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Stretch Of Ranked Opponents Continues As Buffs Visit OU

Feb 12, 2010

THE GAME: The University of Colorado travels to face No. 12 (AP & WBCA) ranked University of Oklahoma on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 1 p.m. MST at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman.

BROADCAST: Due to a conflict with the CU men's game, Saturday's game will be broadcast live on KVCU AM 1190. 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 will play its fourth straight against a ranked opponent. The Buffaloes have lost all six games they've played against ranked opponents this season, and overall have dropped 17 straight games against ranked opponents and 14 straight to a team ranked in both the AP and WBCA Coaches poll (Iowa State was ranked only in the WBCA poll in the meeting earlier this season as was Kansas State in two meetings in 2008-09). CU's last win over a ranked opponent was a 73-68 home win over No. 15/15 Kansas State on Feb. 23, 2008. The Buffaloes will play five of their final seven games against teams that are or have been ranked at one time this season.

THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 12-10 overall and tied with Texas Tech for 10th in the Big 12 Conference at 2-7. The Buffaloes have lost their last five and seven of their last eight. The Buffaloes will also be looking to halt a 19-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.

TEAM NUMBERS: Colorado is averaging 68 points per game and shooting 41 percent from the field overall but those numbers have fallen to 59 points per game and 37 percent shooting over CU's nine Big 12 contests. Colorado is averaging 7.4 3-pointers per game, ranking third in the Big 12. The Buffaloes are the top free throw shooting team in the Big 12 at 75.7 percent (277-356). The Buffaloes also rank third in the Big 12 in steals (9.1 spg) and fourth in blocks (4.2 bpg). 

SPEARS LEADS: Brittany Spears tops Colorado by averaging 16.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game. She will be looking to rebound from a tough three-game stretch where she's averaged just 8.0 points on 26 percent shooting (8-of-30). Spears has been held to single digits in points the last two games. Despite that, she has still scored in double-digits in 19 of 22 games this season, 50 of her last 55 games and 73 of 85 career outings.

On the league charts she ranks thrid in defensive rebounds (6.0 drpg), fourth in and steals and free-throw percentage (.842), fifth in overall rebounds, seventh blocks (1.3 bpg), ninth in scoring and 15th in 3-pointers made (1.6 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 12.5 points and 2.6 rebounds per game and is still displaying her sharp-shooting abilities. Smith is second in the Big 12 with 61 3-pointers and ranks 13th in 3-point accuracy at 38 percent (61-of-161).

Smith ranks 18th 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                 16.2
Bianca Smith, Colorado                        12.5
Christine Flores, Missouri                      9.6
Cokie Reed, Texas                                  7.7
Sydney Carter, Texas A&M                    7.3

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 currently resides in 23rd place on CU's all-time scoring list with 1,028.

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 1,370. 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 third overall in steals at 2.3 per game. She leads Colorado and ranks 10th 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 seven of the last 10 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 (1.3 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 (4.3 rpg) and sixth in scoring (6.2 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. Fressle is second on the team in assists (2.3 apg) while ranking third in steals (1.4 spg) and fifth in scoring (6.5 ppg). Her numbers have improved during the Big 12 schedule as she is averaging 7.8 points and 1.9 steals per outing. Her 17 steals during the conference schedule rank seventh best among league players.

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 8.3 points and 6.0 rebounds over the nine league contests. Overall she has 139 points (6.6 ppg) and 102 rebounds (4.9 rpg) this season (21 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 five points, two rebounds and two steals in the loss to Texas. She averages 4.1 points and 2.1 rebounds for the Buffaloes and has hit 14-of-26 from 3-point range on the season. She had made just nine 3-pointers in 28 games in 2008-09. Mullaney is 8-of-14 from 3-point range during the Big 12 schedule.

ABOUT THE SOONERS: No. 12 (AP & WBCA) Oklahoma is 17-6 overall and is in second place in the Big 12 at 7-3. The Sooners have won their last two and six of their last eight, coming off a 62-60 overtime win over Baylor in Norman on Feb. 10. Oklahoma averages 73 points per game while shooting 43 percent from the floor. The Sooners give up 67 points per game to their opponents, ranking last in the Big 12. Oklahoma is one of the league's better rebounding teams averaging 42 per game, ranking third in the Big 12 standings.

Junior guard Danielle Robinson leads the Sooners by averaging 17.3 points and ranking third in the Big 12 in assists at 5.1 per outing. Senior forward Amanda Thompson is the top rebounder in the Big 12 at 10.2 per game while averaging 11.8 points per contest. Senior guard Nyeshia Stevenson ranks second on the team in scoring at 14.2 and is OU's top 3-point threat, hitting 50 on the season.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 55th meeting between Colorado and Oklahoma with the Buffaloes holding a 33-21 series lead. The Sooners have had the upper hand in recent years winning the last seven and 12 of the last 14 meetings. Oklahoma holds a 12-10 series lead in Norman and has won the last six. CU's last win in Norman came in the final year of the Big Eight Conference, a 68-53 triumph on Jan. 28, 1996. CU's last overall win the series was a 73-68 decision in the quarterfinals of the 2003 Big 12 Championship. This will be the fifth straight season that Oklahoma is ranked No. 18 or higher when meeting Colorado. Three of those five years OU was in the Top 10.

Kathy McConnell-Miller is 1-8 against Oklahoma as a head coach, 0-5 with Colorado.

Date                       Result                   Date                       Result
1/21/09 (H)            L, 58-72                3/10/04 (N)            L, 56-63
2/9/08 (A)              L, 62-86                2/15/04 (A)            L, 58-78
1/20/07 (H)            L, 67-82                3/12/03 (N)            W, 73-68
1/7/06 (A)              L, 61-84                2/16/03 (H)            W, 61-57
2/16/05 (H)            L, 61-77                3/25/02 (N)            L, 60-94

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 9.1 per game, has double-digit steals in 10 of 22 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.

INDIVIDUALLY SPEAKING: Junior Brittany Spears leads Colorado with 50 steals this season and her 2.3 per game average ranks fourth in the Big 12. Spears, who already ranks 12th on CU's all-time steals list with 162, is the first player since CU All-American Shelley Sheetz to record 50 steals in each of her first three seasons (1991-92 to 1993-94). Freshman Chucky Jeffery is right behind Spears in number with 48 steals, ranking third in the Big 12 on a per game basis (2.3 spg). Jeffery is on pace for 66 steals (based on number of guaranteed games left) which would rank as the fourth best freshman season at Colorado.

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 (1,370). Spears is also seventh in blocked shots (113), eighth in 3-pointers made (136) and attempted (420), 11th in rebounds (669), 12th in steals (162), 15th in field goals made (497) and 18th in free throws made (240).

Spears' possible climbs Saturday:
3 free throws made for 17th
4 steals for 11th
4 field goals made for 14th
6 points for 12th, 16 points for 11th

Smith is second in career 3-point field goals made (236) and attempted (635), trailing only former CU All-American Shelley Sheetz in both categories (252-of-661 from 1991-95). Smith, currently ranks second in the Big 12 with 61 3-pointers this season, needs 16 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 1,028. She needs 65 points to crack the Top 20.

MORE SMITH FROM '3': Bianca Smith has 61 3-pointers this season which is 10th on CU's single-season list. She needs two more 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.

TEAM SOLID FROM '3' TOO: Colorado ranks third in the Big 12 and 20th in the nation at 7.4 3-pointers made per game. CU's 163 3-pointers already ranks fourth on CU's single-season list. CU's 2007-08 WNIT semifinalist squad holds the current school record with 236.

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 340-111 all-time record at the Coors Events/Conference Center (.754). 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.

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