Colorado Hosts No. 16/15 Oklahoma Wednesday
THE GAME: The University of Colorado continues Big 12 Conference action by hosting No. 16 (AP)/15 (WBCA) ranked University of Oklahoma on Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. at the Coors Event Center.
BROADCAST: Wednesday's game will be televised by FSN Rocky Mountain. Marc Stout will have the call with legendary CU head coach Ceal Barry providing the color commentary. Wednesday's game will be broadcast on KKZN AM 760, joined in progress following the CU men's game at Texas Tech scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Mike Rice will have the play-by-play with Carol Callan of USA Basketball giving the color commentary. Live internet audio is available on CUBuffs.com, through the BuffsRadio free subscription.
OPENING TIP: Wednesday's game features the two top active scorers in the Big 12 Conference. Oklahoma senior guard Danielle Robinson enters the game at 1,981 while Colorado senior guard/forward Brittany Spears is second at 1,961. Robinson is currently 10th on the Big 12's all-time scoring list while Spears is 12th. Spears needs 16 points to move into 11th on the Big 12 scoring list.
THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 12-13 overall and tied with Oklahoma State for 10th place in the Big 12 standings at 3-9. The Buffaloes have dropped three straight, falling under .500 for the first time this season after their 71-45 setback at No. 20 (AP)/23 (WBCA) ranked Iowa State on Feb. 19. Colorado returns home to face Oklahoma where it has won 12 of 16 games this season. 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).
Colorado is averaging 60.7 points per game while shooting 40 percent from the field. Defensively the Buffaloes are also giving up 60.7 points per game while allowing 39 percent from the field. Colorado has been winning the battle of the boards, outrebounding or equaling its opponent in 18-of-25 games and by an average of five boards an outing (more on CU rebounding below).
Senior guard/forward Brittany Spears leads CU and ranks eighth in the Big 12 in scoring at 18.1 points per game. She is also second in defensive rebounds (5.8 drpg), fifth in overall rebounding (8.0 rpg), sixth in 3-point field goals (2.1 3mpg), 10th in free-throw percentage (.797), 11th in blocked shots (1.0 bpg) and 13th steals in (1.7 spg).
Spears has eight double-doubles this season, third in the Big 12, and notched career double-double No. 30 with a 12-point, 11-rebound effort against Texas Tech. She has logged double digits in scoring in 23-of-25 games this season and in 102-of-118 career outings. Her 102 career games in double-figures ties with Jackie McFarland for the second most in team history and trails only Lisa Van Goor, who had 108 from 1980-85. Spears, who tied her own team season-high 26 points in the win over Nebraska, also leads the team in 3-point field goals (51) and blocks (26) and is second in steals (42) and rebounds on a per game basis (8.0 rpg).
Sophomore guard Chucky Jeffery is CU's top rebounder on a per-game basis (8.2 rpg) while ranking second on the team in scoring at 13.6 an outing. Jeffery has seven double-doubles this season, ranking fifth 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 (2.7 spg) and defensive rebounds (6.0 drpg) while ranking third in overall rebounding, seventh in assists (4.2 apg), 14th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.0) and field-goal percentage (.473) and 15th in scoring.
Sophomore guard/forward Meagan Malcolm-Peck is averaging 6.6 points and 4.3 rebounds and is second on the team in 3-point field goals (28) and third in blocked shots (14). She leads the Big 12 in 3-point percentage during league play at 45 percent (13-of-29) and is 10th on the league's overall season charts at 38.4 percent (28-of-73). Macolm-Peck hit her 50th career 3-point field goal in the game at Iowa State, moving her into 17th place on CU's all-time list.
Junior forward Julie Seabrook is averaging 5.9 points and 5.7 rebounds per game while shooting a team best 49.6 percent from the field (60-of-121). She has shot 60 percent or better in 12 games, and 50 percent or better in 15 outings. Seabrook ranks 20th in the Big 12 in rebounding during Big 12 games at 5.8 per game and she is 11th in offensive rebounding at 2.5 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 3.7 rebounds per game and is one of three Buffs -- joining Spears and Jeffery -- with at least 30 assists and 30 steals. Her 31 total steals rank fourth 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 has had recent success from downtown making 11 of her last 25 (.440), including a 3-for-6 effort in the win over Nebraska. She has hit 37.5 percent from deep during the Big 12 season, ranking 10th on the league charts.
Freshman center Rachel Hargis is becoming a solid player off the bench. Hargis is averaging 3.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots over the last seven games, including career highs with six points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes against Nebraska. Hargis ranks second on the team in blocked shots with 19, and has stepped it up in that category during league play. Twelve of those 19 blocks, have come in conference games, ranking 12th on the league charts, including a personal-best four at Iowa State.
ABOUT THE SOONERS: No. 16 (AP)/15 (WBCA) ranked Oklahoma is 19-7 overall and in third place in the Big 12 standings at 9-3, one game ahead of Kansas State (8-4) and one behind Texas A&M (10-2). The Sooners have been on a roller coaster of sorts over the past several weeks, trading wins for losses over the last nine contests (5-4). If that trend continues, that could be good news for the Buffaloes as the Sooners are coming off a 91-62 home win over Texas on Feb. 19. OU, 5-6 on the road this season, is averaging 77 points per game while shooting 43 percent from the field. The Sooners lead the Big 12 in 3-pointers (200), making 7.7 per game. Oklahoma has given up 65.2 points per game to its opponents, ranking 11th in the Big 12.
All-American senior guard Danielle Robinson leads the Sooners and ranks fourth in the Big 12 in both scoring (18.7 ppg) and assists (4.8 apg). A two-time All-Big 12 first team performer, Robinson is second behind CU's Jeffery in steals at 2.6 an outing. Freshman guard Aaryn Ellenberg ranks ninth in the Big 12 in scoring at 16.8 per outing, making the Sooners the only league school with two players among the top 10 scoring leaders. Ellenberg leads the Big 12 with 74 3-pointers and her 41.8 percentage is fourth-best on the league charts. Sophomore guard Whitney Hand is third on the team in scoring at 12.6 an outing. Sophomore forward Joanna McFarland leads Oklahoma in rebounding at 6.7 per game.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 56th meeting between Colorado and Oklahoma with the Buffaloes holding a 33-22 series lead. The Sooners have had the upper hand in recent years winning the last eight and 13 of the last 15 meetings. CU's last overall win the series was a 73-68 decision in the quarterfinals of the 2003 Big 12 Championship, a game in which current CU head coach Linda Lappe scored 13 points and dished out six assists. Colorado leads all-time series in Boulder 16-6, but the Sooners have won the last three. CU's last win in Boulder, was also in 2003, a 61-57 decision on Feb. 16. This will be the sixth straight season that Oklahoma is ranked No. 18 or higher when meeting Colorado. Three of those previous five years OU was in the Top 10.
COLORADO AND OKLAHOMA, LAST 10:
Date Result Date Result
2/13/10 (A) L, 55-65 2/16/05 (H) L, 61-77
1/21/09 (H) L, 58-72 3/10/04 (N) L, 56-63
2/9/08 (A) L, 62-86 2/15/04 (A) L, 58-78
1/20/07 (H) L, 67-82 3/12/03 (N) W, 73-68
1/7/06 (A) L, 61-84 2/16/03 (H) W, 61-57
CONNECTIONS: Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale, 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. Oklahoma sophomore forward Joanna McFarland is the younger sister of Jackie McFarland, a three-time All-Big 12 pick for Colorado from 2004-08 and the Buffs' all-time leader in free throws made and attempted.
BUFFS REBOUNDING: One of Colorado's biggest improvements as a team this year is rebounding. The Buffaloes are currently averaging 39.3 rebounds per game while allowing just 34.4 per contest. CU's rebounding margin of +4.9 ranks sixth in the Big 12 and 46th in NCAA Division I through games of Feb. 23. In 2009-10 the Buffaloes averaged just 35.1 per contest while allowing opponents 36.9 a game.
Colorado has equaled or outrebounded 18-of-25 opponents this season, and four of those games where CU was outrebounded, it was by two or fewer boards. Colorado has equaled or outrebounded seven 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.
ON THE DEFENSIVE END: Second shot opportunities have been at a premium against Colorado as the Buffaloes rank second in the Big 12 in defensive rebounding percentage. When an opponent's shot goes up, Colorado claims the defensive board 72 percent of the time (652/906), trailing only Iowa State at 73.3 percent (729/994). The Buffaloes have given up the fewest offensive rebounds in the Big 12 this season (254). CU ranks fourth in overall rebounding defense at 34.4.
CU DOUBLES: Colorado is the only school in the Big 12 with two players sporting seven or more double-doubles this season. Senior Brittany Spears is tied with Baylor's Brittney Griner for third in the Big 12 with eight double-doubles, while sophomore Chucky Jeffery is in a three-way tie for fifth with seven.
Big 12 Double-Double Leaders
13 Toni Young, Oklahoma State
10 Danielle Adams, Texas A&M
8 Brittany Spears, Colorado
8 Brittney Griner, Baylor
7 Chucky Jeffery, Colorado
7 Kierra Mallard, Texas Tech
7 Kathleen Nash, Texas
Spears has 30 career double-doubles after her 12-point, 11-rebound performance against Texas Tech. Jeffery's career total is eight in her young career.
JEFFERY, SPEARS BEST REBOUNDING DUO IN BIG 12: Chucky Jeffery ranks third in the Big 12 in rebounding at 8.2 per game, just a fraction behind Oklahoma State's Toni Young and Texas A&M's Danielle Adams. Brittany Spears ranks fifth in the same category at 8.0 per contest. The CU duo's 16.2 boards per outing is the best mark for a pair of teammates in the Big 12:
1. Chucky Jeffery (8.2), Brittany Spears (8.0), Colorado 16.2
2. Aishah Sutherland (7.8), Carolyn Davis (7.4), Kansas 15.2
3. Kathleen Nash (7.9), Ashley Gayle (7.1), Texas 15.0
3. Brittney Griner (8.0), Melissa Jones (7.0), Baylor 15.0
5. Danielle Adams (8.5), Adaora Elonu (6.0), Texas A&M 14.5
Jeffery and Spears also rank 1-2 overall on the league charts in defensive rebounds. Jeffery averages six defensive rebounds per game while Spears is right behind at 5.8 an outing.
BLYTHE PROTECTS 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 28 turnovers this season, seven of which came in the first two games. She has turned the ball over only 21 times in the last 23 games had a string of four straight games without a turnover snapped against Texas.
Blythe is second in the Big 12 in fewest turnovers over a 40 minute stretch and is eighth 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. Jordan Barncastle, Texas Tech 470 18 1.53
2. Britney Blythe, Colorado 675 28 1.66
3. Melissa Jones, Baylor 785 34 1.73
4. Jasmyn Otote, Missouri 777 34 1.75
5. Sydney Carter, Texas A&M 747 33 1.77
Big 12 Turnovers Per Game
Name, School GP TO TOPG
1. Jordan Barncastle, Texas Tech 25 18 0.72
2. Kelsey Harris, Iowa State 27 20 0.74
2. Maryann Baker, Texas A&M 25 21 0.84
4. Jordan Madden, Baylor 26 24 0.92
5. Carol Blair-Mobley, Oklahoma State 25 24 0.96
8. Britney Blythe, Colorado 25 28 1.12
ACADEMIC BUFFS: Sophomore Meagan Malcolm-Peck and junior Julie Seabrook were named to the Academic All-Big 12 Conference Women's Basketball Second Team on Feb. 15, sporting cumulative GPA's above 3.0.
The league academic honor is the second for Seabrook, who was a first team pick in 2010, and the first for Malcolm-Peck, who is in her first season of eligibility for this recognition. Both are majoring in business.
Since the formation of the Big 12 for the 1996-97 season, CU's women's basketball team has had 61 Academic All-Big 12 selections, including 40 first team honorees.
COMMUNITY CHAMPION: Junior Julie Seabrook was named CU's member of the 2011 Winter Chick-fil-A Community of Champions team. One student-athlete at each Big 12 institution is awarded each fall, winter and spring term based on academics, community service, leadership and sportsmanship.
RANKING NUMBERS: Colorado is 1-2 against ranked teams this season, after dropping a 71-45 decision at No. 20/23 Iowa State on Feb. 19. Wednesday's game against Oklahoma will mark the first time this season the Buffaloes have played back-to-back games against ranked opponents.
Colorado's 66-60 overtime win over No. 17/16 Iowa State on Jan. 15 in Boulder 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 the 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 continues to add to her school records for consecutive overall starts and starts from the beginning of a career, now at 118 straight games. She passed the previous mark of overall consecutive starts set by Amy Mathern (1989-93) with her 113th straight start in the Texas game on Jan. 30. She passed Lisa Van Goor (1980-85) for starts at the beginning of a career, when she started her 101st game against Illinois on Dec. 4. She is third in most overall career starts, trailing only the 127 by Erin Scholz (1993-97) and the 126 by Shelley Sheetz (1991-95).
SPEARS CLIMBING CAREER LADDERS: Senior guard/forward Brittany Spears scored 13 points at Iowa State, passing former teammate Jackie McFarland (2004-08) for second place on CU's all-time scoring list, now at 1,961. Spears also ranks second in field-goals made (716) and attempted (1,704), third in games started (118) and 3-point field-goals attempted (621), fourth in rebounds (919), double-doubles (30), blocked shots (142) and 3-point field-goals made (207), fifth in minutes (3,908), eighth in steals (218), and 11th in free-throws made (322) on CU's all-time charts.
Spears is now just 39 points from becoming the second player in team history to score 2,000 and 106 behind all-time leading scorer Lisa Van Goor (1980-85). Her career high is 36 against UMass on Nov. 28, 2008. Based on a minimum five games remaining (four regular season, one Big 12 Championship), Spears needs to average 7.8 points per game to reach 2,000 and 21.2 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 (#3 Baylor, #5 Texas A&M, #15 Oklahoma and #24 Iowa State) with two others receiving votes (Texas Tech, Kansas State). Four are ranked in the latest Associated Press poll (#3 Baylor, #5 Texas A&M, #16 Oklahoma and #25 Iowa State) while one is receiving votes (Texas Tech).
HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 352-118 all-time record at the Coors Events/Conference Center (.749). 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), Nebraska (Feb. 6) and Kansas State (Feb. 16). FSN Rocky Mountain will also televise CU's next home game against Oklahoma (Feb. 23) and at 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.