Buffs Face ISU In CU Basketball Doubleheader Night Cap
THE GAME: The University of Colorado returns home to host No. 20 (WBCA) Iowa State University on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 4:30 p.m. at the Coors Events/Conference Center.
BROADCAST: Saturday's game will be televised by FSN Rocky Mountain. Tom Helmer will have the call with legendary CU head coach Ceal Barry providing the color commentary and Alanna Rizzo reporting from the sidelines. Saturday's game will be broadcast live on KKZN AM 760. Mike Rice will handle play-by-play duties with USA Basketball's Carol Callan providing the color commentary. Live internet audio of all CU basketball games is available on BuffsRadio, a subscription service through CUBuffs.com. Please note the BuffsRadio audio and BuffsTV video are separate subscriptions.
OPENING TIP: Colorado is 10-1 at home averaging 75 points per game and shooting 45 percent from the field in those contests.
THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 11-4 overall and split its first two Big 12 Conference games, defeating the University of Missouri 64-48 at home in the league opener on Jan. 9 and falling to Texas Tech 74-61 in Lubbock on Jan. 12. CU has won five of its last seven and nine of its last 12 overall.
TEAM NUMBERS: Colorado is averaging 72 points per game and shooting 43 percent from the field. CU is averaging 8.1 3-pointers per game, ranking third in the Big 12. The Buffaloes are also the No. 1 free throw shooting team in the Big 12 at 76 percent (182-of-240). Colorado is averaging 39 rebounds per game, and winning the battle of the boards by 2.4 per game. The Buffaloes are also averaging 10 steals per game and forcing opponents into 18.3 turnovers per contest.
SPEARS LEADS: Brittany Spears tops Colorado by averaging 18.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Spears has scored 20 or more points in seven of 15 games and four of her last seven. She was held below double-digits in scoring for the first time this season, managing just three points against Texas Tech. Spears has still recorded double-digits in scoring in 45 of her last 48 games and 68 of 78 career outings.
On the league charts she ranks fifth in scoring, overall rebounds and defensive rebounds (5.7 drpg), seventh in steals (2.3 spg), eighth in free-throw percentage (.825) and blocks (1.3 bpg), 12th 3-pointers made (2.0 3mpg) and 15th in offensive rebounds (2.7 orpg).
SMITH OFF THE BENCH, SAME RESULTS: After starting the entire 2008-09 season, senior guard Bianca Smith has come off the bench for all but one game without missing a beat. She is averaging 14.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game and is still displaying her sharp-shooting abilities. Smith leads the Big 12 with 46 3-pointers and is the Big 12's best free throw shooter making 33 of her 34 attempts on the season (.971) and has made 25 straight. She is 13th in 3-point accuracy at 40 percent (46-of-114).
Smith ranks 15th in overall scoring in the Big 12 and third among those players primarily coming off the bench (starting less than half of a team's games). Here are the current leaders:
Player, Team PPG
Danielle Adams, Texas A&M 15.4
Brittainey Raven, Texas 15.3
Bianca Smith, Colorado 14.1
Christine Flores, Missouri 9.3
Ashley Field, Baylor 8.3
SMITH NEARING MILESTONE: Bianca Smith needs 36 points to become the 23rd player in team history to reach 1,000. She enters Saturday's game with 964 points in 108 games (8.9 ppg), ranking 26th on CU's all-time list. She needs just eight points reach the 23rd spot on the career charts where she would pass Doni Fischer (967 from 1975-78), Kate Fagan (970 from 1999-04) and Sabrina Scott (972 from 1999-03).
Smith would give CU two 1,000 point scorers on the same team as she would join Brittany Spears who reached 1,000 last year and currently resides in 15th on CU's all-list with 1,278. Having multiple 1,000 point scorers on the same team has happened several times in CU's history, and on two different occasions in the last decade alone. Jackie McFarland and Jasmina Ilic were 1,000-point teammates in 2006-07 and the Buffaloes had a trio of 1,000-point scorers in 2001-02 featuring Jenny Roulier, Mandy Nightingale and Britt Hartshorn.
FRESHMEN THRIVING: Freshmen Chucky Jeffery and Meagan Malcolm-Peck have made major contributions in their first collegiate seasons.
Jeffery leads the Buffaloes and ranks fourth in the Big 12 in steals at 2.4 per game. She is tied with Malcolm-Peck for second in rebounding (5.4 rpg) and is third on the team in scoring (9.4 ppg). Jeffery had one of the best stat lines of the season in the nonconference finale against Yale recording 19 points on a perfect 7-of-7 from the field to go along with nine assists, seven rebounds, five steals and two blocks.
Malcolm-Peck also had a career night in the Big 12 tune up against Yale, matching her classmate with a career best 19 points, including a perfect 4-of-4 from 3-point range, a team season best percentage. Malcolm-Peck leads CU in blocks and ranks fifth in the Big 12 in blocks (1.7 bpg). She needs just three blocks to break into CU's top five freshman season performances. She is tied for second in rebounding (5.4 ppg) and fourth in scoring (7.7 ppg).
FRESSLE HEATING UP: After a slow start, sophomore guard Alyssa Fressle is finding her freshman form that gained her a spot on the 2009 Big 12 All-Rookie team. She had a season-high 12 points against Texas Tech and is averaging 11.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists over the first two Big 12 contests. Fressle is averaging 8.1 points over the last 10 games while grabbing 2.7 rebounds and dishing out 2.7 assists per contest during that span. She has shot 50 percent or better in six of the last 10 games
GETTING 'ER DUNN: Senior center Courtney Dunn, who has started 12 of the last 13 contests, recorded her first career double-double with 10 points and a personal-best 11 rebounds against Texas Tech. She is averaging 11.0 points and leads CU at 9.5 rebounds over the two league contests. Dunn had a Big 12 personal best 12 points in the win over Missouri. She has 86 points (6.1 ppg) this season after scoring just 94 combined in her first two seasons.
MULLANEY BOLSTERS BENCH: Junior guard Kelly Jo Mullaney continues to give Colorado key minutes and punch off the bench. She had eight points and three rebounds in 22 minutes at Texas Tech. She averages 4.3 points and 2.5 rebounds for the Buffaloes and has hit 8-of-15 from 3-point range on the season. She is just one shy of her 3-point output from 2008-09 when she made nine in 28 games.
ABOUT THE CYCLONES: No. 20 (WBCA) ranked Iowa State is 12-3 overall and 0-2 in the Big 12 after league season opening losses to a pair of ranked teams in Nebraska (57-49) and Texas A&M (68-44). The Cyclones, who are receiving votes in the most recent Associated Press poll, had won 11 straight games before the opening of the Big 12 schedule. Iowa State averages 71 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the field, but the Cyclones have failed to reach 50 points in their two Big 12 games. ISU is the Big 12's top 3-point shooting team at 8.4 per game and also lead the league in scoring defense (52.2 ppg).
Senior guard Alison Lacey leads the Cyclones at 17.7 points and 6.7 assists per game. Junior Kelsey Bolte is second in scoring at 10.9 points per contest. Chelsea Poppens and Denae Stucky each average 6.1 rebounds per game for the Cyclones.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 64th meeting between Colorado and Iowa State with the Buffaloes holding a 36-27 series edge. The Cyclones have held the upper hand in recent years, winning six straight and 11 of the last 12 contests. Colorado is 18-9 against the Cyclones all-time in Boulder, but Iowa State has won the last two. CU's last win in the series came at the Coors Events Center, a 81-67 triumph on Jan. 10, 2007.
Kathy McConnell-Miller is 1-8 against Iowa State, with all nine games coming while at Colorado.
COLORADO AND IOWA STATE, LAST 10:
Date Result Date Result
2/25/09 (A) L, 63-76 2/17/07 (A) L, 55-74
2/7/09 (H) L, 47-53 1/10/07 (H) W, 81-67
3/11/08 (N) L, 50-76 3/2/06 (A) L, 46-56
1/30/08 (A) L, 45-65 1/21/06 (H) L, 71-86
1/13/08 (H) L, 77-84 2OT 3/8/05 (N) L, 62-64
BIG 12 HONORS BUFFS: Colorado has been cited by the Big 12 Conference for weekly honors three times this season. Junior Brittany Spears was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Co-Player of the Week on Nov. 23, Meagan Malcolm-Peck was the Freshman of the Week on Dec. 28 and Chucky Jeffery was named top freshman on Jan. 11.
CU's three weekly recognitions are its most since 2007-08 when Spears was named Freshman of the Week four times and Bianca Smith was Player of the Week once. It is also the first time that two different CU newcomers have earned Freshman/Rookie of the Week honors in the same season since 2004-05 when Kara Richards and Jackie McFarland were both recognized.
Jeffery averaged 15.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 5.0 steals in Colorado's wins over Yale and Missouri. She tied a career-best with 19 points, connecting on all seven of her field goals attempts against Yale. Displaying her all-around game, Jeffery also registered a personal and team season-best nine assists to go along with seven rebounds, five steals and two blocked shots. Jeffery made her Big 12 debut by scoring 12 points and equaling a career-best eight rebounds and five steals in the win over Missouri. She hit 5-of-10 from the floor and also dished our four assists.
Malcolm-Peck pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds with four points in Colorado's win over San Jose State - her second double-digit rebounding effort of the season. She also recorded personal bests with four steals and three assists while tying a career high with three blocked shots. Malcolm-Peck's four steals came in the first eight minutes of the game as the Buffaloes built a 46-13 lead in the first half. For Malcolm-Peck it is her first weekly honor.
Spears was named to the Minnesota Subway Classic All-Tournament team after averaging 23 points and 10 rebounds in two games. She scored 19 points and pulled down seven rebounds in 25 minutes in the 63-49 win over Illinois-Chicago. She then recorded her 17th career double-double and second of the season with a game-high 27 points and 13 rebounds against Minnesota in the tournament final. She reached a double-double before intermission with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the opening 20 minutes. Spears hit 10-of-20 shots from the field and added four assists and four steals.
For Spears it was her fifth career Big 12 weekly honor, and first as Player of the Week.
STEAL-Y EYED: Colorado has been picking up steals in bunches this season. CU logged 11 steals against Missouri, giving the Buffs double-digit steals in nine of 15 games this season. CU had only five games with double-digit steals in 2008-09. The nine games of double-digit steals are the most in a season since the Buffaloes had 12 in 2003-04.
HOUSTON TAKES LEAVE: Junior guard Whitney Houston has taken a leave of absence from the women's basketball team for personal reasons Kathy McConnell-Miller announced Saturday, prior to CU's Big 12 opening win over Missouri. Houston, a native of Memphis, Tenn., has appeared in 12 of CU's 13 games, logging two starts and averaging 4.2 points and 1.3 assists per game. No timetable has been set on her return.
SHUTTING DOWN OPPONENT'S 'O' EARLY: Colorado held San Jose State to 13 first-half points. Combined with the 11 allowed against Southern Utah in the previous game, the 24 points in back-to-back first halves are the lowest combined total in team history. The previous low total was 27 in 2001-02 in games against San Diego (36-18) and Bowling Green (53-9).
NUGGETS FROM THE SOUTHERN UTAH GAME: Colorado's 88-36 win over Southern Utah entered the Buffaloes' record book on several fronts:
Colorado's 42 point halftime lead (53-11) tied for the second largest in team history. The Buffaloes also held a 42 point lead against Colorado State on Nov. 16 1979 (63-21). The school record is a 44 point lead CU had against Bowling Green on Nov. 23, 2001 (53-9).
Southern Utah's 11 first half points tied for the fifth fewest by a CU opponent in any half. The school record is 8 set against Kansas State on March 7, 1992 (46-8).
Fewest Points In One Half By An Opponent
Date Opponent Points
3/7/92 vs. Kansas State 8
11/23/01 vs. Bowling Green 9
12/9/98 at Wyoming 10
12/31/91 vs. New Mexcio 10
12/19/09 vs. Southern Utah 11
3/17/95 vs. SW Missouri State 11
Colorado's final winning margin of 52 points are CU's most since a 96-44 win over Bowling Green on Nov. 23, 2001.
Southern Utah's 36 total points tied for the 10th fewest allowed in team history and the fewest since giving up 35 to Kansas on Jan. 16, 2002.
CLIMBING THE LADDERS: Junior Brittany Spears and Senior Bianca Smith continue to make their impressions on the CU record book.
Spears, who became just the second player in team history (Lisa Van Goor) to reach 1,000 points as a sophomore, is 15th on CU's all-time scoring list with 1,278 needing 41 points to catch Sandy Bean (1,319 from 1978-82) for 14th place. Spears is also seventh in blocked shots (105), eighth in 3-pointers made (131) and attempted (389), 13th in rebounds (615) and steals (146) and 15th in field goals made (470).
Spears' possible climbs Saturday:
2 steals for 12th
4 rebounds for 12th
Smith is third in career 3-point field goals made (221) and attempted (588). She made her 200th career 3-pointer in the win over Southern Utah on Dec. 19. She needs four more to pass Mandy Nightingale (1998-02) for second place on CU's all-time list. Smith, who currently has 46 3-pointers on the season, would need 77 total this year to break Shelley Sheetz's career mark of 252, but it's possible. Smith holds CU's single-season mark hitting 80 from downtown in 2007-08.
IMPRESSIVE POINT SWING: The 63 point swing from last year's 77-40 loss to Seton Hall to this year's 80-54 win is the second largest in a series in team history (games no longer than two seasons apart). The Buffaloes had a 67 point swing against Idaho State during the 1981-82 season. Here are the top point swings in team history.
Opponent Margin Date Margin Date Difference
Idaho State -6 (55-61) 1/22/82 +61 (116-55) 2/13/82 +67
Seton Hall -37 (40-77) 12/9/08 +26 (80-54) 12/6/09 +63
Nebraska -41 (49-90) 1/6/99 +17 (70-53) 1/23/99 +58
Colorado State -39 (42-81) 2/6/75 +15 (53-38) 11/20/75 +54
Illinois -44 (44-88) 1/4/98 +8 (78-70) 12/28/99 +52
Texas A&M -9 (60-69) 1/6/92 +41 (92-51) 12/31/92 +50
FRESHMAN DEBUTS: A pair of true freshmen made their collegiate debuts and made significant contributions to the Buffaloes come-back win against UC Irvine. Forward Meagan Malcolm-Peck got the starting nod and responded with six points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Guard Chucky Jeffery came off the bench and registered four points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Malcolm-Peck's start marked the fourth straight year the Buffaloes have had a freshman in the initial season starting lineup. The three others: Bianca Smith in 2006, Brittany Spears in 2007 and Alyssa Fressle in 2008.
REBOUNDING WOWS: Colorado has enjoyed early success on the boards. The Buffaloes began the season with back-to-back 50-plus rebounding efforts, corralling 50 against UC Irvine in the season opener and improving on that mark with 52 against Illinois-Chicago.
Colorado had just one game all of 2008-09 with 50 or more rebounds, notching 51 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Dec. 2. CU's 52 rebounds against Illinois-Chicago were its most since recording 58 at Colorado State on Dec. 1, 2007.
The Buffaloes back-to-back 50-rebound effort was the teams first since stringing together three straight from Nov. 20-24, 2001 (50 vs. San Diego, 59 vs. Bowling Green, 50 vs. Houston). CU wasn't able to get a third 50-rebound game this time, grabbing just 24 against Minnesota, but it should be noted that both teams shot right at 50 percent from the field in that game, leaving rebounds at a premium (UM won the rebounding battle 32-24).
Against UC Irvine, Brittany Spears led the way with 14 while Meagan Malcolm-Peck grabbed 11 in her CU debut. It marked the first time the Buffs had two players reach double-digits in rebounds since Brittany Spears and Julie Seabrook each had 13 against Idaho State on Dec. 30, 2008. In the Illinois-Chicago game, the rebounds were well distributed. No one had double digits, but six players had four or more rebounds and all 10 that played had at least one.
Back to UC Irvine, Malcom-Peck's 11 rebounds, six of which came on the offensive end, put her in some exclusive CU company. Her 11 boards are the third most in team history by a freshman in her CU debut and the most in 27 years:
No. Player Opponent
16 Monica Kosenski vs. Northern Arizona, 11/28/86
13 Kim Jackson vs. UTEP, 11/19/82
11 Meagan Malcolm-Peck vs. UC Irvine 11/17/09
10 Randie Wirt vs. Albany, 11/17/00
10 Lisa Van Goor vs. Colorado Women's, 11/18/80
9 Crystal Ford vs. Adams State, 11/23/85
8 Jamillah Lang vs. Gonzaga, 11/23/90
Chucky Jeffery had seven rebounds in her debut. She is one of eight different players, a list that includes Brittany Spears (at San Francisco, 11/16/07), to reach that number in her first collegiate game.
MEMORABLE COMEBACK: Colorado's comeback from a 14-point halftime deficit to win against UC Irvine ties for the third-largest margin achieved in team history. The Buffaloes trailed the Anteaters 33-19 at the break before outscoring them 42-23 in the final 20 minutes.
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. Colorado came back from 15 points down against Kansas State on Jan. 31, 2007, that game included a 23-0 second half run.
CU's Top Halftime Comebacks:
Date Opp. Half Final Margin
12/21/82 Washington (N) UW 35-16 CU 67-65 19
1/31/07 Kansas State (H) KS 39-24 CU 66-55 15
11/15/09 UC Irvine (H) UCI 33-19 CU 61-56 14
12/1/83 Wyoming (A) UW 35-21 CU 57-56 14
12/20/03 Southern Cal (A) SC 39-27 CU 69-67 12
2/19/00 Texas (H) UT 38-26 CU 79-65 12
CAPTAINS NAMED: Before the season opener head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller announced that Brittany Spears, Whitney Houston and Bianca Smith were named captains for the 2009-10 season. Smith is a captain for the second straight year while Houston and Spears are first time captains. CU captains are voted on by the players.
BUFFS IN OPENERS: Colorado is now 31-5 (.861) all-time in season openers and started the season with a home game for the 24th time in 36 seasons. Colorado is an outstanding 34-2 (.944) all-time in home openers. Colorado has never lost its overall season opener when played at home (24-0).
TOUGH SCHEDULE: Colorado once again faces a tough schedule with potentially 16 games -- or 55 percent of the regular season schedule -- against 2009 NCAA or WNIT tournament teams. Eight of CU's 2009-10 opponents are ranked in the current USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches poll while seven are ranked in the latest Associated Press poll.
HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 340-107 all-time record at the Coors Events/Conference Center (.761). The Buffaloes have won 10 or more games in a season at the CECC in 21 of the previous 32 years. The Buffaloes have enjoyed five undefeated seasons (1980-83, 1992-94) at the CECC.
BUFFS ON TV: Colorado's regular season schedule features nine games that will be televised either regionally or nationally, eight of which are at home. CU opened its first of eight FSN Rocky Mountain games on Dec. 2, against Denver. FSN Rocky Mountain will also televise home games against Virginia (Jan. 2), Missouri (Jan. 9), Iowa State (Jan. 16), Oklahoma State (Jan. 24), Nebraska (Jan. 30), Texas (Feb. 10) and Kansas (Feb. 16). The games against Missouri and Oklahoma State will be televised nationally on FSN as part of the network's Big 12 package. Colorado's game at Kansas State (Jan. 20) will be produced by FSN Kansas City, but will also be picked up by FSN Rocky Mountain.
Colorado was 2-5 in televised games during the 2008-09 regular season. CU has appeared on 72 regional or national telecasts over the previous eight seasons.
BUFFS SIGN THREE: Shae Kelley, Ashley Wilson and Brittany Wilson have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball and continue their education at the University of Colorado in 2010-11, CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller announced Nov. 12, during the NCAA early signing period. Kelley, a 6-foot forward from Denver, is a two-time All-State honorable mention and All-Denver Prep League pick out of East High School. Kelley will be the fifth Denver Public Schools player to suit up for the Buffaloes and the first since Montbello's Nikki Weddle (1997-99). Ashley and Brittany are identical twin 5-8 guards from Long Beach, Calif. Playing for one of the most storied programs in Southern California, the Wilson twins have won three consecutive CIF Division I state titles with nationally-ranked Long Beach Poly.
SMITH GAINS FULL SEASON: Senior guard Bianca Smith was formally released from the National Letter of Intent she originally signed at the University of Tulsa earlier this summer, allowing her to gain back the semester of eligibility she would have otherwise had to surrender this season. Smith is now eligible to play the entire 2009-10 season for the Buffaloes. Smith, a native of Missouri City, Texas, had signed an NLI in November 2004 with Tulsa, who at the time was coached by current CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller. When McConnell-Miller took over the Colorado program in April 2005, Smith decided to follow her to Boulder.
She never enrolled at Tulsa, but was faced with sitting out two full seasons, one for not honoring her NLI commitment to Tulsa and a second for transferring to another NCAA Division I school. Smith was able to use her redshirt year to fulfill the NCAA transfer obligation, sitting out the 2005-06 season. She successfully petitioned the NLI Appeals Committee in 2005 to gain one semester back, but was still faced with losing one semester under the NLI commitment.
In the spring of 2009 then-CU-Boulder Chancellor Bud Peterson contacted Tulsa President, Dr. Steadman Upham, on behalf of Smith and the University of Colorado to ask for Smith's full release. Thanks to cooperation from both universities and athletic departments, Smith was released and rewarded a full final season.
BUFFS PICKED 11TH...AGAIN: For the fourth straight season Colorado was picked to finish 11th in the annaul Big 12 Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.
In one of the closest votes at the top in recent memory, Baylor was picked to win the 2010 title with five first place votes and 109 total points, edging out Texas and Kansas who tied for second with 106 points (3 first place votes each). Texas A&M was picked fourth with 87 votes and picked up the final first place vote. Defending champion Oklahoma was fifth (86), followed by Nebraska (80), Iowa State (59), Kansas State (44), Oklahoma State (41), Texas Tech (38), Colorado (22) and Missouri (15).
The Buffaloes have fared better than the Big 12 coaches preseason prediction three of four seasons under Kathy McConnell-Miller:
Season Preseason Actual
2009-10 11th ??
2008-09 11th 12th
2007-08 11th 9th
2006-07 11th t-7th
2005-06 12th 11th