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Buffaloes To Battle Baylor At Big 12 Championships

Mar 10, 2010

Game Notes

THE GAME: The University of Colorado is the No. 11 seed in the 2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship and will play the No. 6 seed Baylor University in a first round game on Thursday, March 11, at 6:30 p.m. MST at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.

BROADCAST: All CU games in the Big 12 Championship 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. Thursday's first round games will be streamd live on and televised in the Kansas City area on Metro Sports cable. The quarterfinals through Sunday's championship game will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net. 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 TIPS: Some facts about Colorado and the Big 12 Championship:

  • Colorado is 8-12 in Big 12 Championship tournament games.
  • Colorado won the inaugural Big 12 Tournament in 1997 as the No. 3 seed defeating No. 5 Kansas State, 55-54, in the championship game.
  • Colorado has five conference tournament titles in its history, four of which came in the old Big Eight Conference.
  • This is the ninth time in the 14-year history of the Big 12 Championship that Colorado is seeded lower than No. 5.
  • Colorado has been the No. 11 seed once before, in 2006 when the Buffs lost their first round game to No. 6 Nebraska 67-59.
  • Colorado is 3-5 in Big 12 Championship first round games (seeded fifth or lower).
  • Colorado is 2-9 when seeded lower than its opponent.
  • The No. 11 seed is 2-13 all time in the Big 12 Championship and 2-11 against the No. 6 seed. The last win by a No. 11 seed came in 1999 when Oklahoma State knocked off No. 6 Oklahoma 70-56 in a first round game.


1997 No. 3 Seed
Quarterfinals: Colorado 56, Iowa State 39
Semifinals: Colorado 64, Texas 50
Championship: Colorado 54, Kansas State 44

1998 No. 8 Seed
First Round: Colorado 71, Oklahoma 66
Second Round: Texas Tech 81, Colorado 51

1999 No. 9 Seed
First Round: Kansas State 55, Colorado 51

2000 No. 10 Seed
First Round: Colorado 83, Missouri 68
Quarterfinals: Texas Tech 76, Colorado 60

2001 No. 4 Seed
Quarterfinals: Colorado 83, Missouri 72
Semifinals: Oklahoma 102, Colorado 93

2002 No. 3 Seed
Quarterfinals: Iowa State 58, Colorado 56

2003 No. 4 Seed
Quarterfinals: Colorado 73, Oklahoma 68
Semifinals: Texas 62, Colorado 47

2004 No. 3 Seed
Quarterfinals: Oklahoma 63, Colorado 56

2005 No. 12 Seed
First Round: Iowa State 64, Colorado 62

2006 No. 11 Seed
First Round: Nebraska 67, Colorado 59

2007 No. 8 Seed
First Round: Colorado 71, Texas Tech 67
Quarterfinals: Texas A&M 62, Colorado 45

2008 No. 9 Seed
First Round: Iowa State 76, Colorado 50

2009 No. 12 Seed
First Round: Kansas State 68, Colorado 51

THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 13-16 overall and finished the Big 12 regular season in 11th place at 3-13. The Buffaloes have lost three straight, 10 of 11 and 12 of 14 overall.

TEAM NUMBERS: Colorado is averaging 67 points per game and shooting 41 percent from the field. The Buffaloes have reached 70 points in four of the last six games after not scoring more than 64 in the first 10 conference games of the year. However, Colorado has also given up 70 or more points in 10 of the last 12 games. Colorado is averaging 7.6 3-pointers per game, ranking second in the Big 12 and 18th in NCAA Division I. The Buffaloes are the top free throw shooting team in the Big 12, and 19th in the nation, at 75.9 percent (350-461). The Buffaloes also rank third in the Big 12 in steals (8.6 spg) and sixth in blocks (3.8 bpg). 

SPEARS LEADS: Brittany Spears tops Colorado by averaging 17.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. She had a team season-high 34 points in the win over Missouri, two off her career high and the seventh best single-game performance in team history.

Spears averaged 21.8 points on 49 percent from the field (48-of-98) over in five games prior to the regular season finale against Iowa State, where she played limited minutes due to illness. Spears has hit 13-of-26 (.500) from 3-point range over the last five games.

Spears has reached 20 points 11 times this season and has recorded double-digit scoring in 24 of 29 games, 55 of her last 62 games and 78 of 92 career outings. She added 10 rebounds agianst Missouri, recoring her 22nd career dobule-double, seventh of the season and third in Big 12 play.

On the league charts she ranks fourth in scoring, steals and defensive rebounds (5.6 drpg), fifth in overall rebounds and free-throw percentage (.840), 11th in 3-pointers made (1.8 3mpg), 12th in 3-point percentage (.361) and 13th in blocks (1.0 bpg) and offensive rebounds (2.4 orpg).

SPEARS JOINS ELITE COMPANY: Brittany Spears registered 10 rebounds at Missouri and in the process became the sixth player in team history to reach 1,400 points and 700 rebounds, which can now be referred to as the 1,500-700 club as she is currently ninth overall in rebounds (717) and scoring (1,509).

CU Career 1,500-700
Name (Years)                             Points       Rebounds
Lisa Van Goor (1980-85)            2,067                1,145
Jackie McFarland (2004-08)      1,957                1,048
Erin Scholz (1993-97)                 1,621                1,067
Tera Bjorklund (2000-04)           1,858                    723
Bridget Turner (1985-89)            1,599                    725
Brittany Spears (2007- )           1,509                    717

SMITH WINS BIG 12 '6TH MAN' AWARD: Senior guard Bianca Smith was named the Big 12 Conference Sixth Man Award winner for 2010.

Smith came off the bench for 24 of 29 regular season games, and her numbers have been solid the entire season. She is averaging 13.2 points and 2.6 rebounds per game while displaying her sharp-shooting abilities. Smith leads the Big 12 with 81 3-pointers and ranks 13th in 3-point accuracy at 35.5 percent (81-of-228).

Smith ranks 13th 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 regular season leaders:

Player, Team                                           PPG
Danielle Adams, Texas A&M                 15.6
Bianca Smith, Colorado                        13.2
Christine Flores, Missouri                      9.3
Sydney Carter, Texas A&M                    8.1
Cokie Reed, Texas                                  8.1

SMITH IS COLORADO'S ALL-TIME DEEP THREAT: Bianca Smith will complete her Colorado career as the program's top 3-point shooter.

By hitting four 3-pointers against Texas A&M, she became CU's all-time leader in 3-pointers made, passing All-American Shelley Sheetz who had 252 from 1991-95. Smith, who also has more attempts than any player in team history (702), broke the school mark on her second 3-pointer of the game, a shot from the right baseline with 7:38 left in the first half and now sits at 256.

Smith has set new season marks with 81 made and 228 attempted this season. She held both previous marks when she made 80-of-217 in 34 games in 2007-08, giving her the top two single season performances in both categories.

Smith also has a hand in CU's single-game 3-point marks. She holds a share of the record for 3-pointers made in one game (7), made in one half (5) and attempted in one half (9). Seven times, a player seven in one game, with Smith being three of those instances.

Her career percentage of 36.5 from 3-point range is on pace to be among the Top 10 in school history.

DUAL THREAT: Bianca Smith, who became the 23rd player in team history to reach 1,000 career points in the Kansas road game, cracked the Buffs' Top 20 list after a 26-point performance against Missouri. She currently resides in 18th place on CU's all-time scoring list with 1,135.

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 10th on CU's all-time list with 1,509. 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 2.0 per game. She leads Colorado and ranks ninth in the Big 12 in assists (3.4 apg) and is second on the team in steals (by number with 57) and rebounds (5.1 rpg) and is third in scoring (9.4 ppg). She recorded her first career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds in the home game 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 11th in the Big 12 in blocks (1.1 bpg). Her 32 blocks on the season are the fifth best by a freshman in team history. She is fourth on the team in rebounding (3.8 rpg) and sixth in scoring (5.3 ppg). Malcolm-Peck has delivered clutch performances in both of CU's road Big 12 wins. In the overtime win at Missouri, she coralled a key defensive rebound off a Missouri missed free throw which resulted in Brittany Spears' game-tying 3-pointer. Malcolm-Peck then scored the game-winner on a scooping layup with 55 seconds remaining in overtime.  At Kansas State, she grabbed an offensive rebound off a free throw miss, was fouled and then drilled both attempts with 17 seconds remaining to give CU a four-point lead (61-57) en route to a 63-57 triumph. 

FRESSLE HAVING GREAT SECOND HALF: 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 has scored in double digits in four straight, a career-best, and seven of the last eight games, and the one game during that span she didn't (Nebraska), she tied a personal best by dishing out eight assists. She is second on the team in assists (2.6 apg) while ranking third in steals (1.4 spg) and fourth in scoring (7.6 ppg). Her numbers improved during the Big 12 schedule as she averaged 9.2 points and 1.8 steals per outing. Her 28 steals during the conference schedule ranked eighth best among league players.

GETTING 'ER DUNN: Senior center Courtney Dunn is has scored in double-digits in seven games this year and also has two double-doubles. She achieved her doubles, the first two of her career, during 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.

MULLANEY BOLSTERS BENCH: Junior guard Kelly Jo Mullaney continues to give Colorado key minutes and punch off the bench. She has provided double-digit minutes in 11 of the last 15 games and has made nine of her last 16 from 3-point range. Mullaney averages 4.0 points and 2.0 rebounds for the Buffaloes and has hit 20-of-37 from 3-point range on the season. She had made just nine 3-pointers in 28 games in 2008-09. Mullaney was 14-of-25 from 3-point range during the Big 12 schedule.

ABOUT THE LADY BEARS: No. 16 (AP)/18 (WBCA) Baylor finished the regular season at 22-8 overall and tied with Oklahoma State for sixth place in the Big 12 standings at 10-6. The Lady Bears earned the No. 6 seed for the Big 12 Championship over Oklahoma State by virtue of their better divisional record. Baylor had won five straight prior to its loss to Texas, 70-54, in the regular season finale. Baylor, which has been ranked as high as No. 5 during the regular season, averages 73 points on 47 percent shooting while allowing opponents only 57 points per game on 33 percent shooting. Baylor is the top shooting, rebounding and shot blocking team in the Big 12.

Baylor is led by freshman All-America candidate Brittney Griner who averages 19 points, 8.7 rebounds and 6.0 blocks per game. However, the 2010 Big 12 Freshman of the Year will not play in Thursday's first round game due to a suspension. 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 games since the beginning of Big 12 play due to injury. Senior forward Morghan Medlock averages 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds for the Lady Bears. Sophomore Ashley Field will fill the void left by Griner, averaging 6.4 points and 3.6 rebounds off the bench.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 19th meeting between Colorado and Baylor with the Lady Bears holding a 10-8 edge in the series. Baylor has won the last six, including a 76-42 win in Waco on Feb. 6. CU's last win over Baylor came in Waco, a 69-59 decision on Jan. 7, 2004. The Bears and Buffaloes have never met during postseason play. The teams do have one neutral site meeting, a 75-62 CU win on Dec. 7, 1985 in Long Beach, Calif. Kathy McConnell-Miller is 0-4 against Baylor as a head coach, all meetings while with Colorado.

Date                       Result                   Date                       Result
2/6/10 (A)              L, 42-76                2/26/05 (H)            L, 65-84
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

AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS: Colorado  will be looking to end a 22-game losing streak against ranked teams and 19-game skid against teams ranked in both AP and WBCA Coaches polls (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 decision over No. 15/15 Kansas State on Feb. 23, 2008.

ACADEMIC HONORS: Sophomores Alyssa Fressle and Julie Seabrook were named to the Academic All-Big 12 Conference Women's Basketball First Team, the league office announced on March 4. The league academic honor is the first for both players, in their first season of eligibility for this recognition.

Fressle, a native of Highlands Ranch, Colo., ranks second on the team in assists (2.6 apg), third in steals (1.4) and fourth in scoring (7.6 ppg). A member of the 2009 All-Big 12 Freshman team, Fressle has picked up her game of late, scoring double digits in seven of her last eight games. Named to the Fall 2009 Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll, Fressle is majoring in business.

Seabrook, a native of North Vancouver, B.C., has appeared in 26 of 29 games this season averaging 6.5 minutes and just under two rebounds per game. She has hit 52 percent of her shots from the floor this season (11-of-21) and also has four assists, two steals in one block. Seabrook, who earned a spot on the Fall 2009 Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll, is majoring in business.

Nominated by each institution's director of student-athlete support services and media relations offices, the women's basketball academic all-league squad consisted of 34 first team members combined with 13 on the second team. First team members have recorded a 3.20 or better GPA, while the second team are those with a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA. To qualify student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or in the two previous semesters and have participated in 60 percent of her team's scheduled contests.

Since the formation of the Big 12 for the 1996-97 season, CU's women's basketball team has had 59 Academic All-Big 12 selections, including 40 first team honorees.

MORE 'O': Prior to the loss to Texas A&M, Colorado had found its offensive rythm averaging 75 points per contest over a three game stretch. CU's string of three-straight 70-plus point games were its most in the Big 12 in the same season since it scored 70-plus in 11 straight in 2002.

In large part, the Buffaloes' success from 3-point range accounted for the surge in scoring. Colorado had 15 3-pointers at Nebraska and 14 more at Missouri. The 15 3's at Nebraska are the Buffaloes most ever on the road, and second best single-game total in team history.The 29 3-pointers made over a two game span are the most in the CU annals. The Buffaloes had a string of 27 over two games against Northern Colorado (13) and Colorado State (14) in 2007.

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 8.6 per game, has double-digit steals in 12 of 29 games this season. CU had only five games with double-digit steals in 2008-09. The 12 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 59 steals this season and her 2.0 per game average ranks fourth in the Big 12. Spears, who already ranks 11th on CU's all-time steals list with 171, 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 57 steals, ranking third in the Big 12 on a per game basis (2.0 spg).

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 ninth in all-time scoring (1,509). She is also sixth in 3-pointers made (153) and attempted (454), seventh in blocked shots (114), ninth in rebounds (717), 11th in steals (171), 12th in field goals made (548) and 16th in free throws made (260).

Smith is CU's all-time leader in 3-pointers made (256) and attempted (702). She is the Big 12's active career leader in 3-pointers made and is ninth on the league's all-time 3-point list.  Smith is 18th on CU's all-time scoring list with 1,135.

RECORD NIGHT FROM '3': Colorado was on fire at Nebraska, making 15 3-point field goals on just 27 attempts (.556). The 15 3-pointers made were the Buffaloes most ever on the road and the second-best total in team history, just one off the 16 made against Buffalo on Jan. 3, 2004. Additionally, the 15 3-pointers set a Bob Devaney Sports Center record as well as a Nebraska opponent mark.

Colorado ranks second in the Big 12 and 13th in the nation (through games of Feb. 28) at 7.8 3-pointers made per game. CU's 215 3-pointers rank second on CU's single-season list, trailing only the 2007-08 WNIT semifinalist squad which holds the current school record with 236.

SUCCESS FROM THE LINE: Colorado is having one of its best seasons in team history from the free throw line, currently leading the Big 12 and ranked 19th in the nation at 75.9 percent (350-of-461). That current percentage would rank as the team's third-best single season mark trailing only the 2000-01 team that shot 77.4 percent and the 2001-02 squad that shot 76.4 percent.

Bianca Smith leads CU and ranks second in the Big 12 at 88.7 percent (63-of-71). She has made her last 23 free throw attempts, dating back to the Oklahoma game. Smith had a string of 25 straight made free throws from Nov. 22 (Minnesota) to Jan. 16 (Iowa State). Smith's current mark would tie for the fifth-best in team history. Her 82.9 career percentage currently ranks sixth on CU's all-time list.

Brittany Spears leads Colorado in free throws made (105) and attempted (125) and is second on the team and fifth in the Big 12 percentage (.840). Courtney Dunn (39-of-52, .750) Chucky Jeffery (66-of-89, .742) and Kelly Jo Mullaney (19-of-26, .731) have healthy percentages as well.

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: Eight of CU's 2009-10 opponents are currently ranked in the 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 340-114 all-time record at the Coors Events/Conference Center (.749). 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 featured nine games televised either regionally or nationally, eight of which were at home. CU opened its first of eight FSN Rocky Mountain games on Dec. 2, against Denver. FSN Rocky Mountain also televised 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 were televised nationally on FSN as part of the network's Big 12 package. Colorado's game at Kansas State (Jan. 20) was produced by FSN Kansas City, but was also picked up by FSN Rocky Mountain.

CU has appeared on 81 regional or national telecasts over the last nine 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 five seasons under Kathy McConnell-Miller:

Season                                Preseason                 Actual
2009-10                               11th                             11th
2008-09                               11th                             12th
2007-08                               11th                             9th
2006-07                               11th                             t-7th
2005-06                               12th                             11th