Colorado Hosts Kansas State Wednesday
THE GAME: The University of Colorado continues Big 12 Conference action by hosting Kansas State University on Wednesday, January 26, at the Coors Events Center.
BROADCAST: Wednesday's game will be televised by FSN Rocky Mountain. Tom Helmer will have the call with legendary CU head coach Ceal Barry providing the color commentary and Alanna Rizzo reporting from the sidelines. Wednesday's contest will be brodcast 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 TIP: Senior Brittany Spears is scheduled to make her 112th consecutive start on Wednesday against Kansas State, which would tie Amy Mathern's school record set during her final 112 games in a CU uniform from 1989-93.
THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 11-7 overall and 2-3 in league play after defeating Missouri 58-48 on Jan. 22 at the Coors Events Center. The Buffaloes have won two of their last three and will be looking to equal their Big 12 win total from a year ago (3-13). Colorado already has one more home Big 12 win (2-1) than in 2010 (1-7). The Buffaloes are 11-2 at home this season including a 66-60 overtime win over No. 17 (AP)/16 (WBCA) Iowa State on Jan. 15. The Buffaloes will play three of their next five at home.
Colorado has played well defensively this season, giving up just 57 points a game while opponents are only shooting 36 percent from the field. Colorado's 48 points allowed to Missouri was the fewest by a Big 12 opponent, since the Tigers scored an equal mark in a 64-48 CU win on Jan. 10, 2010. The Buffaloes have been even more stringent from the 3-point line, allowing just 25.7 percent from beyond the arc, ranking second in the Big 12 and 10th in the nation, through games of Jan. 23. Colorado has also been winning the battle of the boards, outrebounding its opponent in 14 of 18 games and by an average of six boards an outing (more on CU rebounding below). The Buffaloes rank fifth in the Big 12 rebounding defense (35.6 opponent rpg) and 3-point field-goals made (6.2 3mpg) and sixth in steals (9.2 spg).
Senior guard/forward Brittany Spears leads CU and ranks fourth in the Big 12 in scoring at 18 points per game. She is also fifth in defensive rebounds (5.9 drpg) and 3-point field goals made (2.3 3mpg), sixth in overall rebounding (8.4 rpg), 10th in steals (1.9 spg) and minutes (31.9 mpg), 12th in free-throw percentage (.788) and 14th in blocked shots (0.9 bpg), offensive rebounds (2.5 orpg) and 3-point percentage (.347) on the league charts.
Spears is coming off a team season-high 26 points in the win over Missouri. She also tied a season-best with 13 rebounds for her seventh double of the season and 29th of her career. Spears is averaging 19.8 points and 10 rebounds since the start of Big 12 play. She has logged double digits in 17 of 18 games this season and in 96 of 111 career outings. Her 96 career games in double-figures is the third most in team history trailing only Lisa Van Goor (108 from 1980-85) and Jackie McFarland (102 from 2004-08). Spears also leads the team in 3-point field goals (41) and blocks (17) and is second in steals (35) and rebounds on a per game basis (8.4 rpg).
Sophomore guard Chucky Jeffery is CU's top rebounder on a per-game basis (8.9 rpg) while ranking second on the team in scoring at 14.6 an outing. Jeffery has seven double-doubles this season, ranking third in the Big 12, including the second triple-double in team history by recording 10 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists against Loyola Chicago.
Jeffery leads the Big 12 in steals (3.3 spg) and defensive rebounding (6.4 drpg) while ranking second in overall rebounding, seventh in assists (4.7 apg), 13th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.1), 14th in scoring and offensive rebounds (2.5 orpg) and 15th in field-goal percentage (.476). Jeffery returned to the lineup for the Missouri game after missing the previous two with a concussion.
Sophomore guard/forward Meagan Malcolm-Peck is averaging 7.7 points and 4.8 rebounds and is second on the team in blocked shots (12). She has made 20 of her last 41 field goal attempts (.488), including 10-of-22 from 3-point range. Malcolm-Peck put together a gutsy performance against Iowa State. Hobbled by a sore ankle, she played just 14 minutes but was extremely effective in her time on the court scoring 10 points on 3-of-4 from the field and drilled a pair of clutch free throws in overtime to extend CU's lead to 66-60 in the closing seconds.
Junior forward Julie Seabrook is averaging 6.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game while shooting a team-best 51 percent from the field (46-of-91). She has shot 60 percent or better in eight games, and 50 percent or better in 11 outings. Seabrook has four games of double-digit rebounds, including a season-best 11 boards in the win over Missouri. Seabrook is averaging 7.6 rebounds during Big 12 play.
Freshman guard Brittany Wilson is averaging 8.4 points and four rebounds per game and is one of three Buffs -- joining Spears and Jeffery -- with at least 25 assists and 25 steals. Her 28 steals rank third among freshmen in the Big 12. Since entering the starting lineup against North Dakota, Wilson has averaged 12 points while shooting 43 percent (10-of-23) from 3-point range. Wilson recorded her first career double-double by scoring 11 points and grabbing a personal-best 12 rebounds in the win over Missouri.
Senior Chelsea Dale has started the last three games, dishing out 10 assists in those contests including a personal-best five against Oklahoma State. In nine games back from missing the fall semester with academic issues, Dale is averaging 4.9 points while grabbing 2.2 rebounds. She had a career-high with 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting in the win over Colgate. Dale's 44 points in nine games is one point better than the scoring output in her first 46 career games. 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.
ABOUT THE WILDCATS: Kansas State is 13-5 overall and one spot ahead of Colorado in the Big 12 standings at 3-2. The Wildcats have won two straight and five of their last seven overall with the lone losses during that stretch coming on the road at Oklahoma and Texas Tech. K-State averages just under 62 points per game while shooting 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range. The Wildcats' defense has held opponents to just 52.2 points per game, ranking fourth in the Big 12. KSU's field-goal defense (.344) and 3-point field-goal defense (.275) also ranks fourth best on the league charts.
Sophomore guard Brittany Chambers paces the Wildcats at 14.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. She ranks third in the Big 12 with 47 3-pointers on the season. Junior forward Jalana Childs averages 11.4 points per game while grabbing 4.9 rebounds per contest. Sophomore guard Taelor Karr averages just under 10 points per game with 5.3 rebounds. Sophomore guard Mariah White tops the Wildcats and ranks eighth in the Big 12 at 4.5 assists per game.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 67th meeting between Colorado and Kansas State with the series even at 33 games each. CU and Kansas State split the series in 2010 with each team winning on the road. It was also just the second time in the last eight seasons that the two squads split a season series (both teams won at home in 2008). Colorado holds a 16-12 lead in Boulder, but the Wildcats have won the last two. CU's last win in Boulder against KSU was a 73-68 decision on Feb. 23, 2008.
COLORADO AND KANSAS STATE, LAST 10:
Date Result Date Result
3/3/10 (H) L, 70-72 2/23/08 (H) W, 73-68
1/20/10 (A) W, 63-57 1/19/08 (A) L, 60-67
3/12/09 (N) L, 51-68 2/14/07 (A) W, 60-58
3/7/09 (H) L, 61-71 1/31/07 (H) W, 66-55
2/21/09 (A) L, 60-72 2/8/06 (H) L, 62-67
CONNECTIONS: Kansas State head coach Deb Patterson, in her 15th season, is one of five Big 12 coaches that were at their current position when CU head coach Linda Lappe played for the Buffaloes from 1998-2003. Colorado assistant coach Jennie Baranczyk began her professional career under Patterson as KSU's Director of Basketball Operations in 2004-05 and was a full time assistant coach for one season (2005-06) before moving on to Marquette. Buffs' assistant Johnna Pointer grew up about 10 minutes from KSU associate head coach Kamie Ethridge in west Texas, with both eventually starring at the University of Texas. Ethridge led Texas to the 1986 NCAA title as a senior while Pointer was an All-Southwest Conference performer, helping Texas to four NCAA apperances from 1988-92.
BUFFS REBOUNDING: One of Colorado's biggest improvements as a team this year is rebounding. The Buffaloes are currently averaging 41.4 rebounds per game while allowing just 35.6 per contest. CU's rebounding margin of +5.9 ranks seventh in the Big 12 and 38th in NCAA Division I. In 2009-10 the Buffaloes averaged just 35.1 per contest while allowing opponents 36.9 a game.
Through five Big 12 games, CU's 41.2 rebounds per game ranks third in the Big 12 and its margin of +3.6 ranks fourth. Colorado has out rebounded 14 of 18 opponents this season, and three of those games where CU was outrebounded, it was by two or fewer boards. Colorado has outrebounded three Big 12 opponents through five games -- all coming in the past three contests. CU outrebounded its opponent in only four of 16 Big 12 games in 2010.
CU pulled down a season high 53 rebounds in the win over Missouri, tying for the most ever by the Buffaloes in a Big 12 game. CU also had 53 in a 69-40 win at Texas A&M on Feb. 8, 1997. Colorado's 20 offensive rebounds were its most in a Big 12 game since grabbing 20 in a 67-53 win over Texas on Feb. 16, 2008.
BLYTHE TOPS BIG 12 IN PROTECTING THE ROCK: Senior guard Britney Blythe not only routinely takes on the task of guarding the opponents best offenisve back court player, but she's among the best in the Big 12 this season in protecting the ball on the other end.
Blythe has just 16 turnovers this season. Even more remarkable, seven of those came in the first two games. She has turned the ball over only nine times in the last 16 games, no more than one in any of those games and none in the last three -- all starts with 20-plus minutes of action.
Blythe leads the Big 12 in fewest turnovers over a 40 minute stretch and is tied for second for straight up turnovers per game (minimums are 75 percent of games played and 300 minutes played):
Big 12 Turnovers Per 40 Minutes
Name, School MP TO TO/40 Min
1. Britney Blythe, Colorado 465 16 1.38
2. Maryann Baker, Texas A&M 337 12 1.42
3. Melissa Jones, Baylor 560 20 1.43
4. Sydney Carter, Texas A&M 505 22 1.74
5. Jordan Barncastle, Texas Tech 407 18 1.77
Big 12 Turnovers Per Game
Name, School GP TO TOPG
1. Maryann Baker, Texas A&M 18 12 0.67
2. Britney Blythe, Colorado 18 16 0.89
2. Kelsey Harris, Iowa State 18 16 0.89
4. Jordan Barncastle, Texas Tech 19 18 0.95
5. Jordan Madden, Baylor 19 19 1.00
BUFFS BREAK RANKING STREAK: Colorado's 66-60 overtime win over Iowa State broke a string of 24-straight losses to ranked teams and 21-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). Prior to Saturday's upset, CU's last win over a ranked opponent was a 73-68 decision over No. 15/15 Kansas State on Feb. 23, 2008.
The last time the Buffaloes beat a ranked ISU team was on Jan. 23, 2002, in an 86-73 win at home. At that time, Colorado was ranked 20/19 as ISU secured a 14/10 position in the polls. The win marked the first time in history that a non-ranked Colorado team has beaten a ranked ISU squad.
SPEARS' STARTING STREAK: Senior Brittany Spears is scheduled to make her 112th straight start Wednesday, which would tie her with Amy Mathern (1989-93) for the longest consecutive streak in team history. Mathern started the final 112 games of her distinguished career. Spears already holds CU's mark for most consecutive starts at the beginning of a career as she passed Lisa Van Goor (1980-85) when she started her 101st game against Illinois on Dec. 4. With her 112th start, she remains in sixth place for overall career starts, needing three more to catch Mathern for fifth at 115.
SPEARS CLIMBING CAREER LADDERS: Senior guard/forward Brittany Spears needs just two points to pass recent CU Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Tera Bjorklund (2000-04) for third place on CU's all-time scoring list. Spears also ranks second in field-goal attempts (1,595), third in field-goals made (678), fourth in 3-point field-goal attempts (582) and double-doubles (29), fifth in rebounds (871), blocked shots (133) and 3-point field-goals made (197), sixth in games started (111), seventh in minutes (3,684), eighth in steals (211), and 12th in free-throws made (304) on CU's all-time charts.
She is only the third player in team history, joining Lisa Van Goor (1980-85) and Jackie McFarland (2004-08) to record 1,800 points and 800 rebounds in a career.
Spears is now just 100 points behind Jackie McFarland (2004-08) for second place on CU's all-time scoring list, 143 from becoming the second player in team history to score 2,000 and 210 behind all-time leading scorer Lisa Van Goor (1980-85). Based on a minimum 12 games remaining (11 regular season, one Big 12 Championship), Spears needs to average 11.9 points per game to reach 2,000 and 17.5 per game to catch Van Goor.
HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 351-116 all-time record at the Coors Events/Conference Center (.752). The Buffaloes have won 10 or more games in a season at the CECC in 22 of the previous 33 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 televised either regionally or nationally, seven of which are at home. CU's season opener against Regis on Nov. 12 was the first FSN Rocky Mountain televised followed by Colorado State (Dec. 8), North Dakota (Jan. 4) and Kansas (Jan. 12). FSN Rocky Mountain will also televise home games against Kansas State (Jan. 26), Nebraska (Feb. 6) and Oklahoma (Feb. 23) and road games at Kansas State (Feb. 16) and Nebraska (Mar 2). The home game against Nebraska will be televised nationally on FSN as part of the network's Big 12 package.
CU has appeared on 81 regional or national telecasts over the last nine seasons.