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Colorado-Kansas Rematch Set For Wednesday In Lawrence

Feb 1, 2011

THE GAME: The University of Colorado continues Big 12 Conference action by traveling to face the University of Kansas on Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 6 p.m. MST in Allen Fieldhouse.

BROADCAST: Wednesday's game will be broadcast on KKZN AM 760, with Mike Rice handling the call. Live internet audio is available on CUBuffs.com, through the BuffsRadio free subscription.

OPENING TIP: Colorado continues on the road with its midweek game against Kansas as the two long-time rivals battle for the final time as conference foes. CU's first three Big 12 road games were all against South Division teams, meaning the rest of the season the Buffaloes will stay in the North on the road.

THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 11-9 overall and tied with Missouri for ninth place in the Big 12 standings at 2-5. The Buffaloes will be looking to equal their Big 12 win total from a year ago (3-13). CU has lost two straight and five of its last seven overall. The Buffaloes will be looking for their first win away from Boulder this season (0-6) and are also out to halt a six-game skid in true road games dating back to last season.

Colorado has played well defensively this season, giving up just 58.5 points a game while opponents are only shooting 37.1 percent from the field. Colorado's 48 points allowed to Missouri in its last win 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 27.2 percent from beyond the arc, ranking second in the Big 12 and 21st in the nation. Colorado has also been winning the battle of the boards, outrebounding or equaling its opponent in 16-of-20 games and by an average of nearly six boards an outing (more on CU rebounding below).

Senior guard/forward Brittany Spears leads CU and ranks fifth in the Big 12 in scoring at 17.7 points per game. She is also third in defensive rebounds (5.9 drpg), fourth in 3-point field-goals made (2.3 3mpg), fifth in overall rebounding (8.3 rpg), 11th in free-throw percentage (.786), 12th in steals (1.8 spg) and 13th in blocked shots (1.0 bpg) on the league charts.

Spears is averaging 18.3 points and 9.1 rebounds since the start of Big 12 play. She has logged double digits in 19-of-20 games this season and in 98-of-113 career outings. Her 98 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, who had a team season-high 26 points in the win over Missouri, also leads the team in 3-point field goals (45) and blocks (17) and is second in steals (35) and rebounds on a per game basis (8.3 rpg).

Sophomore guard Chucky Jeffery is CU's top rebounder on a per-game basis (8.6 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 rebounding (8.6 rpg), steals (3.1 spg) and defensive rebounds while ranking eighth in assists (4.4 apg), ninth in field-goal percentage (.488), 11th in offensive rebounds (2.5 orpg), 12th in scoring and 14th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.1).

Sophomore guard/forward Meagan Malcolm-Peck is averaging 7.2 points and 4.6 rebounds and is second on the team in blocked shots (14). She ranks 10th in the Big 12 in 3-point percentage (.371) and 15th in 3-pointers made (1.2 3mpg). Malcolm-Peck has hit 8-of-18 from 3-point range in Big 12 play, which at 44 percent ranks fourth in conference only contests. She put together a gutsy performance against Iowa State. Hobbled by a sore ankle, Malcolm-Peck 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 6.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game while shooting an even 50 percent from the field (50-of-100). She has shot 60 percent or better in 10 games, and 50 percent or better in 12 outings. Seabrook ranks 20th in the Big 12 in overall rebounding and has been even better during league play. Her seven rebounds per game average during Big 12 games ranks 10th on the league charts and she is eighth in offensive rebounding at three per contest. She has four games of double-digit rebounds, including a season-best 11 boards in the win over Missouri.

Freshman guard Brittany Wilson is averaging eight points and 3.8 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 fourth among freshmen in the Big 12. 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 five games. She has emerged from a short shooting slump to average six points in the last two games while hitting 56 percent from the field (5-of-9). In 11 games back from missing the fall semester with academic issues, Dale is averaging 5.1 points while grabbing just under two rebounds per game. She had a career-high with 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting in the win over Colgate. 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 JAYHAWKS: Kansas is 14-7 overall and 1-6 in the Big 12. The Jayhawks have lost five straight since their lone Big 12 win, a 68-58 decision over Colorado in Boulder on Jan. 12. The Jayhawks average 72 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the field, a number which ranks third in the Big 12. Like Colorado, Kansas has played solid perimeter defense allowing opponents just 28 percent from 3-point range, and 38 percent overall.

Sophomore forward Carolyn Davis leads the Jayhawks and ranks sixth in the Big 12 in scoring at 17.5 points per game. A 2010 All-Big 12 Freshman team pick, Davis leads the Big 12 and ranks second in the nation in field-goal percentage at 64.4 percent while also pulling down 7.6 rebounds per game. Junior forward Aishah Sutherland tops Kansas and ranks third in the Big 12 in rebounds at 8.4 per game while scoring 10 per contest. Freshman guard Keena Mays is dishing out 4.5 assists per game and is KU's top deep threat, hitting 43 percent from 3-point range (22-of-51).

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 67th meeting between Colorado and Kansas with the series deadlocked at 33-33. The Jayhawks have won three straight and five of the last six, including a 68-58 win in Boulder on Jan. 12. CU has won 13 of 21 over the Jayhawks since 2001. The Buffaloes' last win over Kansas came in Boulder, a 69-62 decision on Feb. 18, 2009. Kansas holds a 17-12 series edge in Lawrence and has won the last four. CU's last win in Lawrence was a 77-71 triumph on Feb. 1, 2006.

COLORADO AND KANSAS, LAST 10:

Date                       Result                   Date                       Result
1/12/11 (H)            L, 58-68                2/13/08 (A)            L, 59-70
2/16/10 (H)            L, 72-79                1/22/08 (H)            W, 59-41
1/27/10 (A)            L, 64-75                2/24/07 (H)            W, 59-50
2/18/09 (H)            W, 69-62               2/6/06 (A)               L, 68-70 OT
2/4/09 (A)              L, 54-65                2/1/06 (A)               W, 77-71

BUFFS REBOUNDING: One of Colorado's biggest improvements as a team this year is rebounding. The Buffaloes are currently averaging 40.5 rebounds per game while allowing just 35.0 per contest. CU's rebounding margin of +5.5 ranks sixth in the Big 12 and 39th in NCAA Division I. In 2009-10 the Buffaloes averaged just 35.1 per contest while allowing opponents 36.9 a game.

Through seven Big 12 games, CU's 38.7 rebounds per game ranks fourth in the Big 12 as does its margin of +3.3 per contest.  Colorado has equaled or out rebounded 16 of 20 opponents this season, and three of those games where CU was outrebounded, it was by two or fewer boards. Colorado has equaled or outrebounded five Big 12 opponents through seven games -- all coming in the past five 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 offensive 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 18 turnovers this season. Even more remarkable, seven of those came in the first two games. She has turned the ball over only 11 times in the last 18 games had a string of four straight games without a turnover snapped against Texas.

Blythe leads the Big 12 in fewest turnovers over a 40 minute stretch and is fourth 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                       525      18      1.37
2. Melissa Jones, Baylor                              600      24      1.60
3. Jordan Barncastle, Texas Tech             442      18      1.63
4. Maryann Baker, Texas A&M                   387      16      1.65
5. Kaitlyn Burke, Nebraska                          579      28      1.93

Big 12 Turnovers Per Game
Name, School                                               GP       TO      TOPG
1. Maryann Baker, Texas A&M                   20        16      0.80
2. Kelsey Harris, Iowa State                        20        17      0.85
3. Jordan Barncastle, Texas Tech             21        18      0.86
4. Britney Blythe, Colorado                       20        18      0.90
5. Jordan Madden, Baylor                           20        20      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 set a new school record with her 113th straight start in the Texas game on Jan. 30, as she passed Amy Mathern (1989-93) for the longest consecutive streak in team history. Mathern started the final 112 games of her distinguished career. Spears also 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 scheduled 114th start coming up on Wednesday, she remains in sixth place for overall career starts, needing one more to catch Mathern for fifth at 115.

FIRST LINEUP SHAKE-UP NETS GREAT RESULTS: After sporting the same starting lineup for the season's first 12 games, the Buffaloes

SPEARS CLIMBING CAREER LADDERS: Senior guard/forward Brittany Spears ranks third on CU's all-time scoring list at 1,886 points, needing just 14 to become the third player in team history to reach 1,900. Spears also ranks second in field-goal attempts (1,623), third in field-goals made (689), fourth in 3-point field-goal attempts (595) and double-doubles (29), fifth in rebounds (885), blocked shots (135) and 3-point field-goals made (201), sixth in games started (113), seventh in minutes (3,746), eighth in steals (211), and 12th in free-throws made (307) on CU's all-time charts.

Spears is now just 71 points behind Jackie McFarland (2004-08) for second place on CU's all-time scoring list, 114 from becoming the second player in team history to score 2,000 and 181 behind all-time leading scorer Lisa Van Goor (1980-85). Based on a minimum 10 games remaining (nine regular season, one Big 12 Championship), Spears needs to average 11.4 points per game to reach 2,000 and 18.1 per game to catch Van Goor.