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Buffs Back In Action At Baylor Saturday

Feb 5, 2010

THE GAME: The University of Colorado travels to face No. 15 (AP)/17 (WBCA) Baylor University on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 6:30 p.m. MST at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.

BROADCAST: Saturday's game will be broadcast live on KKZN AM 760. Mike Rice will give the play by play with USA Basketball's Carol Callan with the color commentary. Live internet audio of all CU basketball games is available on BuffsRadio, a subscription service through Please note the BuffsRadio audio and BuffsTV video are separate subscriptions.

OPENING TIP: Colorado is in the middle of a four-game stretch against ranked teams. Seven of Colorado's final nine regular season opponents have been ranked at one point this season. The Buffaloes will also be looking to halt an 18-game skid on the road against a Big 12 Southern Division opponent. CU's last win at the Big 12 South was a 69-59 win at Baylor on Jan. 7, 2004.

THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 12-8 overall and 2-5 in Big 12 play after falling to No. 6(AP)/4 (WBCA) ranked Nebraska at home, 80-64, on Jan. 30. The Buffaloes have lost their last three and five of their last six. At 12-8 overall Colorado has surpassed its win total for all of 2008-09 (11-18) and needs just one more win to match its 2009 Big 12 win total (3-13).

TEAM NUMBERS: Colorado is averaging 70 points per game and shooting 42 percent from the field overall but those numbers have fallen to 63 points per game and 38 percent shooting over CU's seven Big 12 contests. Colorado is averaging 7.5 3-pointers per game, ranking fourth in the Big 12. The Buffaloes are the top free throw shooting team in the Big 12 at 75.7 percent (262-346). The Buffaloes are having success on the defensive end, ranking third in the Big 12 steals (9.3 spg) and fourth in blocks (4.6 bpg). 

SPEARS LEADS: Brittany Spears tops Colorado by averaging 18.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. She recorded her 20th career double-double, fifth of the season and first during Big 12 play with 14 points and 11 rebounds against Iowa State and has narrowly missed double-doubles in three of her last four games, falling just one rebound short on each occasion. Her 20 career double-doubles are fifth on CU's all-time list.

Spears, coming off a 10-point, 9-rebound, 5-assist performance against Nebraska, has recorded double-digits in 19 of 20 games this season, 50 of her last 53 games and 73 of 83 career outings.

On the league charts she ranks second in free-throw percentage (.856), defensive rebounds (6.3 drpg) and steals, fourth in overall rebounds, sixth in scoring, seventh in blocks (1.4 bpg), ninth in minutes (33.1 mpg) and 13th in 3-pointers made (1.7 3mpg).

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 13.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game and is still displaying her sharp-shooting abilities. Smith leads the Big 12 with 60 3-pointers and ranks 11th in 3-point accuracy at 40 percent (60-of-150).

Smith ranks 14th in overall scoring in the Big 12 and second 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                 16.1
Bianca Smith, Colorado                        13.6
Christine Flores, Missouri                      9.9
Cokie Reed, Texas                                  7.2
Ashley Field, Baylor                                7.1
Sydney Carter, Texas A&M                    7.1

SMITH NETS MILESTONE: Bianca Smith scored 11 points against Kansas and in the process became the 23rd player in team history to reach 1,000 career points. She added 14 against Nebraska and remains in 23rd place on CU's all-time scoring list with 1,024.

Smith gives CU two 1,000 point scorers on the same team as she joins Brittany Spears who reached 1,000 last year and currently resides in 13th on CU's all-time list with 1,356. 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 tops all Big 12 freshmen and ranks eighth overall in steals at 2.2 per game. She leads Colorado and ranks 12th in the Big 12 in assists (3.4 apg) and is second on the team in steals and rebounds (5.5 rpg) and is third in scoring (10.2 ppg). She has scored in double-digits in six of the last eight games, and recorded her first career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds against Nebraska. 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 leads CU and ranks sixth in the Big 12 in blocks (1.5 bpg). With 29 blocks on the season, she is tied with Melody Johnson (1997-98) for the fifth best freshman season mark in team history. She is fourth on the team in rebounding (4.6 ppg) and scoring (6.7 ppg). Malcolm-Peck delivered one of the clutch performances of the season at Kansas State. After making just seven of her first 16 career free-throw attempts (.438), she drilled two attempts with 17 seconds remaining to give CU a four-point lead (61-57) en route to a 63-57 triumph. 

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 has scored double-digits in three of the last seven games including a season-high 12 points against Texas Tech. During the conference schedule she has improved her numbers to 8.0 points on 42 percent shooting and 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. She has shot 50 percent or better in eight of the last 15 games.

GETTING 'ER DUNN: Senior center Courtney Dunn, has two career double-doubles, both of which came in a four-game span. She had a career outing against Oklahoma State tying a career high (Denver) and setting a new Big 12 personal best 16 points while nabbing a career high and team single season high 14 rebounds. She also had a double-double at Texas Tech recording 10 points and a then personal-best 11 rebounds. She is averaging 8.9 points and 6.4 rebounds over the seven league contests. Overall she has 126 points (6.6 ppg) and 93 rebounds (4.9 rpg) this season (19 games) after recording just 94 points and 85 rebounds combined in her first two seasons (48 games).

MULLANEY BOLSTERS BENCH: Junior guard Kelly Jo Mullaney continues to give Colorado key minutes and punch off the bench. She had four points, three rebounds and an assist in 18 minutes against Oklahoma State. She averages 3.9 points and 2.2 rebounds for the Buffaloes and has hit 11-of-21 from 3-point range on the season. She had made just nine 3-pointers in 28 games in 2008-09. Mullaney is 5-of-9 from 3-point range during the Big 12 schedule.

ABOUT THE LADY BEARS: No. 15 (AP)/17 (WBCA) Baylor is 16-5 overall and one of three Big 12 teams at 3-4 in league play, joining Kansas and Kansas State. The Lady Bears have won two of their last three including a solid 65-47 road win at Kansas State on Feb. 3. Baylor, which has been ranked as high as No. 5 during the regular season, averages 76 points on 49 percent shooting while allowing opponents only 55 points per game on 32 percent shooting. Baylor is the top shooting, rebounding and shot blocking team in the Big 12. The Lady Bears' numbers dip during Big 12 games to just 59 points per game on 41 percent from the field.

Baylor is led by freshman All-America candidate Brittney Griner who averages 19.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.8 blocks per game. Her 122 blocks on the season are nearly twice as much as the next best player in the Big 12, Ashley Gayle of Texas who has 66. Thornton, Colo. naitive Melissa Jones is BU's second leading scorer (11.3 ppg) and top perimeter threat (21 3-pointers), but she has played only two of seven conference games due to injury. Senior forward Morghan Medlock averages 10 points and 7.3 rebounds for the Lady Bears.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 18th meeting between Colorado and Baylor with the Lady Bears holding a slim 9-8 edge in the series. Baylor has won the last five, including a 63-50 win in Boulder on Jan. 10, 2009. Baylor also holds a 5-2 advantage in Waco. CU's last win over Baylor came in Waco, a 69-59 decision on Jan. 7, 2004. That game was also CU's last on the road against a Big 12 Southern Division opponent. The Buffaloes have lost their last 18 against the Big 12 South on the road.

Kathy McConnell-Miller is 0-3 against Baylor as a head coach, all meetings while with Colorado.

Date                       Result                   Date                       Result
1/10/09 (H)            L, 50-63                1/7/04 (A)               W, 69-59
2/27/08 (A)            L, 62-76                1/29/03 (H)            W, 66-59
2/21/07 (H)            L, 67-75                2/20/02 (A)            L, 69-80
2/22/06 (A)            L, 40-86                2/3/01 (H)              W, 85-66
2/26/05 (H)            L, 65-84                2/23/00 (A)            L, 90-91 OT

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, which ranks third in the Big 12 in steals at 9.5 per game, has double-digit steals in 10 of 20 games this season. CU had only five games with double-digit steals in 2008-09. The 10 games of double-digit steals are the most in a season since the Buffaloes had 12 in 2003-04.

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 13th on CU's all-time scoring list (1,356). Spears is also seventh in blocked shots (112), eighth in 3-pointers made (134) and attempted (412), 11th in rebounds (660), 12th in steals (161), 15th in field goals made (492) and 18th in free throws made (238).

Spears' possible climbs Saturday:
5 free throws made for 17th
5 steals for 11th
20 points for 12th

Smith is second in career 3-point field goals made (235) and attempted (624), trailing only former CU All-American Shelley Sheetz in both categories (252-of-661 from 1991-95). Smith, who leads the Big 12 with 60 3-pointers this season, needs 17 to catch Sheetz's all-time career mark. Smith is the Big 12's active career leader in 3-pointers made and is 11th on the league's all-time 3-point list.

Smith is 23rd on CU's all-time scoring list with 1,024. She needs 69 points to crack the Top 20.

MORE SMITH FROM '3': Bianca Smith has 60 3-pointers this season which is 10th on CU's single-season list. She needs three to match her 2008-09 season total, and current ninth place spot, of 63. She also has a chance to break her own single-season school record of 80 set in 2007-08. Smith is the only player to appear on CU's single-season Top 10 for 3-pointers made in three different seasons.

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 prior to CU's Big 12 opening win over Missouri. Houston, a native of Memphis, Tenn., had appeared in 12 of CU's 13 games prior to the announcement, 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.

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.

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 currently ranked in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches poll while seven are ranked in the Associated Press poll.

HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 340-110 all-time record at the Coors Events/Conference Center (.756). 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