Women's Basketball Enters Final Big 12 Season At A&M
THE GAME: The University of Colorado begins its final Big 12 Conference season by traveling to face No. 7 (AP)/5 (WBCA) Texas A&M University on Saturday, Jan. 8, at 6 p.m. MST at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas.
BROADCAST: Saturday's game can be heard live on KKZN AM 760. Mike Rice will handle play-by-play duties while Carol Callan of USA Basketball provides the color commentary. Live internet audio is available on CUBuffs.com, through the BuffsRadio free subscription.
OPENING TIPS: CU head coach Linda Lappe will guide the Buffaloes Saturday in her 100th career game as a collegiate head coach. The first-year CU coach is 59-40 overall in her fourth year on the bench. Senior guard/forward Brittany Spears needs just 17 points -- or right at her season average -- to catch former CU All-American Shelley Sheetz for fourth place on CU's all-time scoring list. Spears currently is at 1,758 points while Sheetz scored 1,775 from 1991-95.
THE BUFFALOES: Colorado rounded out the nonconference portion of its schedule with a 67-56 win over the University of North Dakota on Jan. 4. The Buffaloes, 9-4 overall, have won their last two and three of five. CU will be looking for its first road win of the season and its first since defeating Missouri on Feb. 23, 2010.
Colorado has played well defensively throughout the nonconference schedule, giving up just 55 points a game while opponents are only shooting 35 percent from the field. The Buffaloes have been even more stringent from the 3-point line, allowing just 24.3 percent from beyond the arc, ranking second in the Big 12 and among the nation's leaders all season (CU's 23.8 percent ranked ninth through games of Jan. 2). Colorado has also been winning the battle of the boards, outrebounding its opponent in 11 of 13 games and by an average of nearly seven boards an outing.
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 fourth in defensive rebounds (5.5 drpg), seventh in 3-point field goals made (2.2 3mpg), ninth in overall rebounding (7.8 rpg) 12th in steals (1.8 spg) and 15th in free-throw percentage (.750) on the league charts. She is coming off back-to-back 21-point efforts in the wins over Colgate and North Dakota, giving her 36th career games of 20 or more points. Spears, who is averaging 21.3 points over the last three contests, has registered double digits in 12 of 13 games this season and in 91 of 106 career outings. She is also second on the team in steals (24) and assists (24).
Sophomore guard Chucky Jeffery is CU's top rebounder (9.2 rpg) while ranking second on the team in scoring at 15.2 an outing. Jeffery six double-doubles this season, ranking second in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma State's Toni Young who has seven, including the second triple-double in team history by recording 10 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists against Loyola Chicago. Jeffery tops the Big 12 in steals at 3.2 per game (42) and ranked seventh in the nation through games of Jan. 2 (3.5). Jeffery also ranks third in defensive rebounding (6.5 drpg) and overall boards (9.2 rpg), seventh in minutes (32.2 mpg), eighth in assists (4.8 apg), 12th in offensive rebounds (2.6 orpg) and 15th in scoring on the Big 12 charts.
Junior forward Julie Seabrook is averaging 7.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while shooting a team-best 54 percent from the field (37-of-68). She has shot 60 percent or better in seven of 13 games, and 50 percent or better in nine of 13 outings. Seabrook has three games of double-digit rebounds including 10 against the Rams.
Sophomore guard/forward Meagan Malcolm-Peck is averaging 7.8 points and 5.2 rebounds and leads the Buffaloes with 10 blocked shots. Malcolm-Peck is heating up from the outside, making 10 of her last 21 3-pointers (.476) spanning the last six games. Senior guard Britney Blythe is averaging four points over the first 13 games, mostly from long range. Thirteen of her 15 field goals this season have come from 3-point range.
FIRST LINEUP SHAKE-UP NETS GREAT RESULTS: After sporting the same starting lineup for the season's first 12 games, the Buffaloes made a switch against North Dakota by giving freshman guard Brittany Wilson her first career start and bringing forward Meagan Malcolm-Peck off the bench, and both players responded in outstanding fashion. Wilson, averaging 7.2 points on the season, scored 15 points including a career-best four 3-pointers. Malcolm-Peck responded with her second career double-double, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
BENCH PRODUCING: With nine active players available, the Buffaloes have been making good use of their bench. Colorado's bench is averaging 20 points and 17 rebounds over the last four games, marking the time senior guard Chelsea Dale returned to the lineup to make the Buffaloes' bench four-players strong. Meagan Malcolm-Peck scored 11 in her first game off the bench while Dale and Brittany Wilson are combining for 15 points per game. Freshman post Rachel Hargis is pulling down 4.5 rebounds a game during that span, bolstered by a career-best seven in the win over Colgate. Brittany's twin sister Ashley Wilson is averaging three points and three rebounds. The quartet has also accounted for 18 assists and 15 steals over the last four contests.
ABOUT THE AGGIES: No. 7 (AP)/5 (WBCA) Texas A&M is 12-1 overall and has won six straight since its lone loss of the season, a 61-58 setback at then No. 5 ranked Duke. The Aggies are averaging 83 points per game while shooting 48 percent from the field. Tha Aggies have hit the century mark twice this season and have been held below 74 points in just two games. Texas A&M's defense is allowing just 54 points an outing and leads the Big 12 in both steals (12.8 spg) and turnover margin (+11.1 topg).
Senior forward Danielle Adams, the 2010 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and an honorable mention All-American, is the league's leading scorer so far this season at 22.6 points per game. She also tops the Aggies at 8.2 rebounds per game and his hitting 57 percent from the floor. Junior guard Tyra White averages 13.8 points while hitting 52 percent from the field. Junior forward Adaora Elonu averages 10.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 19th meeting between Colorado and Texas A&M with the Buffaloes holding a 10-8 series lead. Texas A&M has won the last seven meetings, including a 95-61 decision last season in Boulder. The series is tied 4-4 in College Station, with the Aggies winning the last three. CU's last win in College Station was a 55-49 decision on Feb. 8, 2003.
COLORADO AND TEXAS A&M, LAST 10:
Date Result Date Result
2/27/10 (H) L, 61-95 1/24/06 (H) L, 46-55
2/14/09 (A) L, 50-79 2/5/05 (A) L, 62-72
1/16/08 (H) L, 68-72 1/21/04 (H) W, 70-58
3/7/07 (N) L, 45-62 2/8/03 (A) W, 55-49
1/18/07 (A) L, 58-74 1/19/02 (H) W, 88-70
AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS: Colorado will be looking to end a 23-game losing streak against ranked teams and 20-game skid against teams ranked in both AP and WBCA Coaches polls (Iowa State was ranked only in the WBCA poll in one meeting last 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.
CU IN BIG 12 OPENERS: Overall, Colorado is 7-7 in Big 12 openers and 4-10 in its first Big 12 road game of the season. This will be CU's first road overall Big 12 opener since a 70-58 win at Missouri on Jan. 9, 2008. The Buffaloes are 21-15 all-time in conference openers, including the Big Eight and Intermountain Conferences.
JEFFERY 'STEALS' THE SHOW: Sophomore Chucky Jeffery had a career and team season-high seven steals in the win over Colgate. It's the 21st time a Buff has registered seven or more steals in a game, but the first since Damietta Velicica had seven vs. Tulane on December 6, 1997. Jeffery, who currently leads the Big 12 at 3.2 steals per game, has had six steals in two other games this season (Regis, Evansville) and has at least three steals in eight of 13 games.
DALE RETURNS: In just four games back from missing the fall semester with academic issues, senior guard Chelsea Dale has fit nicely into the CU rotation. She is averaging 6.5 points while grabbing three rebounds over three games. Dale had a career-high with 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting in the win over Colgate. Dale's 26 points in four games back is just three less than the 29 she scored over 23 games in 2009-10. She made her season debut at USC, contributing 10 points and a career-best five rebounds off the bench in the loss to the Trojans.
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 106 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' 106 career starts are the ninth most in team history.