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Home After Nearly A Month Away, Buffs Host Cal Thursday

Jan 11, 2012

THE GAME: The University of Colorado returns home for the first time in nearly a month to host the University of California on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m. at the Coors Events Center.

BROADCAST: Thursday's game will air on KKZN AM 760. Mike Rice will handle the play-by-play and Carol Callan of USA Basketball will have the color commentary. Live internet video streaming of Thursday's game is available on BuffsTV, a subscription service through Live audio is available through BuffsTV through the BuffsRadio free subscription.

OPENING TIP: California and Colorado are 1-2 in the Pac-12 Conference in defensive rebounding percentage. Every time an opponent shot goes up, California nabs the defensive board a league-best 75.1 percent of the time while the Buffaloes are right behind at 73.5 percent.

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 13-1 overall, securing a 2-1 mark during its three game road trip to open Pac-12 play. The Buffaloes saw their 12-game winning streak to start the season snapped at Washington on Jan. 5, 75-67, but rebounded with a 57-56 come-from-behind win at Washington State on Jan. 7. The Buffaloes, who finished the nonconference regular season unbeaten for the second time in team history (12-0 in 1992-93), are 19-4 in their last 23 games and a perfect 7-0 at the Coors Event Center this season.

Colorado has shown balance with five players averaging between eight and 17 points per game and seven averaging at least five per contest. The Buffaloes are averaging 67.6 points per game and shooting 44 percent from the field. CU's defense has held its opponents to 53.7 points per game, ranking third in the Pac-12. The Buffaloes also rank second in scoring margin (+13.9) and defensive rebounds (29.9 drpg) and third in field-goal percentage (.443), rebounding defense (32.6 rpg) and rebounding margin (+10.6).

Junior guard Chucky Jeffery leads the Buffaloes at 16.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. She is third in the Pac-12 in scoring and defensive rebounds (6.8 drpg) and also ranks fourth in assists, fifth in free-throw percentage (.782), sixth in overall rebounding, seventh in steals (2.1 spg) and minutes played (33.0 mpg), ninth in blocked shots (1.1 bpg), 12th in field-goal percentage (.497) and 13th in assist-to-turnover ratio (0.9).

Jeffery has scored in double-figures in each of Colorado's first 14 games and recorded her 50th such outing in the win over Washington State. She has a team-best five double-doubles on the season, tied for fourth in the Pac-12. She was the MVP of CU's Omni Hotels Classic and was named Pac-12 Women's Basketball Player of the Week on Dec. 4.

Senior forward Julie Seabrook leads Colorado and ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in field goal accuracy at 59.5 percent while also ranking 10th in offensive rebounds (2.6 orpg) and 20th in overall rebounding (6.0 rpg). She has led the Buffaloes in scoring through the first three conference games at 15.3 per outing and also tops the Pac-12 in shooting at 64.3 percent during that span. Seabrook, who has scored in double-figures for three straight games for the first time in her career, has made 7-of-10 from 3-point range during league play.

Freshman guard Lexy Kresl is second on the team in scoring at 11.1 points per game and leads the Buffaloes in both 3-point field goals (28) and free-throw percentage at 84 percent. She was held without a 3-point field goal for the first time in her career against Washington State, but still hit key shots down the stretch, including a jumper above the free throw line to tie the game at 56 with 37 seconds left. Late heroics are becoming the norm for the first-year player as she hit the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to knock off Creighton at the UTSA Holiday Classic en route to All-Tournament honors. Kresl ranks third in the Pac-12 in 3-pointers made (2.0 3mpg), ninth in 3-point percentage (.364) and 18th in scoring.

Sophomore guard Brittany Wilson is third on the team in scoring at 9.1 points per game and is second on the team in assists (32) and steals (15). She has dished out 26 of her 32 assists over the last nine games. On the Pac-12 charts Wilson ranks 14th in 3-pointers made (1.4 3mpg).

Brittany's twin sister Ashley Wilson has enjoyed a solid start to her sophomore season. She is hitting 50 percent from the floor (20-of-40) including a career-best 13 point performance against Weber State.

Junior Meagan Malcolm-Peck has played well defensively, averaging 5.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. She had season-highs of nine rebounds and three blocked shots in the UTSA Holiday Classic win over Texas-Pan American. Malcolm-Peck has 30 offensive rebounds and her 2.3 per game average ranks 14th in the Pac-12.

Sophomore Rachel Hargis joins Seabrook as the only Buffaloes to start all 14 games this season. Hargis, who averages 4.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per contest, had her season's best performance against Texas-Pan American, registering her first career double-double. She had personal bests of 12 points and 11 rebounds against the Broncs while shooting 5-of-10 from the field.

Freshman Jen Reese has also been a major producer off the bench. Reese is averaging 7.9 points per contest and shooting 51 percent from the field (43-of-84). She recorded her first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds in the win at Washington State. Reese has also been hitting the boards, tying for second on the team and ranking 20th in the Pac-12 at 6.0 per game. She earned UTSA Holiday Classic All-Tournament honors by averaging 12.5 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 66.7 percent over the two games (10-of-15).

Colorado's bench has been outstanding, accounting for 33 percent of the team's scoring (22.5 ppg) and 41 percent of its rebounding (17.7 rpg). In addition to Reese, who has come off the bench for each game, the Wilson twins and Kresl have been consistent in scoring whether coming off the bench or starting (Kresl has 10 starts, Brittany Wilson has four while Ashley has three), combining for 30.6 points in a reserve role. Against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi the Buffaloes had a season-high 43 bench points (Jeffery 19, Reese 13, Kresl 11).

HISTORIC START: Colorado started the season 12-0 for just the third time in team history and first since the 1992-93 squad won a school record 15 games to begin the season. The 12-0 start ties for the second best start in school history. Here is a break down of CU's best starts:

Year Start Final Record Other
1992-93 15-0 27-4 NCAA Elite 8
2011-12 12-0 ?? Best Start Since 1992-93
1980-81 12-0 28-5 *AIAW National Tourn. First Round
1993-94 7-0 27-5 NCAA Sweet 16
1982-83 7-0 21-8 #Big Eight Semifinals
1988-89 6-0 27-4 NCAA First Round

*-CU's first national tournament appearance; #-First year of Big Eight Conference round-robin play.

NUMBERS ON 12 STRAIGHT: Colorado won 12 straight games for the seventh time and this season's streak is tied for the fifth longest in team history. It was also CU's longest win streak since its school-record 25-game streak in 1994-95. Here are the Buffs' all-time best win streaks:

Wins Season Record Notable
1. 25 1994-95 30-3 NCAA Elite Eight, 14-0 in Big Eight
2. 20 1988-89 27-4 NCAA 1st Round, 14-0 in Big Eight
3. 15 1992-93 27-4 NCAA Elite Eight, 15-0 season start
4. 14 1991-92 22-9 NCAA 1st Rd, Big Eight Tourney Champs
5. 12 2011-12 ?? 12-0 Tied Second Best Season Start
12 1981-82 28-8 AIAW National 1st Round
12 1980-81 28-5 First of two 9-plus winning streaks in '81
8. 11 2007-08 19-15 WNIT Semifinalist
9. 9 2003-04 22-8 NCAA 1st Round
9 1993-94 27-5 NCAA Sweet 16
9 1992-93 27-4 NCAA Elite Eight, Big Eight Champs
9 1980-81 28-5 First AIAW National Appearance
9 1978-79 22-9 3rd place in AIAW Regional

ABOUT THE GOLDEN BEARS: California is 11-5 overall and 2-2 in Pac-12 play. The Golden Bears rebounded from consecutive losses at the Southern California schools to open league competition with a home sweep of the Oregon schools last weekend. Cal enjoyed double-digit wins in both of those contests, taking care of Oregon State 73-56 on Jan. 5 and recording a season-high points in a 90-67 win over Oregon on Jan. 7. California leads the nation in rebounding margin, grabbing just over 18 more rebounds per game than its opponents. The Golden Bears are also one of the better scoring teams in the Pac-12, averaging 71.6 points per game.

Freshman forward Reshanda Gray leads Cal in scoring at 10.6 points per game, despite coming off the bench for all but one contest. Junior guard Layshia Clarendon is second in scoring (10.4 ppg) and is Cal's top 3-point shooter with 19. Sophomore forward Gennifer Brandon leads the Golden Bears and ranks second in the Pac-12 in rebounding at 11.1 per outing.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the sixth meeting between Colorado and California with the Buffaloes claiming the first five in the series. Three of those five matchups have come in Boulder, including an 81-65 Buffaloes victory in the second round of the 2011 Postseason WNIT.

Colorado head coach Linda Lappe is 1-0 against California as a head coach. California head coach Lindsay Gottlieb has never faced Colorado as a head coach.

ROAD WARRIORS: Despite the loss at Washington, Colorado has won six of its last seven road games and also six of its last seven away from home (both encompassing a slightly different set of games). Prior to the Washington game, the Buffaloes had won six-straight both in true road games and games away from Boulder, each being the program's best such streaks since the 2003-04 squad won six in a row in true road contests.

Additionally, Colorado has won four of its last five conference road games after only winning four of the previous 30 dating back to the 2007-08 Big 12 season.

Colorado began the Pac-12 season with three straight on the road finishing 2-1. It was CU's first three-game conference road stand since 1997, the inaugural season of the Big 12. In that string, the Buffaloes lost at Kansas State on Feb. 19, but bounced back to win games at Missouri on Feb. 23 and No. 12 ranked Texas on Feb. 26, sparking an eight-game win streak that carried Colorado through the first Big 12 Tournament Championship and an appearance in the 1997 NCAA Sweet 16.

Colorado returns home for the first time since Dec. 17, after playing the last five away from home, which hadn't happened since the end of the 2001 season with a final regular season road game and then four neutral site Big 12 and NCAA Tournament games. The five away from home hadn't been done entirely in the regular season since the 1993-94 team played seven in a row away from Boulder in the late preseason (5) and early Big Eight Conference schedule (2).

FOR OPENERS, CONFERENCE VERSION: Colorado improved to 22-16 in all-time in conference openers with its 58-52 win over Utah. The win snapped a three-game losing streak in road conference openers for the Buffaloes.

DEFENDING THE HOOP: Colorado allowed just 51.7 points in the 11 nonconference games, limiting the opponent to just 33.2 percent shooting overall (34.6 percent on two-point attempts and 29.7 from three-point range). The Buffaloes held five nonconference opponents under 50 points. CU has held its opponent under 50 points 11 times in CU head coach Linda Lappe's 48-game tenure.

REBOUNDING WOWS: Colorado has outrebounded its opponent 12 of 14 games, including 11 in a row prior to the Washington game. CU's margin of plus-10.6 on the season, ranks third in the Pac-12 and 11th in the nation through games of Jan. 8. CU had a big night on the glass against San Francisco, ending with a margin of plus-33 (53-20). That plus-33 margin overall is tied for the ninth best margin in team history and tied for the fourth best since the NCAA/Big Eight Conference era began with the 1982-83 season. It's also the widest margin since the Buffaloes put up a similar plus-33 margin against Bowling Green (59-26) on Nov. 23, 2001. Those two games are the best since CU outrebounded Northern Arizona by 34 (56-22) on Dec. 18, 1993.

Colorado has grabbed 50 or more rebounds four times this season, including a high of 54 against Texas-Pan American. It's the most 50-plus rebound games for the Buffaloes since they also had four during the 1994-95 season.

On the other end of the spectrum, CU's 20 rebounds allowed to San Francisco tied for the second-lowest in team history. The Buffaloes held a team at 20 on three other occasions, most recently against Loyola Chicago in a 65-34 win on Nov. 27, 2010. The record low is 19, set against Northern Arizona on Feb. 7, 1981.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Chucky Jeffery earned Colorado's first ever Pac-12 Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week honor on Dec. 4. Her award was the fourth overall for the Buffaloes in their inaugural Pac-12 season, joining three football winners from earlier this fall. The league Player of the Week honor is also the first for women's basketball since Brittany Spears was named Big 12 Conference Player of the Week on Nov. 23, 2009. For Jeffery, it's her second similar honor, as she was the Big 12 Freshman of the Week winner on Jan. 11, 2010.

Jeffery averaged 28 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 64.5 percent from the floor, leading the Buffaloes to wins over San Francisco (84-66) and Idaho (68-59).

CHUCKY DOUBLES: Chucky Jeffery has five double-doubles on the season, tied for fourth in the Pac-12, including a string of three-straight (Wisconsin-San Francisco-Idaho). It was the first time a CU player had double-doubles in three-straight games since Jackie McFarland had two separate strings of three during the 2006-07 season. She joins Bridget Turner as the only other guard in team history with three-straight double-doubles. Turner pulled the trifecta during the 1988-89 season, with one of her doubles the points-assists variety.

Overall she is the seventh player to achieve three straight double-doubles. CU Athletic Hall of Famer Lisa Van Goor holds the consecutive mark of six during the 1980-81 season.

LEXY AMONG ELITE COMPANY: Freshman guard Lexy Kresl scored in double-digits in the first six games of her career, tying CU Athletic Hall of Fame member and All-American Shelley Sheetz for the second-most in team history. Current CU Director of Basketball Operations Tracy Tripp holds the mark of 10, set during the 1985-86 season.

CHUCKY REBOUNDS: Junior guard Chucky Jeffery became the 20th player in team history to reach 500 rebounds in the win over Washington State, ending the contest at 504. She has a career average of 6.9 per game which jumps to 8.0 since the beginning of her sophomore year (44 games). She had a career night on the glass at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, grabbing 16 rebounds in the win over the Islanders. Her 16 rebounds were the most by a CU player since Jackie McFarland recorded 18 at Kansas on Feb. 6, 2007.

LEXY'S RECORD NIGHT: Freshman guard Lexy Kresl had a memorable collegiate debut making 5-of-6 3-point attempts in the first half of CU's 84-60 win over Northern Arizona. She tied a school record for 3-pointers made in one half, a feat that had happened five previous times by three players. Bianca Smith, who was the last person to hit five in one half (vs. Nebraska on Jan. 31, 2009), did it three times. Kate Fagan and CU Athletic Hall of Famer and All-American Shelly Sheetz are the other two.

In addition, of the 24 current half or single-game records on the CU books, six were set by freshmen.

MALCOLM-PECK CLIMBING IN 3-POINTERS, BLOCKS: Junior Meagan Malcolm-Peck ranks 13th on CU's all-time list for 3-pointers with 71 and needs three to catch Sabrina Scott (1999-03) for 12th. Her career .316 average (71-of-225) would rank 19th in school history. Malcolm-Peck is tied with Diane Hiemstra (1981-84) for 14th in career blocked shots with 59.

JEFFERY MOVING UP CAREER LADDERS, 1,000 POINTS ON THE HORIZON: Junior guard Chucky Jeffery had a team season-high six steals at Washington, moving her career total to 163, 13th on CU's all-time list. Jeffery is also 17th on Colorado's career ledger for assists (286), is 20th in rebounds (504) and tied with Melody Johnson (1997-99) for 20th in blocked shots (46).

Jeffery has 914 career points, needing just 86 to become the 24th player in team history to reach 1,000. She is on pace to be just the 10th player to reach that milestone before her senior year.

HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 362-120 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 will feature at least nine regionally or nationally televised games in 2011-12. CU made its first appearance on The Mtn in the win over Colorado State on Nov. 20. Colorado will have eight games air on ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain. The first was the San Francisco game on Nov. 30, followed by Idaho (Dec. 4) and Denver (Dec. 8). Also scheduled for ROOT Sports are Stanford (Jan. 14), at Arizona (Jan. 22), UCLA (Jan. 29), Utah (Feb. 18) and Oregon (Mar. 1). All ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain games are available nationally on DIRECTV and DISH Network.

The games with Arizona and UCLA are part of the Pac-12's FSN national package. In addition, CU's home game against Arizona State on Saturday, Feb. 11, is part of the Pac-12's FSN Wildcard Weekend. One of the five league contests scheduled for that date will be picked up for national broadcast, but that determination won't be made until the last week in January. If the CU-Arizona State game is selected for FSN the game time will change from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. MST, per conference guidelines.

CU has appeared on 91 regional or national telecasts over the last 10 seasons.