Buffs Travel To Arizona State For Thursday Matinee
THE GAME: The University of Colorado travels to face Arizona State University on Thursday, Jan. 19, at 11 a.m. at the Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe.
BROADCAST: Thursday's game will air on KKZN AM 760 with Mike Rice at the call and Carol Callan of USA Basketball giving the color commentary. Live audio is available at CUBuffs.com through BuffsTV and the BuffsRadio free subscription. Live video streaming is available through: http://www.foxsportsarizona.com/pages/sundevils_stream.
OPENING TIP: Colorado visits the state of Arizona for the first time since Jan. 1, 1991, when the Buffaloes defeated the University of Arizona 75-69 in overtime. That date is significant in CU Athletics history, as that same day Colorado's football team claimed the 1990 national championship with a 10-9 win over Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl.
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 13-3 overall, securing a 2-3 mark in early Pac-12 play. The Buffaloes are coming off a tough weekend two of the best teams in the conference. Colorado dropped its first home game of the season falling 68-55 to California on Jan. 12 and then fell 80-54 to No. 4 (AP & WBCA) Stanford on Jan. 14. The Buffaloes return to the road this week where five of their first seven Pac-12 games will have been played. The road has been kind to Colorado this year though, sporting a 6-1 mark away from Boulder, including 4-1 in true road games. Two of those wins have come in Pac-12 play (at Utah and at Washington State).
Colorado has shown balance with five players averaging between eight and 16 points per game and seven averaging at least five per contest. Overall the Buffaloes are averaging 65.9 points per game and shooting 44 percent from the field, but they're looking to rebound from a cold Pac-12 start. CU is at 38 percent through five Pac-12 games averaging 58.2 points per contest. With that said, considering the tougher league competition, the Buffaloes' Pac-12 only percentage still ranks third best on the conference charts.
CU's defense has held its opponents to 56.2 points per game, ranking third in the Pac-12. The Buffaloes also rank third in field-goal percentage, 3-point percentage (.331), rebounding offense (42.3 rpg) and rebounding margin (+9.1).
Junior guard Chucky Jeffery leads the Buffaloes at 16.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. She is third in the Pac-12 in scoring and defensive rebounds (6.6 drpg) and also ranks fourth in assists, fifth in free-throw percentage (.782) and steals (2.1 spg), seventh in overall rebounding, 10th in minutes (32.8 mpg), 11th in blocks (1.0 bpg) and 13th in field-goal percentage (.488) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.0).
Jeffery has scored in double-figures in 15 of Colorado's 16 games and recorded her 51st such outing in the loss to California with a game-high 21 points. She has a team-best five double-doubles on the season, tied for seventh 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 second in the Pac-12 in field goal accuracy at 58.5 percent while also ranking 11th in offensive rebounds (2.4 orpg). She is averaging 11.8 points and 5.4 rebounds in Pac-12 play and also tops the league in shooting at 60.5 percent during that span. Seabrook, who scored in double-figures for three straight games for the first time in her career during the league season-opening road trip, has made 8-of-14 from 3-point range during conference action.
Freshman guard Lexy Kresl is second on the team in scoring at 10.3 points per game and leads the Buffaloes in both 3-point field goals (30) 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 fourth in the Pac-12 in 3-pointers made (1.9 3mpg), 14th in 3-point percentage (.333) and 21st in scoring.
Sophomore guard Brittany Wilson is third on the team in scoring at 8.8 points per game and is second on the team in assists (35) and steals (16). She scored 10 points in the loss to Stanford, scoring in double digits for the eighth time this season and third during league play. On the Pac-12 charts Wilson ranks 13th in 3-pointers made (1.3 3mpg).
Brittany's twin sister Ashley Wilson is hitting 52 percent from the floor (24-of-46) while averaging 3.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. Wilson had nine points on 4-of-5 shooting off the bench against Stanford, a personal best during league competition. She established an overall career high scoring 13 points in the win over Weber State.
Junior forward Meagan Malcolm-Peck is averaging 5.0 points and 4.9 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 is second on the team in offensive rebounds (34) and her per game average ranks 14th in the Pac-12 (2.3 orpg).
Sophomore Rachel Hargis joins Seabrook as the only Buffaloes to start all 16 games this season. Hargis, who averages 4.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per contest, had a solid game against California scoring 10 points while grabbing five rebounds and blocking three shots. This was the second double-figure scoring game for Hargis, the other also served as her first career double-double netting 12 points and 11 rebounds against Texas Pan-American.
Freshman Jen Reese has been a major producer off the bench. Reese is averaging 7.9 points per contest and shooting 51.0 percent from the field (49-of-96), ranking ninth in the Pac-12. 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 5.9 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 34 percent of the team's scoring (22.4 ppg) and 41 percent of its rebounding (17.4 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 12 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 SUN DEVILS: Arizona State is 11-5 overall and 2-3 in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils broke a three-game losing streak with a 53-49 road win at Oregon on Jan. 14. ASU returns home to the Wells Fargo Center where the team is 8-2 this season. The Sun Devils average 60.2 points per game while holding opponents to 52.8 points on 33 percent shooting. Both defensive numbers rank at the top of the Pac-12. ASU's 33 percent field goal defense also ranks ninth in the nation.
Senior forward Kimberly Brandon leads Arizona State at 9.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Senior center Kali Bennett tops the Sun Devils and ranks second in the Pac-12 in blocked shots at 2.5 per game. She is second on the team in scoring at 7.7 points per game and also second in rebounding at 6.7 per contest. Junior guard Deja Mann tops the Sun Devils and ranks fifth in the Pac-12 in assists at 3.9 per game. Freshman forward Jada Blackwell averages 7.1 points per game and leads ASU in shooting at 50 percent.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be 10th meeting between Colorado and Arizona State, with the Buffaloes having won all nine previous meetings. This will be the first meeting between the two teams since a 103-63 CU decision in Boulder on Dec. 9, 1987. The 24 years since the teams last played is the longest span with any of Colorado's new league rivals entering the Pac-12 season. The first six meetings came while the two schools were members of the Intermountain Conference (1975-80). CU is 3-0 in Tempe, having last played there in a 72-64 win on Dec. 6, 1980.
Colorado head coach Linda Lappe has never faced Arizona State as head coach. Arizona State interim head coach Joseph Anders as never faced Colorado as a head coach.
CONNECTIONS: Each team sports a player from its opposing state. This will be a homecoming for Colorado freshman Lexy Kresl, who is from near by Paradise Valley. Arizona State freshman guard Eliza Normen is from Louisville, Colo., playing for Monarch High School.
ROAD WARRIORS: 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 returned home this week 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 50-game tenure.
REBOUNDING WOWS: Colorado has outrebounded its opponent 12 of 16 games, including 11 in a row prior to the Washington game. CU's margin of plus-9.1 on the season, ranks third in the Pac-12 and 15th in the nation through games of Jan. 15. 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 seventh 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 and now sits at 515. She has a career average of 6.9 per game which jumps to 7.9 since the beginning of her sophomore year (46 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.
MALCOLM-PECK CLIMBING IN 3-POINTERS, BLOCKS: Junior Meagan Malcolm-Peck ranks 13th on CU's all-time list for 3-pointers with 73 and needs one to catch Sabrina Scott (1999-03) for 12th. 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 one steal against Stanford moving her total to 168 and remaining 12th on CU's all-time list. Jeffery is also 17th on Colorado's career ledger for assists (292), is 20th in rebounds (515) and tied with Melody Johnson (1997-99) for 20th in blocked shots (46).
Jeffery has 937 career points, needing just 63 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.
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), Denver (Dec. 8) and Stanford (Jan. 14). Also scheduled for ROOT Sports are 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.