Buffs Strive To Keep Momentum Going At Missouri Saturday
THE GAME: The University of Colorado continues Big 12 Conference action by traveling to face the University of Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 3 p.m. MST, at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
BROADCAST: Saturday's game will be broadcast on KVCU AM 1190, due to a conflict with the CU men's game. 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: Senior Brittany Spears needs 15 points to become the second player in team history to reach 2,000.
THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 13-13 overall and tied with Missouri for ninth place in the Big 12 standings at 4-9. The Buffaloes moved their record back to .500 after a thrilling 73-68 upset win over No. 16 (AP)/15 (USA TODAY/ESPN/WBCA) ranked Oklahoma on Feb. 23. The victory snapped a three-game skid for Colorado and also allowed the Buffaloes to equal their win total from last season (13-17). CU's four Big 12 wins are its most since the 2008 league campaign when the Buffaloes were 5-11. Colorado will be searching for its first win away from Boulder this season (0-9) and first true road win 10 tries dating back to its 80-79 overtime win at Missouri on Feb. 23, 2010.
Colorado is averaging 61.2 points per game while shooting 40 percent from the field. Defensively the Buffaloes are also giving up 61 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 19-of-26 games and by an average of five boards an outing (more on CU rebounding below).
Senior guard/forward Brittany Spears leads CU and ranks sixth in the Big 12 in scoring at 17.4 points per game. She is also second in defensive rebounds (5.8 drpg), fourth in 3-point field goals (2.2 3mpg), fifth in overall rebounding (7.9 rpg), 10th in free-throw percentage (.795) and 11th in blocked shots and steals (1.8 spg).
Spears is coming off a 24-point performance against Oklahoma, her 40th career game of 20-plus points. She has logged double digits in scoring in 24-of-26 games this season and in 103-of-119 career outings. Her 103 career games in double-figures ranks as the second most in team history, trailing 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 (56) and blocks (28) and is second in steals (46) and rebounds on a per game basis (7.9 rpg).
Sophomore guard Chucky Jeffery is CU's top rebounder on a per-game basis (8.3 rpg) while ranking second on the team in scoring at 13.6 an outing. Jeffery has eight 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 (2.7 spg) and defensive rebounds (6.0 drpg) while ranking third in overall rebounding, sixth in assists (4.2 apg), 13th in offensive rebounds (2.3 orpg), 14th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.0) and field-goal percentage (.473) and 16th in scoring.
Sophomore guard/forward Meagan Malcolm-Peck is averaging 6.7 points and 4.5 rebounds and is second on the team in 3-point field goals (29) and third in blocked shots (15). She is fourth in the Big 12 in 3-point percentage during league play at 42 percent (14-of-33) and is 12th on the league's overall season charts at 37.7 percent (29-of-77). Malcolm-Peck hit her 51st career 3-point field goal in the win over Oklahoma, moving her into 16th place on CU's all-time list.
Junior forward Julie Seabrook is averaging 5.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while shooting a team best 50 percent from the field (62-of-124). She has shot 60 percent or better in 13 games, and 50 percent or better in 16 outings. Seabrook has four games of double-digit rebounds, including a season-best 11 boards in the win over Missouri. Seabrook was 2-of-3 from 3-point range against Oklahoma, and has now made five of her last eight threes over the last three games. Overall she is 8-of-18 (44.4), all 18 attempts coming this season.
Freshman guard Brittany Wilson is averaging 7.8 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 fifth 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 13 of her last 30 (.433), including a 2-for-5 effort in the win over Oklahoma. She has hit 37.8 percent from deep during the Big 12 season, ranking ninth on the league charts.
Freshman center Rachel Hargis is becoming a solid player off the bench, especially on the defensive side. 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 TIGERS: Missouri is 12-15 overall and tied for ninth in the Big 12 with Colorado at 4-9. The Tigers have lost four of their last five games, with three of those contests decided in overtime (1-2). Missouri is 9-3 at home this season, including solid wins over Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma State. The Tigers rank near the bottom of almost every league statistical category. Missouri averages 59.9 points per game, while giving up 64.2 an outing. The Tigers are shooting 39 percent from the field and 62 percent from the free-throw line.
Senior guard RaeShara Brown is Missouri's go-to-player, leading the Tigers with 16.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game. Junior forward Christine Flores is MU's second leading scorer at 13.1 points and averages 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Senior forward Shakara Jones averages 9.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 69th meeting between Colorado and Missouri, briefly making it the most played series in team history (the Buffaloes will play their 69th game against Nebraska on Mar. 2). Colorado is 41-27 all-time against the Tigers, the 41 wins being the most the Buffaloes have against any one team. Colorado, which won the first meeting in Boulder 58-48 on Jan. 22, has claimed the last three and seven of the last nine match ups. Colorado has won the last three and is 4-2 all-time at Mizzou Arena. The overall series in Columbia, which dates back to 1983, is tied at 15-15.
COLORADO AND MISSOURI, LAST 10 GAMES:
Date Result Date Result
1/22/11 (H) W, 58-48 3/5/08 (H) W, 63-47
2/23/10 (A) W, 80-79 OT 1/9/08 (A) W, 70-58
1/9/10 (H) W, 64-48 1/28/07 (A) L, 48-61
2/28/09 (H) L, 55-66 1/3/07 (H) W, 71-59
1/24/09 (A) W, 61-56 2/18/06 (H) L, 57-72
RANKING NUMBERS: Colorado improved to 2-2 against ranked teams this season after its 73-68 win over No. 16/15 Oklahoma on Feb. 23. It is the first time since the 2007-08 campaign that the Buffaloes have multiple wins over ranked teams in the same season.
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. As for the Oklahoma game, it was the first win over a ranked Sooner team since a 69-64 decision in Norman on Feb. 3, 1995 (CU was ranked No. 4, OU No. 25). It was the first unranked CU team to beat an OU ranked team since a 94-80 win on Jan. 27, 1987, OU was ranked No. 23 in the coaches poll.
LAPPE IN ELITE COACHING COMPANY: Colorado's Linda Lappe is the only rookie NCAA Division I head coach to beat a ranked opponent this season, and her teams have achieved it twice, knocking off No. 17/16 Iowa State and No. 16/15 Oklahoma.
Of 35 coaches in Division I that are in the first season at the helm of their respective programs, including those who have been head coaches elsewhere, there are five wins against ranked teams. Lappe has two of those wins, Missouri's Robin Pingeton (formerly of Illinois State) twice and Houston's Todd Buchanan (formerly of Houston Baptist) the other.
BUFFS REBOUNDING: One of Colorado's biggest improvements as a team this year is rebounding. The Buffaloes are currently averaging 39.1 rebounds per game while allowing just 34.4 per contest. CU's rebounding margin of +4.7 ranks sixth in the Big 12 and 47th in NCAA Division I through games of Feb. 24. In 2009-10 the Buffaloes averaged just 35.1 per contest while allowing opponents 36.9 a game.
Colorado has equaled or outrebounded 19-of-26 opponents this season, and four of those games where CU was outrebounded, it was by two or fewer boards. Colorado has equaled or outrebounded eight 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 (678/942), trailing only Iowa State at 73.1 percent (760/1040). The Buffaloes have given up the fewest offensive rebounds in the Big 12 this season (264). CU ranks fourth in overall rebounding defense at 34.4, a number on pace for the third best mark in team history. Maintaining this pace would yield the lowest opponent rebound average since the 1994-95 NCAA Elite Eight squad gave up only 34.1 per game. The 1980-81 squad allowed just 34.2 per outing.
CU DOUBLES: Colorado is the only school in the Big 12 with two players sporting eight or more double-doubles this season. Senior Brittany Spears and sophomore Chucky Jeffery are tied with Baylor's Brittney Griner for third in the Big 12 with eight double-doubles each.
Big 12 Double-Double Leaders
13 Toni Young, Oklahoma State
11 Danielle Adams, Texas A&M
8 Brittany Spears, Colorado
8 Chucky Jeffery, Colorado
8 Brittney Griner, Baylor
7 Kierra Mallard, Texas Tech
7 Kathleen Nash, Texas
Spears has 30 career double-doubles, ranking fourth on CU's all-time list. Jeffery's career total is nine after her 12-point, 10-rebound performance against Oklahoma.
JEFFERY, SPEARS BEST REBOUNDING DUO IN BIG 12: Chucky Jeffery ranks third in the Big 12 in rebounding at 8.3 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 7.9 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 (8.3), Brittany Spears (7.9), Colorado 16.2
2. Kathleen Nash (7.9), Ashley Gayle (7.1), Texas 15.0
2. Brittney Griner (8.0), Melissa Jones (7.0), Baylor 15.0
4. Aishah Sutherland (7.8), Carolyn Davis (7.1), Kansas 14.9
5. Danielle Adams (8.7), Adaora Elonu (5.9), Texas A&M 14.6
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 24 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 eighth for straight up turnovers per game (minimums are 75 percent of games played and 400 minutes played):
Big 12 Turnovers Per 40 Minutes
Name, School MP TO TO/40 Min
1. Britney Blythe, Colorado 709 28 1.58
2. Jordan Barncastle, Texas Tech 471 19 1.61
3. Melissa Jones, Baylor 817 34 1.66
4. Jasmyn Otote, Missouri 786 34 1.73
5. Maryann Baker, Texas A&M 460 21 1.83
Big 12 Turnovers Per Game
Name, School GP TO TOPG
1. Jordan Barncastle, Texas Tech 26 19 0.73
2. Kelsey Harris, Iowa State 27 20 0.74
3. Maryann Baker, Texas A&M 25 21 0.84
4. Jordan Madden, Baylor 27 25 0.93
5. Carol Blair-Mobley, Oklahoma State 26 25 0.96
8. Britney Blythe, Colorado 26 28 1.08
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.
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. 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.
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 119 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).
JEFFERY 'STEALS' THE SHOW: Sophomore Chucky Jeffery leads the Big 12 at 2.7 steals per game. Her 63 steals this season ranks 21st on CU's single-season list and just three more will put her in the top 15. She has had six or more steals in four games this season (Regis, Evansville, Colgate and Kansas) and has at least three steals in 13 of 23 games. She had a career and team season-high seven steals in the win over Colgate. It's the 21st time a Buff has registered seven or more steals in a game, but the first since Damietta Velicica had seven vs. Tulane on December 6, 1997.
SPEARS CLIMBING CAREER LADDERS: Senior guard/forward Brittany Spears scored 24 points against Oklahoma passing Texas A&M's Takia Starks (1,977 points from 2006-09) for 11th place on the Big 12's all-time scoring list, now at 1,985. On CU's all-time charts, Spears ranks second in scoring, field-goals made (724) and attempted (1,724), third in games started (119) and 3-point field-goals attempted (633), fourth in rebounds (925), double-doubles (30), blocked shots (144), 3-point field-goals made (212) and minutes (3,941), eighth in steals (222), and 11th in free-throws made (325).
Spears is now just 15 points from becoming the second player in team history to score 2,000, a single-game point total she has reached 18 times this season. She is 82 points behind all-time leading scorer Lisa Van Goor (1980-85). Based on a minimum four games remaining (three regular season, one Big 12 Championship), Spears needs to average 20.5 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 353-118 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), Kansas State (Jan. 26), Nebraska (Feb. 6), Kansas State (Feb. 16) and Oklahoma (Feb. 23). FSN Rocky Mountain will also televise CU's game 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.