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Colorado Hosts Texas Tech In Pink Zone Game Saturday

Feb 11, 2011

THE GAME: The University of Colorado continues Big 12 Conference action by hosting Texas Tech University on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 4 p.m. at the Coors Events Center. The game is the first of a CU women's-men's doubleheader as the Buffaloes' men's team hosts Kansas State University at 7 p.m.

PINK ZONE GAME: Join the CU, Texas Tech and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) in the fight against breast cancer in the annual Pink Zone game Saturday.

Colorado is proud to support the WBCA's Pink Zone initiative which is a global, unified effort for the organization's nation of coaches to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. Overall, the WBCA Pink Zone has raised nearly $3.3 million, has reached almost 2.7 million fans, and has unified over 4,700 participants in only four years. Over 1,800 schools nationwide have joined the fight against breast cancer with Pink Zone activities, Feb. 11-20.

All fans are encouraged to wear pink on Saturday, and those that do can purchase general admission tickets for only $1. Additionally, the first 400 fans in attendance will receive a pair of pink Crocs.

For more information on the Pink Zone initiative, visit www.wbca.org/2011pinkzone.

BROADCAST: Saturday's game will 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 video streaming of Saturday's game is available on BuffsTV, a subscription service through CUBuffs.com.  Live internet audio is available on CUBuffs.com, through the BuffsRadio free subscription.

OPENING TIP: Senior Brittany Spears needs three points to become the second player in team history to score 400 points in four consecutive seasons. The other: Kodak All-American and CU Athletic Hall of Fame guard Shelley Sheetz from 1991-95.

THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 12-10 overall and tied with Missouri and Saturday's opponent, Texas Tech, for seventh place in the Big 12 standings at 3-6. Colorado is just one game behind sixth place Iowa State (4-5) and two behind fifth place Texas (5-4). The Buffaloes, who have already matched their league win total from a year ago (3-13), will now look to match their 2009-10 overall win total of 13 (13-17). CU, which snapped an overall three-game skid with its 70-45 win over Nebraska, will be looking for its 13th win in 16 home games this season.

Colorado recaptured its defensive intensity against Nebraska that had been on display for most of the season. The Buffaloes had given up 73.3 points per game and 51 percent shooting during its three-game slide, but rebounded to hold Nebraska to 45 points on 29 percent shooting. The 45 points allowed to Nebraska was CU's lowest in Big 12 play since a 59-41 win over Kansas on Jan. 22, 2008.

Overall the Buffaloes are giving up 58.9 points per game while allowing only 38 percent from the field. CU's defensive strength has come from the perimeter, allowing just 27.2 percent from beyond the arc, ranking second in the Big 12 and 19th in the nation. Colorado has also been winning the battle of the boards, outrebounding or equaling its opponent in 17-of-22 games and by an average of 5.5 boards an outing (more on CU rebounding below).

Senior guard/forward Brittany Spears leads CU and ranks seventh in the Big 12 in scoring at 18 points per game. She is also third in defensive rebounds (5.8 drpg), fifth in 3-point field-goals made (2.2 3mpg) and overall rebounding (8.0 rpg), 10th in minutes (32.2 mpg), 11th in steals (1.7 spg) and 12th in free-throw percentage (.769) and blocked shots (1.0 bpg) on the league charts.

Spears is averaging 19.1 points and 8.3 rebounds in Big 12 play. She has logged double digits in 21-of-22 games this season and in 100-of-115 career outings. Her 100 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 tied her own team season-high 26 points in the win over Nebraska, also leads the team in 3-point field goals (49) and blocks (21) and is second in steals (38) and rebounds on a per game basis (8.0 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 14.3 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 (3.1 spg) and defensive rebounds (6.3 drpg) while ranking second in overall rebounding, sixth in assists (4.7 apg), 12th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.1) and offensive rebounds (2.4 orpg) and 13th in scoring and field-goal percentage (.488).

Sophomore guard/forward Meagan Malcolm-Peck is averaging 6.9 points and 4.4 rebounds and is second on the team in blocked shots (14). She ranks 12th in the Big 12 in 3-point percentage (.385) and is even better in Big 12 play, hitting 10-of-21 from 3-point range (.476) ranking second 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 5.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting a team best 49.1 percent from the field (52-of-106). 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 6.2 per game and she is ninth in offensive rebounding at 2.6 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 8.6 points and four rebounds per game and is one of three Buffs -- joining Spears and Jeffery -- with at least 30 assists and 30 steals. Her 30 total steals rank third among freshmen in the Big 12. Wilson set a career-high by scoring 22 points in the loss at Kansas and dished out a personal-best six assists against Nebraska.

Senior guard Britney Blythe had nine points in the win over Nebraska, continuing a recent string of success from downtown. Blythe has made eight of her last 16 shots from 3-point range, spanning the last five games. She has hit 39.1 percent from deep during the Big 12 season, ranking seventh on the league charts.

Freshman center Rachel Hargis is becoming a solid player off the bench. She is coming off career highs with six points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes against Nebraska. Hargis is averaging 4.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and one blocked shot over the last four games.

ABOUT THE LADY RAIDERS: Texas Tech is 16-7 overall and tied with Colorado and Missouri for seventh place in the Big 12 standings at 3-6. The Lady Raiders have lost six straight after starting the season at 16-1, and spending two weeks ranked No. 25 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. Texas Tech averages 67 points per game while shooting 42 percent from the field. The Lady Raiders' defense has held opponents to 56.1 points per game and 38 percent shooting. Texas Tech outrebounds its opponents by 6.8 per game, fourth best in the Big 12. The Lady Raiders also average 10.7 steals per game, second best on the league charts.

Junior forward/center Kierra Mallard leads Texas Tech at 13 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. Senior forward/center Teena Wickett is second on the team in scoring at 10.6 an outing and leads the Lady Raiders from the floor at 49 percent shooting. Sophomore guard Casey Morris averages 9.4 points and 2.4 assists per game and is Texas Tech's top 3-point shooter with 35 on the season. Sophomore guard Monique Smalls leads the Lady Raiders in assists (3.4 apg) and steals (2.4 spg).

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 22nd meeting between Colorado and Texas Tech with the Lady Raiders holding a 16-5 series lead. Colorado has had most of its success against Texas Tech recently, winning two of the last five. Texas Tech leads the series 6-2 in Boulder. Colorado's last win over the Lady Radiers was a 71-67 decision in the first round of the 2007 Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City.

COLORADO AND TEXAS TECH, LAST 10:

Date                       Result                   Date                       Result
1/12/10 (A)            L, 61-74                2/11/06 (A)            L, 56-76
1/28/09 (H)            L, 60-66                1/15/05 (H)            L, 41-87
1/26/08 (A)            L, 44-62                2/28/04 (A)            L, 51-60
3/6/07 (N)              W, 71-67               1/26/03 (H)            L, 58-80
2/3/07 (H)              W, 70-67               2/3/02 (A)               W, 74-69

CONNECTIONS: Colorado assistant coach Johnna Pointer is a native of Shallowater, Texas, located about 10 miles northeast of Lubbock. Colorado assistant coach Jennie Baranczyk is familiar with the Texas Tech coaching staff. Baranczyk was an All-Big Ten performer for the University of Iowa from 2000-04. Texas Tech head coach Kristy Curry was the head coach at Hawkeye rival Purdue from 1999-2006 and was assisted by current Lady Raider assistant Kelly Curry. Additionally, current Texas Tech assistant Shereka Wright played for Curry and against Baranczyk at Purdue from 2000-04. The Lady Raiders sport one Colorado native on their roster in Parker's Mary Bokenkamp. The Buffaloes counter with one Lone Star State native in Robinson's Rachel Hargis.

NOTING THE NEBRASKA GAME: Colorado's 25-point margin of victory over Nebraska (70-45) was its largest in a Big 12 game since defeating Kansas 73-42 in Boulder on Feb. 5, 2003. This was Colorado's largest margin of victory against Nebraska since a 95-60 home win on Feb. 6, 2002, nine years ago to the date. Colorado's 39 first half points were its most in a Big 12 game since scoring 40 against Kansas State on Feb. 23, 2008, a 73-68 CU win. Colorado's 18 assists were its most in a Big 12 games since dishing out 21 in an 82-71 loss to Iowa State on Feb. 7, 2009.

BUFFS REBOUNDING: One of Colorado's biggest improvements as a team this year is rebounding. The Buffaloes are currently averaging 40.2 rebounds per game while allowing just 34.8 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.

Colorado has equaled or outrebounded 17-of-22 opponents this season, and three of those games where CU was outrebounded, it was by two or fewer boards. Colorado has equaled or outrebounded six 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. Colorado's plus-18 rebound margin against Nebraska (45-27) was its most in a Big 12 game since out dueling Texas 50-29 (+21) on the boards 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 22 turnovers this season, seven of which came in the first two games. She has turned the ball over only 15 times in the last 20 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 sixth 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                       585      22      1.50
2. Jordan Barncastle, Texas Tech             464      18      1.55
3. Melissa Jones, Baylor                              687      28      1.63
4. Maryann Baker, Texas A&M                   412      18      1.75
5. Kaitlyn Burke, Nebraska                          680      30      1.76

Big 12 Turnovers Per Game
Name, School                                               GP       TO      TOPG
1. Jordan Barncastle, Texas Tech             23        18      0.78
1. Jessica Periago, Nebraska                     23        18      0.78
3. Maryann Baker, Texas A&M                   22        18      0.82
4. Kelsey Harris, Iowa State                        23        19      0.83
5. Carol Blair-Mobley, Oklahoma State    22        21      0.95
6. Britney Blythe, Colorado                       22        22      1.00
6. Jordan Madden, Baylor                           23        23      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 116th start coming up on Saturday, she will move into sole possession of fifth place for most overall starts, passing Mathern.

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 1,930 Spears also ranks second in field-goals made (706) and attempted (1,664), fourth in rebounds (896), double-doubles (29) and 3-point field-goals made (205) and attempted (605), fifth in blocked shots (137) and games started (115), seventh in minutes (3,817), eighth in steals (214), and 11th in free-throws made (313) on CU's all-time charts.

Spears is now just 27 points behind Jackie McFarland (2004-08) for second place on CU's all-time scoring list, 70 from becoming the second player in team history to score 2,000 and 137 behind all-time leading scorer Lisa Van Goor (1980-85). Based on a minimum eight games remaining (seven regular season, one Big 12 Championship), Spears needs to average 8.8 points per game to reach 2,000 and 17.1 per game to catch Van Goor.

HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 352-117 all-time record at the Coors Events/Conference Center (.751). 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), Kansas State (Jan. 26) and Nebraska (Feb. 6). FSN Rocky Mountain will also televise home games against Oklahoma (Feb. 23) and road games at Kansas State (Feb. 16) and Nebraska (Mar 2). The home game against Nebraska was 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.