Buffs Begin Northern California Swing At No. 2 Stanford
THE GAME: The University of Colorado makes its last regular season Pac-12 Conference road trip and will face No. 2 (AP/WBCA) ranked Stanford University on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m. MST, at the Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif.
BROADCAST: Due to a conflict with the CU men, Thursday's game will be broadcast on AM 1190 KVCU with Mike Rice handling play by play duties. Live audio is available at CUBuffs.com through BuffsTV and the BuffsRadio free subscription.
OPENING TIP: Colorado playing at No. 2 ranked Stanford will mark just the third time the Buffaloes have ever played a No. 1 or 2 ranked team (in either poll) on its home floor. Most recently, Colorado played at No. 1 (AP & WBCA) Tennessee on Dec. 20, 1993. The No. 7 ranked Buffaloes took the Lady Vols to overtime, but fell 86-82. CU also played at No. 2 (WBCA) Louisiana Tech on Jan. 6, 1988 dropping a 66-59 decision. Louisiana Tech was ranked No. 3 in the AP poll at that time.
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 16-9 overall and resides in 10th place in the Pac-12 at 5-9. With two weekends of the regular season left, CU is just one game out of seventh place and two games separate fifth through 10th. Colorado has won four of 13 games since beginning the season 12-0. This weekend Colorado will be searching for its sixth road win of the season and eighth away from home.
Colorado has shown balance with five players averaging between eight and 15 points per game. Overall the Buffaloes are averaging 62.2 points per game and shooting 40.7 percent from the field. The Buffaloes rank third in the Pac-12 in rebounding margin (+5.7) and rebounding defense (34.6) and fourth in scoring defense (58.4 ppg).
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 (2.6 spg), fourth in assists, sixth in defensive rebounds (5.5 drpg), seventh in scoring, ninth in free-throw percentage (.716), 10th in blocked shots (1.0 bpg), 11th overall rebounding and assist-to-turnover ratio (0.8), 12th in 3-point percentage (.347) and 14th in field-goal percentage (.448).
Jeffery has scored in double-figures in 21 of Colorado's 25 games and has reached the 20-point mark on six occasions. She has led or shared the team lead in scoring in 16 contests this season. Jeffery 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 fifth in the Pac-12 in field goal accuracy at 55.1 percent while also ranking 15th in offensive rebounds (2.2 orpg). She is averaging 8.2 points and 4.9 rebounds in Pac-12 play, ranking second in the league in shooting at 53.7 percent during that span. Seabrook has shot 50 percent or better in 18 of 25 games, 10 of 14 in Pac-12 play. She 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 (52), steals (32) and 3-point field goals (31) and third in scoring at 8.9 points per contest. During Pac-12 play, she is Colorado's second leading scorer, slightly below her overall season average at 8.8 points per game. On the Pac-12 charts Wilson ranks 15th in 3-pointers made (1.3 3mpg).
Brittany's twin sister Ashley Wilson is hitting 52 percent from the floor (33-of-63) while averaging 3.3 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 9.2 points per game and leads the Buffaloes in both 3-point field goals (44) and free-throw accuracy at 88.2 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 13 of her last 38 from 3-point range. Kresl has hit at least one 3-pointer in 22 of 25 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 eight games and ranks second on the team in rebounding (6.3 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), and has four total games rebounding in double figures, including a game-high 11 against Utah. Reese has led the Buffaloes, or shared the lead, in rebounding six of the last nine games and nine total this season. On the Pac-12 charts she is 15th 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 4.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. She second on the team in offensive rebounds (47) and fourth in assists (29) and 3-point field goals (15).
Sophomore Rachel Hargis, who averages 3.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per contest, is second on the team in blocked shots at 21. Twelve of her 21 blocked shots have come during conference play ranking 14th in the Pac-12 during that span (0.9 bpg).
Freshman guard Jasmine Sborov has seen extended minutes over the last 10 games, scoring 41 of her 51 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 58.8 percent from the field over the last four games (10-of-17).
Colorado's bench has been outstanding, accounting for 33 percent of the team's scoring (20.3 ppg) and 41 percent of its rebounding (16.3 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 (Brittany Wilson has 13 starts, Kresl 12 and Ashley four), combining for 27.4 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).
ABOUT THE CARDINAL: Riding a 21-game winning streak, Stanford has climbed to No. 2 in both national polls. The Cardinal are 24-1 overall and have clinched their 12th straight conference title with a perfect 15-0 mark in Pac-12 competition. Stanford is at or near the top of the Pac-12 in most categories including leading the conference in scoring (78.3), field-goal percentage (.458) and assists (17.7 apg). The Cardinal hold the nation's longest current home court win streak at 76 games.
Senior forward and national Player of the Year candidate Nnemkadi Ogwumike is the Pac-12's leading scorer and rebounder at 21.9 points and 10.7 boards per contest. Her little sister, Chiney, is also averaging a double-double at 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds an outing. Both Ogwumike sisters and junior forward Joslyn Tinkle are among the Pac-12's top 10 field goal shooters. Chiney leads the league at just under 60 percent, Nnemkadi is sixth at 53.4 and Tinkle, who averages 8.2 points per game, is 10th at 48.7 percent. Sophomore guard Toni Kokenis paces the Cardinal in assists at 3.8 per game.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be 11th meeting between Colorado and Stanford with the Cardinal holding a 6-4 edge. Stanford took the first ever conference meeting between the schools, an 80-54 decision in Boulder on Jan. 14. The series holds historical significance for the Buffaloes. Three of the first nine meetings came in the NCAA Tournament, with the Buffaloes winning two of those contests. Both of those NCAA wins, coming in 1993 and 2002, sent Colorado to the Elite Eight. Stanford's NCAA win came in the 1994 Sweet 16.
Colorado head coach Linda Lappe is 0-1 against Stanford has a head coach. Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer is 6-4 against Colorado.
CONNECTIONS: Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer was the head coach of the U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team at the 1996 games in Atlanta. She was assisted by legendary CU coach and current Associate AD Ceal Barry. CU head coach Linda Lappe played twice against Stanford, winning both times, including the 2002 NCAA Tournament. CU played Stanford a third time during Lappe's playing career (an 83-48 Stanford win in 2000), but she did not play in that game due to injury.
AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Colorado is 61-141 all-time against ranked opponents, including a 47-121 mark for those ranked in both AP & Coaches polls. The Buffaloes have won two of their last six against ranked foes, both wins coming last season. CU's only other game this season against a ranked opponent was its loss to then No. 4/4 Stanford on Jan. 14. Unless the Buffaloes meet up with another ranked team in the postseason, the two games against ranked teams this season would match the fewest since 2005-06.
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 1,056 points, Jeffery is 23rd on CU's all-time scoring list, needing six to catch Gretchen DeWitte (1985-89) for 22nd and 41 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 2,857 for 14 home dates this season and 3,526 in seven 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.
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).
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 2.6 steals per game, but her production has risen to 3.4 over the last nine games (31). She has six or more steals three times this season including conference matches against UCLA and Oregon. Jeffery leads the Pac-12 in steals at 3.1 during league only games. She has 33 career games with three or more steals, including 12 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 (199), 12th in assists (325), 15th in rebounds (563) and 16th in blocks (56). 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.