb. 26, 2005, in a season that would end with a national championship for Baylor. CU is 5-2 all-time against Baylor in Boulder.
Kathy McConnell-Miller is 0-1 in her head coaching career against Baylor.
COUSIN CONNECTION: Baylor sophomore guard/forward Jessica Morrow will have at least one relative in attendance Wednesday night in Boulder, but don't look for that family member to cheer two hard for the Humble, Texas native. Morrow's cousin, Carla Morrow, is in her second year as Colorado's Director of Basketball Operations. CU's Morrow was a four-year standout and a 1,000 point scorer for Kathy McConnell-Miller at the University of Tulsa from 1998-02.
HOME COOKING: The Buffaloes look to continue the momentum they have built at the Coors Events Center this season. Colorado is shooting 44 percent in 14 home games, far better than its 39.7 percent average in 10 road contests. CU is also rebounding better at home, with a margin of 5.2 per game while pulling down just under 40 a contest. On the road, CU is pulling down just 35.5 per game and giving up 38.4 to its opponents. The Buffaloes have been battling turnovers all season long and average over two more on the road (21.9 TOpg) than at home (19.6 TOpg). Rebounds and turnovers have allowed CU opponents to take 10 more shots per game (62-52) on the road than the Buffs, however the CU defense has held opponents to just 38.1 percent from the field on the road, which is better than the 39.6 percent allowed at home.
ON THE OFFENSIVE: Prior to the Texas Tech contest, Colorado was struggling on the offensive boards ranking last in the Big 12, pulling in just 10.75 per game overall and only 7.75 per game in league contests. Against the Lady Raiders, the Buffaloes pulled in 23 offensive rebounds which led to a 22-5 advantage in second-chance points. CU's 23 offensive boards were its most since recording 23 against Bowling Green on Nov. 23, 2001, and its most in league play since grabbing 24 at Iowa State on Feb. 18, 1996. The Buffs' previous high against a Big 12 team this season was 11 against Oklahoma on Jan. 20.
HISTORIC COMEBACK: Colorado's comeback from a 15-point halftime deficit to win against Kansas State on Jan. 31 is the second-largest margin achieved in team history. The Buffaloes trailed the Wildcats 39-24 at the break before outscoring them 42-16 in the final 20 minutes, including a 23-0 run over a 10:24 span.
Colorado came back from 19 down against the University of Washington on Dec. 21, 1982, at the Guisti Tournament in Portland, Ore. CU trailed 35-16 at halftime before winning 67-65.
A more-recent double-digit halftime deficit overcome was a 12-point margin against the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on Dec. 20, 2003. CU trailed the Trojans 39-27 before prevailing 69-67.
STILL IN NEED OF A WIN OVER A RANKED TEAM: Colorado has dropped 21 straight games to ranked teams dating back to January of 2004. The Buffaloes last win over a ranked opponent was a 69-59 decision at No. 24 Baylor on Jan. 7, 2004. CU was ranked No. 14 at the time. The last time CU was unranked and defeated a ranked opponent was in the second round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament when the Buffaloes knocked off No. 12 North Carolina 86-67.
RECORD HALF FROM "3": Colorado set a school record for 3-point field goals in one half by drilling 10 in the first stanza of the Buffs' 81-67 win over Iowa State on Jan. 10. Bianca Smith's long-range jumper -- her fourth of the half -- with 7 seconds remaining in the period gave CU the record, breaking the previous mark of nine set against the University of Buffalo on Jan. 3, 2004. The 13 3-pointers CU had in the game was its most since a similar baker's dozen put up against the University of Northern Colorado on Dec. 29, 2004.
A SUCCESSFUL BEGINNING: Colorado began the Big 12 season 2-0 for the first time since 1996-97. The start also agave the Buffaloes their first two-game league win streak since defeating Oklahoma State and Kansas on Feb. 21 and 24, 2004. Colorado opened the Big 12 season with a 71-59 win over the University of Missouri on Jan. 3. The win was the first for CU in a Big 12 opener since defeating Baylor to begin the 2004 league schedule and the 12-point margin of victory was CU's highest in the league's 11-year history. Colorado is now 5-6 in Big 12 openers and 19-14 overall in conference openers.
HOUSTON GAME CANCELLED: CU's game against the University of Houston that was scheduled for Dec. 30, was cancelled when the Cougars opted not to travel to Boulder for the game due to the winter weather conditions that had spread across the Midwest that weekend. The game is not expected to be rescheduled this season.
LUBIN LEAVES BUFFALOES: Junior guard Lauren Lubin has decided to leave the CU women's basketball program, but will remain at the university as a student, head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller announced on Dec. 27.
Lubin, who earned a pair of letters with the Buffaloes, averaged 2.4 points and 2.4 rebounds over 49 career games. She played in five contests for the Buffaloes this winter, recording three steals and two rebounds. Lubin originally walked on in 2004-05 as a freshman, where she played in 16 games before missing the last half of the season with mononucleosis. Lubin earned a scholarship for the 2005-06 campaign, averaging 3.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore, including a team-best 42.9 percent from 3-point range (12-of-28).
RICHARDS GRANTED MEDICAL HARDSHIP: Center Kara Richards received some good news on Dec. 2 as the Big 12 Conference office granted her a medical hardship for missing the 2005-06 season. Richards season was lost after suffering a Jones fracture ? a fracture to the fifth metatarsal ? in her left foot on Nov. 15, 2005, just three day's before CU's season opening win over Cal State Fullerton. The medical hardship means she returns to sophomore standing for the 2006-07 season and will have two more years of eligibility remaining.
MILESTONE WINS: With a 56-51 win over Colorado State, CU won its 600th women's basketball game and now stands 606-367 in 32-plus seasons. CU's overall .623 winning percentage ranks fourth all-time among Big 12 Conference teams, trailing only Texas, Texas Tech and Kansas State.
With its 78-65 win over Charlotte in the Coors Classic, Colorado won its 300th game at the Coors Events Conference Center, and now stands at 306-91 (.771) all-time at the facility.
CLIMBING THE 3-POINT LADDER: Jasmina Ilic hit a 3-point field goal against Iowa State to increase her career total to 137, good for sixth place on CU's all-time list. She needs 13 to pass Amy Palmer (1992-96) for fifth.
Anna Nedovic had a pair of 3-point field goals against Cal State Bakersfield after sinking just two in the previous 10 games. The pair of treys pushed her career total to 51, tying her with former teammate Emily Waner (2003-04) for 13th on CU's all-time chart.
McFARLAND, ILIC REACH 1,000: Jackie McFarland became the 20th player in CU history to reach 1,000 career points during the loss at South Dakota State on Dec. 13. McFarland hit the milestone on a second-half layup and now stands at 16th on CU's all-time scoring list with 1,232 points through 82 career games (15.0 ppg).
Jasmina Ilic became the 21st player in CU history to 1,000 points, reaching the milestone with a 27-point effort against Texas Tech on Feb. 3. Ilic hit the mark on a second-half bucket and now stands at 21st on CU's all-time scoring list with 1,035 points through 88 career games (11.8 ppg).
Ilic and McFarland are the first pair of teammates to hit the mark in the same season since Britt Hartshorn, Jenny Roulier and Mandy Nightingale hit 1,000 within two weeks of each other in November 2001.
MORE NUMBERS FOR McFARLAND: Jackie McFarland has 34 career double-doubles and 35 double-digit rebounding games, which both rank third on the CU charts. Her 15 double-doubles this season, second-most in the Big 12, is fourth on CU's single-season chart. She began the season with three-straight double-doubles, equalling her output from the 2005-06 season. The only other player in CU history to record three-straight double-doubles to open a season is CU's all-time leading scorer Lisa VanGoor, who did it in 1982-83.
McFarland is eighth on CU's all-time rebounding list at 719, and is on pace to leap over three more prominent Buffs for fifth place on the all-time charts. She needs seven rebounds to take over the fifth spot passing Tera Bjorklund (723 from 2000-04), Britt Hartshorn (724 from 1998-02) and Bridget Turner (725 from 1985-1989). McFarland had a career-best 18 rebounds in the Kansas game, the most by a Buffalo since Scott had 21 at Texas on Feb. 26, 1997.
McFARLAND BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jackie McFarland was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Player of the Week by a media voting panel on Nov. 13 for the opening weekend of games.
This is McFarland's third career weekly honor from the Big 12 as she was twice named the league's Rookie of the Week during the 2004-05 season.
McFarland averaged 22 points, 12 rebounds and two steals while shooting 71 percent from the field (17-of-24) in games against San Francisco and No. 16/15 ranked Vanderbilt over the weekend.
McFarland had 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting and 12 rebounds in the season-opening 62-56 win over San Francisco. She scored a game-high 27 points and pulled down 12 rebounds along with two assists and three steals against No. 16/15 Vanderbilt. McFarland recorded double-doubles in both games for the 20th and 21st of her career. She had nine points ? a 3-pointer and two conventional 3-point plays ? in the final minute against VU as Colorado nearly erased a 17-point second half deficit.
COME FROM BEHIND WIN BREAKS LONG DROUGHT: CU's 62-56 win over San Francisco broke a 26-game losing streak when the Buffaloes trailed at halftime dating back to a 56-51 win at Missouri on Jan. 18, 2005. USF led 30-26 at the break, but the Buffs outscored the Dons 36-26 in the second half. Colorado has now won four games this season when trailing at halftime, all at home (USF, Missouri, Kansas State and Texas Tech).
BUFFS IN OPENERS: Colorado is 28-5 (.844) all-time in season openers and a whopping 32-1 (.970) all-time in home openers. The Buffs' lone loss in a season-opening home game was a 77-63 setback to Michigan on Nov. 21, 1999. CU has won seven straight season debuts and 20 of its last 21 with the lone loss in that span coming at Denver on Nov. 19, 1999.
EARLY START: The Nov. 10 start against USF was the third earliest start for the Buffs and the second earliest home game in their 33-year history. CU's earliest start came in season No. 2 as the Buffs dropped an 81-80 decision at Nebraska on Nov. 6, 1976. CU's earliest start at the Coors Events Center is much more recent as the Buffs hosted Oral Roberts in a preseason WNIT game on Nov. 9, 2001, a 78-49 CU win.
BUFFS PICKED 11TH: CU was picked to finish 11th in the annual Big 12 Coaches Preseason Poll. The Buffaloes received 26 points, an improvement from the 14 points received a year ago when the CU was picked to finish last. CU was 9-21 overall in 2005-06 and finished 11th in the Big 12 race with a 3-13 mark.
Defending league champion Oklahoma was picked to repeat its title receiving all 11 possible first place votes for a total of 121 points. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. Big 12 Southern Division teams dominated the upper half of the poll, taking the top four spots. Texas A&M was picked second with 107 points, followed by Texas (101) and Baylor (94).
Iowa State came in fifth with 68 points, just edging out Nebraska which was picked sixth with 66. Kansas State and Texas Tech tied for seventh with 57 points followed by Missouri (43), Kansas (36), CU (26) and Oklahoma State (16).
TOUGH SCHEDULE: Colorado once again faces a tough schedule with no less than 17 games against 2006 NCAA or WNIT tournament teams. The Buffaloes will host perennial NCAA women's powers Southern California and Vanderbilt during the non-conference season as well as region rival Colorado State. Baylor, Texas Tech and Oklahoma come to Boulder this year out of the Big 12 South along with the Buffs' usual Big 12 North opponents.
HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 306-91 all-time record at the Coors Events/Conference Center (.771). The Buffaloes have won 10 or more games in a season at the CECC in 19 of 29 years including five undefeated seasons (1980-83, 1992-94). The Buffaloes are 10-4 at home this season, their best mark since going 14-2 in 2003-04. CU has only three seasons of sub-.500 play in the 28 years of the Coors Events Center.
BUFFS ON TV: Colorado's schedule features nine games that will be televised either regionally or nationally by Fox Sports Net. Two games are part of the Big 12's national package with FSN: Sunday, Jan. 28, at Missouri and Saturday, Feb. 10, at home against Nebraska. FSN Rocky Mountain will televise six CU home games beginning with the regular season opener against San Francisco on Friday, Nov. 10. FSN Midwest will televise CU's game at Kansas State on Wed., Feb. 14.
UP NEXT: Colorado will host the University of Kansas in its regular season home finale on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. MST at the Coors Events/Conference Center. The game will be televised live on Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain.