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Buffs Host Utah Saturday In Play 4Kay Game

Feb 17, 2012

THE GAME: The University of Colorado continues Pac-12 Conference play by hosting the University of Utah on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 5 p.m. at the Coors Events Center.

BROADCAST: Saturday's game will be televised by ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain. Marc Stout will have the call with legendary CU head coach Ceal Barry providing the color commentary. Saturday's radio broadcast will be carried on KKZN AM 760 with Mike Rice handling play by play duties. Live audio is available at through BuffsTV and the BuffsRadio free subscription.

OPENING TIP: Colorado's 16th win guaranteed the program its 27th winning record (.500 or better) in 38 seasons.

PLAY 4KAY, '92 CHAMPS RETURN: CU will hold its annual Play 4Kay game to raise awareness in the fight against breast cancer on Saturday. Additionally, the Buffaloes will welcome back nearly two dozen women's basketball alumni and recognize the 20th Anniversary of the 1992 Big Eight Conference Tournament championship team.

Play 4Kay, formerly known as WBCA Pink Zone, is an initiative that allows a nation of coaches to raise awareness and funds for cancer research on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. The official charity is the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, named for the late N.C. State head women's basketball coach who served as the catalyst for Play 4Kay after her third recurrence of breast cancer in 2006. Yow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987, and passed away on January 24, 2009.

Since 2006, thousands have joined Coach Yow's team in the fight against breast cancer and raised over $1.5 million for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Colorado will wear its special white jersey with pink trim as well as pink shoes.

All fans are encouraged to wear pink on Saturday, and those that do can purchase general admission tickets for only $3. Additionally, the first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a free pink CU women's basketball T-Shirt.

Colorado's 1992 Big 8 Tournament champions will be introduced at halftime of Saturday's game. The 1991-92 Buffaloes lost their first three Big 8 games, but rebounded to win their next 11 regular season games and sweep through Kansas State, Nebraska and No. 13 ranked Kansas for their second Big 8 Tournament title.

The 1991-92 squad finished 22-9 overall and sparked a run of six straight NCAA Tournament appearances including Elite Eights in 1993 and 1995.

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 16-8 overall, and tied with Saturday's opponent Utah, for eighth place in the Pac-12 standings at 5-8, and just one-half game behind Oregon (6-8). Only two games separate third from ninth place in the Pac-12 heading into Saturday's games. The Buffaloes snapped a three-game losing streak by putting together a solid offensive and defensive performance in a 69-59 win over Arizona on Feb. 9, but were unable to pull off a weekend sweep by falling 60-47 to Arizona State on Feb. 11. Colorado has won four of 12 games since beginning the season 12-0. Overall, the Buffaloes are 9-4 at home, looking to make it double digit wins at the Coors Events Center for the 23rd time in 34 seasons.

Colorado has shown balance with five players averaging between eight and 15 points per game. Overall the Buffaloes are averaging 62.5 points per game and shooting 40.9 percent from the field. In Pac-12 play, the Buffaloes are trying to find their rhythm. During the league schedule, Colorado is averaging 56.6 points and shooting 37 percent. Strides were made during the Arizona game as the Buffaloes tied a Pac-12 best 69 points and shot 42 percent. The Buffaloes rank third in the Pac-12 in rebounding margin (+5.6) and rebounding defense (34.8) and fourth in field-goal percentage.

Junior guard Chucky Jeffery leads the Buffaloes at 15.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. She is prominent on the Pac-12 leader board, ranking third in steals (2.5 spg), fourth in assists, sixth in free-throw percentage (.744) and defensive rebounds (5.6 dprg), seventh in scoring, 10th in overall rebounding, blocked shots (1.1 bpg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (0.8) and 14th in field-goal percentage (.449) and 3-point percentage (.338).

Jeffery has scored in double-figures in 20 of Colorado's 24 games and reached the 20-point mark for the sixth time this season with a game-high 21 against Arizona. She became the 24th player in team history to reach 1,000 points during her 18-point performance against Oregon. She has a team-best five double-doubles on the season, tied for 11th 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 56.3 percent while also ranking 13th in offensive rebounds (2.3 orpg). She is averaging 8.1 points and 5.2 rebounds in Pac-12 play, ranking second in the league in shooting at 55.6 percent during that span. Seabrook led Colorado in the loss to Oregon State with 10 points and seven rebounds. She made six free throws, tying a single-game career high that stretched all the way back to December of her freshman season (Idaho State). Seabrook has made 84 percent from the line (16-of-19) during conference play, tops among the Buffaloes.

Sophomore guard Brittany Wilson is second on the team in assists (51) and steals (32) and third in scoring at 9.3 points per contest. Wilson had a game-high 21 points against USC, her third career game with 20 or more points. On the Pac-12 charts Wilson ranks 15th in 3-pointers made (1.3 3mpg).

Brittany's twin sister Ashley Wilson is hitting 53 percent from the floor (32-of-60) while averaging 3.0 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. Wilson hit all four of her shots in the Arizona State game, matching a league personal best with nine points against the Sun Devils.

Freshman guard Lexy Kresl averages 9.3 points per game and leads the Buffaloes in both 3-point field goals (43) and free-throw accuracy at 87.5 percent. Kresl scored a career-high 17 points in the loss to Oregon, matching a personal best and her own team season-high with five 3-point field goals. She has made 12 of her last 35 from 3-point range. Kresl has hit at least one 3-pointer in 21 of 24 games. She ranks fifth in the Pac-12 in 3-pointers made (1.8 3mpg).

Freshman forward Jen Reese has moved into the starting lineup the last seven games and ranks second on the team in rebounding (6.1 rpg) and fourth in scoring (8.0 ppg). She logged a career-best 14 rebounds in the loss to UCLA, the second best on the team this season (Jeffery had 16 at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi). Reese has led the Buffaloes, or shared the lead, in rebounding five of the last eight games and eight total this season. On the Pac-12 charts she is 13th in field-goal percentage and 20th in overall rebounding. She recorded her first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds in the win at Washington State. Reese 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).

Junior forward Meagan Malcolm-Peck is averaging 4.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. She matched a season high with nine rebounds against UCLA. Malcolm-Peck is second on the team in offensive rebounds (46) and tied for third in assists (28).

Sophomore Rachel Hargis, who averages 4.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per contest, tied her season best in blocked shots with three at Oregon State. Twelve of her 21 blocked shots have come during conference play ranking 13th in the Pac-12 during that span (0.9 bpg).

Freshman guard Jasmine Sborov has seen extended minutes over the last nine games, scoring 35 of her 45 season points. She filled up the box score nicely against Arizona, scoring a career high 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting with seven rebounds, three assists and one steal. Sborov has hit 53.3 percent from the field over the last three games (8-of-15).

Colorado's bench has been outstanding, accounting for 33 percent of the team's scoring (20.4 ppg) and 41 percent of its rebounding (16.5 rpg). In addition to Reese, who came off the bench for the first 17 games, the Wilson twins and Kresl have been consistent in scoring whether coming off the bench or starting (Kresl and Brittany Wilson have 12 starts while Ashley has four), combining for 27.5 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 UTES: Utah is an even 12-12 overall and tied with CU for eighth place in the Pac-12 at 5-8 after sweeping the Arizona schools at home last weekend. Utah is the second best scoring defense team in the Pac-12, holding opponents to 55.5 points per game. On the offensive end, the Utes average 60.2 points an outing while shooting 41 percent from the field and 73 percent from the free-throw line.

Sophomore forward Michelle Plouffe leads Utah and ranks eighth in the Pac-12 in scoring at 14.4 points per game. The reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week, Plouffe, who has nine double-doubles this season, averaged 18 points, 9.5 rebounds and three blocks in the wins over Arizona and Arizona State. Sophomore forward Taryn Wicijowski ranks second on the team in scoring (12.7 ppg) while leading the Utes in shooting at 51 percent. The Plouffe-Wicijowski duo combine for 17 rebounds per game, each averaging 8.5. Senior guard Janita Badon leads the Pac-12 in assists at 5.8 per game and is Utah's third leading scorer at 10.5 per contest.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 19th meeting between Colorado and Utah with the Utes holding a 10-8 edge. Utah visits Boulder for the first time since a 63-61 Colorado win on Nov. 17, 1995. CU and Utah played six times as members of the Intermountain Conference between 1975-79, with the Utes owning that series 6-0. Overall Colorado has won eight of the last 12 meetings. The Buffaloes are 5-2 against Utah in Boulder and have won the last five. Utah's last win at CU was an 80-71 decision on Feb. 25, 1978.

Colorado head coach Linda Lappe is 1-0 against Utah as a head coach. Anthony Levrets is 0-1 against Colorado as a head coach.

CONNECTIONS: Colorado senior forward Julie Seabrook of North Vancouver, B.C. and Utah sophomore forwards Taryn Wicijowski of Regina, Sask., and Michelle Plouffe of Edmonton, Alta., were teammates on the Canadian Junior National Team that placed fourth at the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women. All three are products of Canada Basketball's National Elite Development Academy. CU assistant coach Jonas Chatterton is a Utah graduate ('01) and native of Salt Lake City. Utah has two Colorado natives on its roster, Diana Rolniak, a Denver native who played at Regis Jesuit and Rachel Messer of Castle Rock who played for ThunderRidge. Messer was a teammate of Colorado's Brenna and Meagan Malcolm-Peck, who played at ThunderRidge as freshmen and sophomores.

CHUCKY REACHES 1,000: Junior guard Chucky Jeffery became the 24th player in team history to reach 1,000 career points during the loss to Oregon. She is the 10th player to achieve 1,000 before her senior year. Surpassing 1,000 in her 81st career game, she tied Tera Bjorklund (2000-04) for the ninth fastest to reach 1,000. Currently with 1,041 points, Jeffery remains 24th on CU's all-time scoring list, needing four to catch Raegan Scott (1993-97) for 23rd and 57 to crack the Top 20.

THANKS BUFF FANS, KEEP COMING OUT!: Colorado had a season-high 5,885 fans witness the nail biting overtime loss to UCLA on Jan. 29. The attendance number is the second highest for a Pac-12 league game this season, trailing only the California at No. 4 ranked Stanford rivalry game played the night before which drew 6,075. Overall the UCLA-Colorado attendance figure is the third best at a Pac-12 venue this season. Stanford had 7,329 for a nonconference game against national power Tennessee on Dec. 20.

The Buffaloes are averaging 2,816 for 13 home dates this season and 3,549 in six Pac-12 home games, both figures trailing only Stanford (4,358 overall, 4,448 league) in the Pac-12. CU is on pace for its best home attendance average since the 2003-04 team drew 3,092 over 16 home games.

PERFORMANCE UNDER PRESSURE: Colorado's 67-62 loss to Oregon snapped a seven-game winning streak in games decided by five points or less. The Buffaloes are 4-1 with that narrow margin this season. Five of those seven wins have come away from Boulder. The Buffaloes are 8-3 under Linda Lappe in games decided by five points or less.

...AND IN EVEN TIGHTER CIRCLES: Three of Colorado's five Pac-12 wins have been by one or two points, including back-to-back wins over Arizona (56-54) and USC (69-67). Colorado hadn't been involved in back-to-back one or two point games since the final two contests of the 2004-05 season when the Buffaloes beat Nebraska in the home finale, 78-76, and then fell to Iowa State, 64-62, in the first round of the Big 12 Championship, which was also Ceal Barry's last game as head coach. Colorado hadn't won back-to-back games with that little margin since the 1983-84 campaign, squeaking out road wins at Northern Arizona, 62-60, and at Wyoming, 57-56.

ROAD WARRIORS: Colorado has won seven of its last 11 road games and also seven of its last 11 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 five of its last nine conference road games after only winning four of the previous 30 dating back to the 2007-08 Big 12 season. CU has three conference road wins this season, its most since the 2003-04 NCAA Tournament squad won five league games away from Boulder.

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 for California and Stanford after nearly a month away from home, spanning five games, 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).

REBOUNDING WOWS: Colorado has been even or outrebounded its opponent in 18 of 24 games, including 11 in a row prior to the Washington game. CU's margin of plus-5.6 on the season, ranks third in the Pac-12. 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 five 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 had nine such outputs during the 1993-94 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 11th 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.

STEALING THE SHOW: Chucky Jeffery has been frustrating offenses her entire career, but one of the top defensive players in the Pac-12 is on a tear as of late.

Jeffery ranks third overall in the Pac-12 at 2.5 steals per game, but her production has risen to 3.4 over the last eight games (27). She has six or more steals three times this season, two of which have come in the last five contests (UCLA, Oregon). Jeffery leads the Pac-12 in steals at 3.0 during league only games. She has 32 career games with three or more steals, including 11 this season.

As a team, Colorado recorded 16 steals against Northern Arizona in the season opener, its most in a single game since swiping 18 against Texas Southern on Dec. 14, 2007. It's just the third time since the 2003-04 season that the Buffaloes have had 16 or more steals in one contest (16 vs. Pacific on Dec. 8, 2005).

Seven different Buffaloes registered steals against Northern Arizona, led by sophomore Brittany Wilson who had a career high with five. Freshmen Jasmine Sborov and Jen Reese each had three in their collegiate debuts.

Picking it up in Pac-12 play, Colorado followed up a 12-steal performance at Oregon with 15 against Arizona. The 27 steals are the most for the Buffaloes over a two game span since the 2007-08 team had 28 over a pair of battles (18-Texas Southern, 10-Dartmouth).

MALCOLM-PECK CLIMBING IN 3-POINTERS, BLOCKS: Junior Meagan Malcolm-Peck drilled her 75th career 3-pointer in the Oregon State game to move into sole possession of 12th place on CU's all-time list. She is also 12th in blocked shots with 64.

JEFFERY MOVING UP CAREER LADDERS: In addition to joining the 1,000 point club, junior guard Chucky Jeffery ranks among Colorado's all-time leaders in several categories. She is 9th in steals (195), 12th in assists (322), 16th in blocks (56) and 17th in rebounds (555). During the win over Arizona she had five assists and in the process passed her head coach, Linda Lappe, who had 318 for the Buffaloes from 1998-03.

HOME AT COORS: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 364-124 all-time record at the Coors Events Center (.746). The Buffaloes have won 10 or more games in a season at the CEC in 22 of the previous 33 years. The Buffaloes have enjoyed five undefeated seasons (1980-83, 1992-94) at the CEC.

BUFFS ON TV: Colorado's regular season schedule features nine regionally or nationally televised games. 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), Stanford (Jan. 14). at Arizona (Jan. 22) and UCLA (Jan. 29). Also scheduled for ROOT Sports are 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 were part of the Pac-12's FSN national package. CU has appeared on 91 regional or national telecasts over the last 10 seasons.