CU To Preview Future Pac-12 Foe At Women Of Troy Tournament
THE GAMES: The University of Colorado will participate in the 2010 Women of Troy Tournament hosted by future Pacific-12 Conference rival University of Southern California, Saturday, Dec. 18, and Sunday, Dec. 19, at the Galen Center on the Trojan's campus in Los Angeles. The Buffaloes will face USC in Saturday's first game at 5:30 p.m. MST and will play either the University of Dayton or San Diego State University on Sunday.
Women of Troy Tournament Schedule (Times MST):
Saturday, Dec. 18
Colorado at USC, 5:30 p.m.
Dayton vs. San Diego State, 8 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 19
Consolation, 4 p.m.
Championship, 6:30 p.m.
BROADCAST: Both of Colorado's tournament games can be heard live on KKZN AM 760. Carol Callan of USA Basketball will handle play-by-play duties. Live internet audio is available on CUBuffs.com, through the BuffsRadio free subscription.
THE BUFFALOES: Colorado returns from a 10-day break for finals to play its second and third games of the year away from Boulder and its first outside the state of Colorado. The Buffaloes are 7-2 overall for the second straight season, most recently completing a 6-1 homestand with a convincing 73-49 win over instate rival Colorado State on Dec. 8.
Colorado is thriving on defense, allowing opponents just 51.8 points per game and 35 percent from the field (165-of-471). The Buffaloes rank 18th in the nation in scoring defense, which has been a trend in the Big 12 this Conference this preseason, as CU is one of six league schools currently among the nation's Top 20 in scoring defense. The Buffaloes have been even more stringent from the 3-point line, allowing just 21.6 percent from beyond the arc, ranking sixth in the nation through games of Dec. 12. On the other side of the court the Buffaloes have shot well in their first nine, sitting at 45 percent (228-of-511).
Senior guard/forward Brittany Spears leads CU and ranks fifth in the Big 12 in scoring at 17.3 points per game. She is also ninth in rebounding (7.3 rpg) and 3-point field goals made (2.0 3mpg) and 15th in steals (1.9 spg) on the league charts. Spears has three double-doubles on the season, including a 19-point, 10-rebound effort against Evansville, and 25 for her career ranking her fourth on CU's all-time list. She has scored in double digits in 65 of her last 72 games and in 88 of 102 career outings. Spears had 20 points in the win over Colorado State, her 33rd career game of 20 or more points.
Sophomore guard Chucky Jeffery has been CU's top rebounder through the first nine games (9.6 rpg) total while ranking second on the team in scoring at 17.1 an outing. She also paces the Buffaloes and ranks 16th in the nation in steals (3.3 spg) and 38th assists (5.1 apg). Jeffery has a Big 12-leading five double-doubles this season, including the second triple-double in team history by recording 10 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists against Loyola Chicago. On the Big 12 charts she ranks first in defensive rebounds (7.1 drpg), second in steals, fourth in overall rebounding, sixth in assists and minutes (33.2 mpg), seventh in scoring, 12th in field-goal percentage (.519) and 13th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3).
Junior forward Julie Seabrook is averaging 8.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while shooting a team-best 62 percent from the field (29-of-47). She has shot 60 percent or better in six of nine games, and 50 percent or better in eight of nine outings. Seabrook, who attempted and made her first career 3-pointer in the win over CSU, has three games of double-digit rebounds including 10 against the Rams. She currently ranks 17th in the Big 12 in rebounding.
Sophomore guard/forward Meagan Malcolm-Peck is averaging 8.2 points and 4.9 rebounds. She is coming off a season-best 6-of-8 performance, totalling 14 points in the win over Colorado State. She recorded her first career double-double with a 14-point, 10-rebound effort against Loyola Chicago.
Senior guard Britney Blythe is averaging 5.0 points over the first nine games, mostly from long range. Blythe ranks 14th in the Big 12 in 3-pointers made (1.3 3mpg). Twelve of her 14 field goals this season have come from 3-point range.
SPEARS' STREAK: Senior Brittany Spears started her 101st consecutive game against Illinois, breaking a tie with Lisa Van Goor (1980-85) for the most consecutive starts to begin a CU playing career. Spears, now at 102 straight starting nods, trails only Amy Mathern (1989-93) for overall consecutive starts. Mathern started the final 112 games of her distinguished career. Overall, Spears is the 10th player in school history with 100 or more starts.
ABOUT THE TROJANS: USC is 5-3 overall and receiving votes in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll. The Trojans are a perfect 3-0 at the Galen Center this season and have two wins over Top 25 teams, defeating No. 22 Gonzaga 79-73 in their season opener on Nov. 12, and a 71-63 decision over No. 17 Georgia on Nov. 23. USC is averaging 71.1 points per game and shoots well from the outside. The Trojans average 6.5 3-pointers per game and shoot 34 percent from beyond the arc.
Junior guard Briana Gilbreath paces USC at 14.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. A two-time Pac-10 Player of the Week already this season, she leads the Trojans in steals with 18 and has three double-doubles. Junior guard Ashley Corral averages 13.9 points and leads USC in assists at 3.8 per contest. Sophomore forward Christina Marinacci tops USC in rebounds at 9.3 per game while averaging 10 points per contest.
ABOUT THE FLYERS: Dayton is 5-4 overall, having a three-game winning streak snapped with a 69-55 setback at Louisville on Dec. 11. The Flyers are averaging 80.8 points per game and have already hit the century mark twice this season. Dayton also allows its opponents 71.9 points per outing. The Flyers are hitting 45 percent from the floor and 37 percent from 3-point range.
Junior forward Justine Raterman leads the Flyers at 16.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game while hitting an impressive 57 percent from the field (56-of-98). Senior guard Kristen Daugherty also averages double-digits at 14.8 points per contest while shooting 55 percent form the field (47-of-85). Junior guard Patrice Lalor leads the Flyers in assists (3.3 apg) while averaging 8.8 points per game.
ABOUT THE AZTECS: San Diego State is 3-4 overall, but has won three of its last four since starting the season 0-3. The Aztecs will be playing their fifth and sixth straight games away from home, but so far being away from home has served the Mountain West Conference team well as they are 3-1 in those games. SDSU averages 63.6 points per game while shooting 41 percent from the field and 66 percent from the free throw line.
Senior center Paris Johnson paces the Aztecs at 17.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. A 2010 second team All-MWC performer, she is hitting a team-best 58 percent from the field (48-of-83). Sophomore Courtney Clements, an Arizona transfer, is averaging 13.1 points and 4.1 rebounds in her first season for SDSU. Senior guard Coco Davis dishes out an impressive 6.7 assists per game while averaging 7.9 points per contest.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be the fifth meeting between future Pac-12 rivals Colorado and USC, with each team winning two of the previous matchups, all of which have come in the last eight years. The Buffaloes won the first two games, taking both ends of a home-and-home series in 2002 and 2003. USC claimed the two previous games, a 76-57 win in Boulder on Dec. 2, 2006 and a 70-57 decision at the Galen Center on Nov. 18, 2007. Colorado and Dayton have met just once, an 86-53 CU win in the old Coors Classic in Boulder in the 1988-89 season opener. The Buffaloes and San Diego State have met twice, each team winning on their respective home courts. The Aztecs defeated CU 71-55 in San Diego on Jan. 9, 1981. CU defeated SDSU 70-51 in the championship game of the 1994 Coors Classic in Boulder.
Colorado is 35-24 all-time against its future conference foes in the Pac-10, soon to be Pac-12. USC is the Buffaloes' most recent Pac-10 opponent and CU will be looking to snap a four-game skid against the league dating back to a 76-74 overtime win at Washington on Dec. 21, 2004. Colorado is 9-1 all-time against schools currently in Dayton's league, the Atlantic 10 with its lone loss against UMass in November 2008. The Buffaloes are 91-49 all-time against schools in the regionally friendly Mountain West Conference, by far the most games played for CU against a league other than the Big 12. More than half of those games (84) have come against Colorado State and Wyoming.
CONNECTIONS: Three of the four head coaches in this tournament have called CU home at one point during their careers and all four have professional ties to the state of Colorado. Dayton head coach Jim Jabir was a CU assistant under Ceal Barry during the 2002-03 season, which was also the senior year of current Buffs head coach Linda Lappe. San Diego State head coach Beth Burns was a CU assistant from 1983-88 and a member of Barry's first CU coaching staff. Burns recruited former All-Big Eight performer and current CU Director of Operations Tracy Tripp (1985-89) to Boulder. Tripp later served as an assistant coach to Burns at SDSU for the 1994-95 season. Not to be outdone, USC head coach Michael Cooper was assistant coach for the NBA's Denver Nuggets in 2004-05 and was actually the interim head coach for 14 games following former CU men's coach Jeff Bzdelik. Cooper played 12 years and won five NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1979-90.
CU freshmen twins Ashley and Brittany Wilson will reunite with Long Beach Poly classmate and current USC freshman forward Thaddesia Southall, although Southall is redshirting this season due to an injury.
DALE ON VERGE OF RETURN: Senior guard Chelsea Dale could make her season debut this weekend, fittingly near her home town of Palos Verdes Estates. Dale missed this last semester due to academics, but wth the fall session officially closing on Friday, she could be immediately eligible, although it may not be officially known until gameday on Saturday. Dale has participated fully in practices and other team events during this past semester.
SPEARS CLIMBING CAREER LADDERS: Brittany Spears needs 11 points to become the fifth player in team history to reach 1,700 career points. She is currently at 1,689, 86 behind Shelley Sheetz (1991-95) for fourth place. She also ranks fourth in 3-point field goals attempted (516), fifth in rebounds (786) and field goals made (619), sixth in 3-point field-goals made (174), seventh in blocked shots (122), eighth in steals (193) and 13th in free-throws made (277) on CU's all-time charts.
Spears needs 14 rebounds to become the fifth player in team history to reach 800. With 11 points and 14 rebounds, she would join only Lisa Van Goor (1980-85) and Jackie McFarland (2004-08) as players with 1,700 points and 800 career rebounds. She is currently one of five players in CU history with 1,600 points and 700 rebounds.
CU Career 1,600-700
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
Brittany Spears (2007- ) 1,689 786