Colorado To Host Nebraska Sunday
THE GAME: The University of Colorado continues Big 12 Conference action by hosting the University of Nebraska on Sunday, Feb. 6, at 2 p.m. at the Coors Events Center.
BROADCAST: Sunday's game will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net, as part of the Big 12 national television package. Brent Stover will handle play-by-play duties with Brenda Van Lengen providing the color commentary. Sunday's game will also be broadcast on KKZN AM 760. Mike Rice will have the play-by-play alongside Carol Callan of USA Basketball with the color commentary. Live internet audio is available on CUBuffs.com, through the BuffsRadio free subscription.
OPENING TIP: Colorado plays on Super Bowl Sunday for the seventh time in team history and the first since 2003. The Buffaloes are 3-3 on the day of the big game, 1-1 at the Coors Events Center. Colorado and Texas Tech played back-to-back Super Bowl Sunday games in 2002 & 2003, the Buffaloes winning in overtime 74-69 in Lubbock in 2002 the same day New England defeated St. Louis for its first NFL title. One year later, Texas Tech won the rematch 80-58 in Boulder while Tampa Bay took home the Lombardi Trophy with a win over Oakland. Pittsburgh, winners of six Super Bowls, suffered its lone loss in the series on Jan. 28, 1996, the same day CU won at Oklahoma, 68-53.
THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 11-10 overall and tied with Kansas for 10th place in the Big 12 standings at 2-6. The Buffaloes are just one game out of eighth place and one and a half out of sixth. CU has lost three straight and six of its last eight overall, but returns home to the friendly confines of the Coors Events Center for two straight games where the Buffaloes have won 11-of-14 this season.
Colorado will be looking to recapture its defensive intensity, which has been a strong point this season. The Buffaloes are giving up 59.6 points per game while allowing only 38 percent from the field. However, during its three-game skid Colorado has allowed 73.3 points and 51 percent shooting to its opponents.
The Buffaloes defensive strength has come from the perimeter, allowing just 27.7 percent from beyond the arc, ranking second in the Big 12 and 27th in the nation. Colorado has also been winning the battle of the boards, outrebounding or equaling its opponent in 16-of-21 games and by an average of nearly five 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), sixth in 3-point field-goals made (2.2 3mpg) and overall rebounding (8.1 rpg), 10th in minutes (32.1 mpg), 12th in steals (1.7 spg) and 13th in free-throw percentage (.758) and blocked shots (1.0 bpg) on the league charts.
Spears is averaging 18.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in Big 12 play. She has logged double digits in 20-of-21 games this season and in 99-of-114 career outings. Her 99 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 (46) and blocks (20) and is second in steals (36) and rebounds on a per game basis (8.1 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), 10th in field-goal percentage (.488), 11th in offensive rebounds (2.5 orpg), 13th in scoring and 14th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.1).
Sophomore guard/forward Meagan Malcolm-Peck is averaging 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds and is second on the team in blocked shots (14). She ranks 11th in the Big 12 in 3-point percentage (.371) and is even better in Big 12 play, hitting 8-of-18 from 3-point range (.444) ranking third in conference only contests. She put together a gutsy performance in the upset win over 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 six points and six rebounds per game while shooting an even 50 percent from the field (51-of-102). She has shot 60 percent or better in 10 games, and 50 percent or better in 13 outings. Seabrook ranks 14th in the Big 12 in rebounding during Big 12 games at 6.6 per game and she is eighth in offensive rebounding at 2.9 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 8.7 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 29 total steals rank third among freshmen in the Big 12. Wilson set a career-high by scoring 22 points in the loss at Kansas.
Senior Chelsea Dale has started the last six games. She has emerged from a short shooting slump to average five points in the last three games while hitting 54 percent from the field (7-of-13). In 12 games back from missing the fall semester with academic issues, Dale is averaging five 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 CORNHUSKERS: Nebraska is 12-9 overall and in eighth place in the Big 12 standings at 2-5, one-half game up on Colorado and Kansas. The Cornhuskers have lost three of their last four and 5-of-7 overall. Nebraska has lost all three of its conference road games, and in all six in a row away from Lincoln since defeating Creighton back on Dec. 8. Nebraska is averaging 67 points per game while hitting 40 percent from the field. The Cornhuskers rank third in the Big 12 in 3-pointers with 7.2 made per game.
Freshman forward Jordan Hooper paces the Cornhuskers at 15.3 points per game while grabbing 6.9 rebounds per contest, the latter tops among freshmen in the Big 12. She also leads Nebraska with 47 3-pointers and is shooting 40 percent from downtown. Sophomore guard Lindsey Moore tops Nebraska and ranks third in the Big 12 in assists at 5.5 per game while also scoring 12.1 points an outing. Senior center Catheryn Redmon tops the Cornhuskers in rebounding at 7.8 per game while also averaging 10.1 points and 2.5 blocks.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be Colorado's 68th meeting with Nebraska, tying the Missouri series for the most played in school history. The Buffaloes hold a 39-28 series lead over the Cornhuskers as the two teams will play the first of their final two games as conference opponents (CU travels to Nebraska on March 2). Nebraska has won three straight and 10 of the last 11 in the series. Colorado has been historically dominant in Boulder, winning 25 of 31 all-time meetings.
COLORADO AND NEBRASKA, LAST 10:
Date Result Date Result
2/20/10 (A) L, 73-89 2/6/08 (H) L, 71-80
1/30/10 (H) L, 64-80 2/27/07 (A) L, 70-90
3/3/09 (A) L, 64-75 2/10/07 (H) L, 44-54
1/31/09 (H) W, 75-73 3/7/06 (N) L, 59-67
3/2/08 (A) L, 55-63 1/28/06 (A) L, 54-70
CONNECTIONS: Nebraska head coach Connie Yori is one of five Big 12 coaches that were at their current position while CU head coach Linda Lappe played for the Buffaloes. Yori's first year at Nebraska was 2002-03, Lappe's senior season. Sunday's game features three players from British Columbia, Canada, including two products of that country's national training program. CU's Julie Seabrook and Nebraska's Kaitlyn Burke both hail from North Vancouver while Cornhusker junior Harleen Siduh is from Surrey. Seabrook and Burke both attended Canada's National Elite Development Academy and have both played for that country's national junior teams.
BUFFS REBOUNDING: One of Colorado's biggest improvements as a team this year is rebounding. The Buffaloes are currently averaging 40 rebounds per game while allowing just 35 per contest. CU's rebounding margin of +4.9 ranks sixth in the Big 12 and 46th in NCAA Division I. In 2009-10 the Buffaloes averaged just 35.1 per contest while allowing opponents 36.9 a game.
Colorado has equaled or outrebounded 16 of 21 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 this year compared to just 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 21 turnovers this season, seven of which came in the first two games. She has turned the ball over only 14 times in the last 19 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 350 minutes played):
Big 12 Turnovers Per 40 Minutes
Name, School MP TO TO/40 Min
1. Britney Blythe, Colorado 556 21 1.51
2. Jordan Barncastle, Texas Tech 442 18 1.63
3. Maryann Baker, Texas A&M 387 16 1.65
4. Melissa Jones, Baylor 630 27 1.71
5. Kaitlyn Burke, Nebraska 615 28 1.82
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 21 17 0.81
3. Jordan Barncastle, Texas Tech 21 18 0.86
4. Britney Blythe, Colorado 21 21 1.00
4. Carol Blair-Mobley, Oklahoma State 20 20 1.00
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 115th start coming up on Sunday, she will tie Mathern for the fifth most overall starts in team history.
SPEARS CLIMBING CAREER LADDERS: Senior guard/forward Brittany Spears scored 18 points at Kansas, becoming the third player in team history to reach 1,900 career points, now at 1,904 Spears also ranks second in field-goals made (696) and attempted (1,644), fourth in 3-point field-goal attempts (598) and double-doubles (29), fifth in rebounds (891), blocked shots (136) and 3-point field-goals made (202), sixth in games started (114), seventh in minutes (3,783), eighth in steals (212), and 11th in free-throws made (310) on CU's all-time charts.
Spears is now just 53 points behind Jackie McFarland (2004-08) for second place on CU's all-time scoring list, 96 from becoming the second player in team history to score 2,000 and 163 behind all-time leading scorer Lisa Van Goor (1980-85). Based on a minimum nine games remaining (eight regular season, one Big 12 Championship), Spears needs to average 10.7 points per game to reach 2,000 and 18.1 per game to catch Van Goor.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: Colorado will potentially play 16 games - or 55 percent of the schedule - against teams that advanced to either the 2010 NCAA or WNIT postseason tournaments. Four of CU's 2010-11 opponents are ranked in the latest USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches poll (#1 Baylor, #6 Texas A&M, # 11 Oklahoma and #20 Iowa State) and three others are receving votes (Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Kansas State). Four are ranked in the latest Associated Press poll (#1 Baylor, #6 Texas A&M, #13 Oklahoma and #22 Iowa State) while one is receiving votes (Kansas State).
HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 351-117 all-time record at the Coors Events/Conference Center (.750). 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), Kansas (Jan. 12) and Kansas State (Jan. 26). FSN Rocky Mountain will also televise home games against 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.