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Buffs Travel To Colorado State Saturday

Nov 30, 2007

THE GAME: The University of Colorado will travel to face in-state rival Colorado State University on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 2:30 p.m. in Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colo.

BROADCAST: Saturday's game will be broadcast live by The MountainWest Network (The Mtn.) with Mike Evans delivering the play-by-play and Andrea Lloyd giving the color commentary. All Colorado women's basketball regular and post season games are broadcast live on KKZN 760 AM, Boulder's Progressive Talk station. Mike Rice, in his second year, will handle play-by-play duties and is joined by Carol Callan of USA Basketball with the color commentary. Live internet audio can be accessed through Yahoo! Sports.

THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 3-2 overall and enjoying a modest two-game winning streak after defeating Northern Colorado 69-60 in its last outing on Nov. 28. The Buffaloes will be looking for their second road win of the year which would equal their road win total for the past two seasons combined. Colorado was 1-10 on the road last season and 1-9 in 2005-06. The Buffaloes opened the season with a road win at San Francisco, 66-48, on Nov. 16.

Senior All-America candidate Jackie McFarland has once again started the season with a bang averaging a team-leading 18.2 points and 9.0 rebounds per game while shooting a customary 60.4 percent from the floor. McFarland, who is one of only three players in CU history with 1,400 points and 800 rebounds, also leads the team in free-throw shooting at 79 percent and ranks second in assists at 3.0 per game. The All-Big 12 forward ranks second on the league charts in scoring and rebounding so far this year and is also tied for fourth in 3-point field-goal percentage, sixth in free-throw percentage, ninth in field-goal percentage and tied for 15th in assists.

Senior guard Susie Powers has stepped up her game over the past two contests. After being held scoreless for the first three games of the season, Powers has averaged 11.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists over the last two games while hitting 50 percent (8-of-16) from the floor. Powers had a career-high eight assists in CU's win over Northern Colorado and her 16 assists this year against only three turnovers, gives her a Big 12 leading 5.3 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Freshman Brittany Spears continues to have a solid start to her collegiate career has she ranks second on the team in scoring (12.8 ppg) and is third in rebounding (6.8 rpg). Her scoring numbers and rebounding numbers are also tops among all freshmen in the Big 12 Conference so far this season while she is second in steals (2.4 spg) and assists (2.4 apg).

Sophomore Aija Putnina and junior Hannah Skildum had strong homestands for the Buffaloes and have gained spots in the starting lineup after coming off the bench to begin the season. Putnina has started the last two games and has responded by averaging 11.0 points, 13.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game. She had a career-high 15 rebounds and four blocks in the win over Northern Colorado. Skildum started the UNC game at guard as well after averaging 9.5 points and 4.0 rebounds at the Coors Classic while hitting 60 percent from the field.

Sophomore Bianca Smith has been one of the first players off the bench for CU this season and is averaging 6.4 points per game. Whitney Houston and Britney Blythe have also seen extended minutes in the Colorado backcourt. CU's front court rotation off the bench has included junior Caley Dow, who played a season-high 13 minutes in the win over UNC, and junior Kara Richards, who is shooting 53 percent on the season.

Colorado is averaging 67.6 points per game and enjoying +4.4 scoring margin and +6.8 rebounding margin over its opponents. The Buffaloes are shooting 42 percent from the floor as a team and 72 percent from the free-throw line.

3-POINTERS FALLING: Colorado has made and attempted more 3-pointers through five games than it has in any other season in team history, and by a wide margin. The Buffaloes are 43-of-133 through five contests (.323). CU's 43 3-pointers are nine more than the previous best five-game total of 32 in 2003-04 and the 133 attempts are 45 more than the previous five-game high of 88 in 2005-06.

Colorado, which ranks second to only Iowa State in the Big 12 Conference at 8.6 3-pointers per game, had 13 3-pointers in the win over UNC, its most since registering a similar bakers dozen against the Cyclones on Jan. 10, 2007. With 10 3-point field goals in the win over Rice, it marks the first time in team history that the Buffaloes have 10 or more 3-point field goals in back-to-back games. Against Northern Colorado, the Buffs set a school record for 3-point field goal attempts in one half with 21 in the first stanza and finished the game with 36 attempts, just one shy of the school record of 37 set against Buffalo on Jan. 3, 2004.

LAST TIME OUT: When Colorado needed a shot in the arm to get going against Northern Colorado, the Buffs looked to their seniors to step it up, and they answered.

Forward Jackie McFarland scored a game-high 26 points and point guard Susie Powers had 12 points, eight assists and seven rebounds to lead Colorado (3-2) to a 69-60 win over Northern Colorado (2-2) Nov. 28 at the Coors Events/Conference Center.

McFarland, who became the ninth player in team history to reach 1,400 career points (1,411), sparked a 23-4 first-half run to overcome a slow start by the Buffaloes. UNC hit its first four 3-point field goal attempts and built a 19-11 lead in the first 8:56 of the game.

Coming out of a media timeout with 10:56 remaining in the first half, McFarland took over. The All-Big 12 Conference performer scored 10 straight points capped off by a 3-pointer to give CU a 21-19 lead. After Kate Kevorken tied the game at 21, CU sophomore guard Bianca Smith kept the momentum by in the home team's favor by hitting three 3-pointers in a span of 2:17. Caley Dow and Whitney Houston finished off the run with back-to-back buckets to give the Buffs a 34-23 advantage.

Powers had six of her career-high eight assists in the first 20 minutes, two of which went to McFarland during her 10-0 run. Powers, whose 16 assists against only three turnovers this season leads the Big 12, scored nine of her career-best tying 12 points in the second half.

CU built its lead to 55-41 early in the second half as McFarland and Powers each hit a pair of 3-pointers during the run. UNC answered with six straight to cut CU's lead to eight, but Powers' third 3-pointer of the half sparked a 7-0 run to give the Buffs their largest lead of the game at 62-47.

Sophomore Aija Putnina had a career-high 15 rebounds and tied a personal best with four blocked shots for Colorado, which held UNC to just 34 percent from the field. McFarland finished with eight rebounds and three blocks while shooting 8-of-11 from the field.

Whitley Cox led Northern Colorado with 21 points and five assists. Courtney Stoermer had 13 points and nine rebounds while Danielle Hagen had a team-high 12 rebounds.

THE COACH: Kathy McConnell-Miller is in her third season as Colorado's head coach. She is 25-40 with the Buffaloes and has an overall eight-year head coaching record of 116-128.

ABOUT RAMS: Colorado State is 1-6 overall with its lone win coming at home against Navy, 59-53, on Nov. 23. The Rams have dropped two straight, the latest a 68-52 setback at Denver on Nov. 28. Senior guard Sara Hunter paces Colorado State by averaging 13.7 points per game. There is little question that Hunter is the Rams' go-to player as she has taken nearly twice as many field goal attempts (114) as any other player and she has accounted for 19 of of the team's 32 3-point field goals this season. Sophomore forward Juanise Cornell is CSU's only other player averaging double-digits at 10.3 per game and paces the Rams in rebounding (7.3 rpg) while hitting a team-best 50 percent from the floor. Colorado State is scoring 63.3 points per game but is also giving up 74 a contest while allowing opponents to shoot 40 percent.

The Buffaloes are 86-48 all-time against teams currently in the Mountain West Conference. Sixty of those wins have come against Wyoming (32) and Colorado State (28).

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 39th meeting between Colorado and Colorado State, the second-most played non-conference series for the Buffaloes in team history (Wyoming-41). CU holds a 28-10 series lead over the Rams and is 9-8 all-time against CSU in Fort Collins. Colorado won last season's meeting, 56-51, in Boulder and will be looking for its first win in Fort Collins since a 81-74 decision on Dec. 3, 2003. The two teams have played evenly in recent years as the series is split at 4-4 since the two teams resumed their yearly rivalry in 1999.

Kathy McConnell-Miller is 2-2 against Colorado State has a head coach, including an 1-1 mark with CU.

COLORADO AND COLORADO STATE, LAST 10 GAMES:

Date Result Date Result

11/29/06 (H) W, 56-51 11/28/01 (A) L, 69-81

11/30/05 (A) L, 83-86 12/6/00 (H) L, 70-72

12/8/04 (H) W, 83-77 12/1/99 (A) L, 67-73

12/3/03 (A) W, 81-74 11/30/93 (H) W, 75-55

12/12/02 (H) W, 65-51 12/10/92 (A) W, 72-63

FAMILIAR FACES: Colorado State's colors are green and gold, but the coaching staff has a black and gold history. CSU head coach Jen (Tubergen) Warden played for the Buffaloes on their 1989 Big Eight Championship team and was a CU assistant under Ceal Barry from 1992-02. Third-year assistant Randie Wirt was a four-year letterwinner for the Buffs from 2001-04.

CU's Kathy McConnell-Miller coached against Warden as Western Athletic Conference rivals while McConnell-Miller was at Tulsa and Warden was at Boise State. McConnell-Miller held a 4-2 edge in meetings between those two teams.

CAPTAINS NAMED: Seniors Jackie McFarland and Susie Powers and junior Caley Dow will serve as team captains for the 2007-08 season. McFarland is a captain for a third straight season, Powers is in her second year as captain and Dow is a captain for the first time. CU team captains are voted on by players prior to the first regular season contest each year.

PITERNIECE OUT, BUT PROGRESSING: Junior forward Dina Piterniece who continues to recover from a broken toe suffered during practice on Oct. 19, is out for Saturday's game but will likely return to practice Monday after receiving treatment for chronic plantar fasciitis, which played a role in the original toe injury. Piterniece, who has missed the first five games, is expected to make a significant contribution to the CU lineup this season after a two-year career at Odessa where her teams went 66-3, winning the 2007 junior college national championship and a second place finish in 2006.

McFARLAND PRESEASON ALL-BIG 12; BUFFS PICKED 11TH: Senior forward Jackie McFarland has been named to the 2007-08 Preseason All-Big 12 Conference Women's Basketball team by a vote of league coaches.

McFarland is CU's second preseason All-Big 12 honoree as former Buffaloes standout Erin Scholz was named to the 1996-97 squad. She joins Nebraska forward Kelsey Griffin, Oklahoma center Courtney Paris and Texas A&M guards A'Quonesia Franklin and Takia Starks on the five-member preseason team. All five players were first team All-Big 12 picks last winter.

A native of Derby, Kan., McFarland topped the Big 12 and ranked third in the nation in field-goal accuracy in 2006-07 at 61 percent. She was second in the Big 12 in scoring (17.8 ppg) and rebounding (10.8 rpg) and led the league in minutes at 36.4 per game.

McFarland, a 2007 Associated Press honorable mention All-American, is one of just five players in Colorado history with career numbers totaling 1,300 points and 700 rebounds and just one of three players to record back-to-back 500 point seasons. She is already in Colorado's career Top 10 for rebounding (fourth at 770), free throws made (sixth at 383) and blocked shots (sixth at 100) and is on pace to enter the Top 5 in all three categories as well as scoring and field goals made.

She was one of just two players in the Big 12 with 18 or more double-doubles in 2006-07 and missed five additional double-double opportunities by either a single point or rebound. Her 18 double-doubles were equal to or more than 10 of the 12 conference teams. McFarland's 37 career double-doubles are tied with Scholz (1993-97) for second on CU's all-time list.

Despite returning eight players from a team that finished tied for seventh last season, the Buffaloes were picked to finish 11th in the Big 12 in 2007-08 in annual preseason coaches poll.

Defending co-champion Texas A&M was picked to win the 2008 title with seven first place votes and 117 points overall, just edging out the league's other co-champion, Oklahoma who had the other five first place votes and 115 points. The Big South held down the top five spots in the poll as Baylor was third with 97 points followed by Texas (86) and Oklahoma State (66). Iowa State was the top North school (64) followed by Nebraska (56), Kansas State and Texas Tech (54 each), Kansas (43), Colorado (29) and Missouri (11).

MORE NUMBERS FOR McFARLAND: Jackie McFarland had double-doubles in each of her Coors Classic games to move into sole possession of second place on CU's all-time list with 39. Her 40 career double-digit rebounding games are third on the CU career charts.

McFarland is the fourth player in Colorado history with 800 career rebounds, and now stands at 815. She needs 81 rebounds to pass Sandy Bean (1978-82) for third pace on CU's all-time list. McFarland is the ninth player in team history to reach 1,400 career points and now has 1,411 in 92 career games (15.3 ppg). McFarland is the fifth player in school history to pass 400 free throws made (405). She needs 16 free throws to pass Mandy Nightingale (1998-02) for fourth place and is 89 away from catching Bridget Turner (1985-99) for the all-time mark of 494.

TOUGH SCHEDULE: Colorado once again faces a tough schedule with no less than 16 games against 2007 NCAA or WNIT tournament teams. The Buffaloes will travel to perennial NCAA women's powers Southern California and Vanderbilt during the non-conference season as well as region rival Colorado State. Colorado will host 2007 WNIT Champion Wyoming and will also see Rice, Clemson and Pepperdine at the Coors Events Center. Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Texas 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 309-93 all-time record at the Coors Events/Conference Center (.769). The Buffaloes have won 10 or more games in a season at the CECC in 19 of the previous 29 years including, 2007-08 when the Buffaloes went 11-5 at home with four of the five losses coming to ranked teams. The Buffaloes have enjoyed five undefeated seasons (1980-83, 1992-94) at the CECC.

BUFFS ON TV: Colorado's schedule features 10 games that will be televised either regionally or nationally, nine of which will be carried by Fox Sports Net. Two games are part of the Big 12's national package with FSN: Sunday, Jan. 13 against Iowa State at home and Saturday, Jan. 26, at Texas Tech. FSN Rocky Mountain will televise six CU home games beginning with Wyoming on Dec. 5. FSN Midwest will televise CU's game at Kansas State on Jan. 19, which could potentially be picked up by FSN Rocky Mountain as well. CU's game at Colorado State on Dec. 1 will be televised by The Mtn. Network.

UP NEXT: Colorado will return home to host the No. 25/24 ranked University of Wyoming Cowgirls on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. at the Coors Events Center. The game will be televised live by Fox Sports Rocky Mountain.