Buffs Set To Open WNIT Play Against UNC Wednesday
THE GAME: The University of Colorado opens Postseason WNIT play by hosting the University of Northern Colorado on Wednesday, March 14, at 7 p.m. at the Coors Events Center.
BROADCAST: Wednesday's WNIT game will be broadcast live on KKZN AM 760. Mike Rice will give the play by play with USA Basketball's Carol Callan with the color commentary. Live internet audio of all CU basketball games is available on BuffsRadio, a free subscription service through CUBuffs.com. Live internet video streaming of Wednesday's game is available for free on BuffsTV.
POSTSEASON FACTS: Colorado is in postseason play for the 20th time in team history with an overall record of 29-19. The Buffs played in four AIAW Tournaments from 1979-82 (5-4) and have made 12 NCAA Tournament Appearances (17-12).
- Colorado makes back-to-back postseason appearances for the first time since advancing to four straight NCAA Tournaments from 2001 to '04.
- This is Colorado's fourth trip to the postseason WNIT, and first back-to-back appearance, with an overall record of 7-3. The Buffaloes also participated in the 1999 event (1-1), reached the 2008 semifinals (3-1) and 2011 quarterfinals (3-1).
- CU is 20-6 all-time at home in postseason (12-3 NCAA, 6-3 WNIT, 2-0 AIAW) and has won eight of its last 10.
- Colorado is 2-0 in WNIT first round games (CU had a first round bye in 2008); CU has won its first WNIT game in all three previous appearances.
- Colorado head coach Linda Lappe will make her fourth appearance in the WNIT as a coach, and second as a head coach. She was on the Drake staff that went to WNIT's in 2004 and '06.
- Lappe was a true freshman on CU's 1999 WNIT team
- CU assistant coach Jennie Baranczyk was an assistant on the Marquette team that defeated Colorado in the 2008 WNIT semifinals, eventually winning the tournament title.
CU IN THE WNIT
First Round: at Colorado 70, BYU 53
Second Round: Drake 82, at Colorado 66
First Round: BYE
Second Round: at Colorado 82, Gonzaga 68
Third Round: at Colorado 64, Villanova 58
Quarterfinals: at Colorado 96, TCU 90 (OT)
Semifinals: Marquette 86, at Colorado 72
First Round: at Colorado 71, UC Riverside 62
Second Round: at Colorado 81, California 65
Third Round: Colorado 70, at Wyoming 58
Quarterfinals: USC 87, Colorado 70
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 18-13 overall and finished its first season in the Pac-12 Conference in 10th place at 6-12. Colorado was 1-1 at the 2012 Pacific-Life Pac-12 Tournament, picking up its first conference tournament win since 2007. The No. 10 seeded Buffaloes pulled off a 55-41 win over No. 7 Utah on March 7 before falling to tournament finalist, and No. 2 seed, California, 68-59 on March. 8 in the quarterfinals. Colorado snapped a five-game losing streak by defeating Oregon State 67-57 in the regular season finale on March 3. The Buffaloes are 6-13 since beginning the season at 12-0. Despite the ups and downs, CU has its most regular season wins and has locked up back-to-back winning campaigns for the first time since 2003-04.
Colorado has shown balance with five players averaging between seven and 15 points per game. Overall the Buffaloes are averaging 61 points per game and shooting 40 percent from the field. The Buffaloes rank third in the Pac-12 in rebounding defense (35.0) and rebounding margin (+4.9) and fourth in scoring defense (58.7 ppg). Colorado is on pace for the second-best field-goal percentage defense (.372), fifth-best scoring defense, sixth-best rebounding margin and eighth-best rebounding average (39.9 rpg) in team history.
Junior guard Chucky Jeffery leads the Buffaloes at 15.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. She is prominent on the Pac-12 leader board, ranking fourth in steals (2.4 spg), sixth in assists, seventh in scoring and defensive rebounds (5.8 drpg), eighth in overall rebounding, 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio (0.8), 12th free-throw percentage (.698) and 13th in field-goal percentage (.443).
Jeffery has scored in double-figures in 27 of Colorado's 31 games and has reached the 20-point mark on seven occasions. She has a team-best seven double-doubles on the season, tied for ninth in the Pac-12, including a 20-point, 14-rebound performance in the first round conference tournament win over Utah. She has led or shared the team lead in scoring in 19 contests this season. Jeffery 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 in field goal accuracy at 49.2 percent while also ranking 15th in the Pac-12 in offensive rebounds (2.1 orpg). She had a memorable senior night, recording her fourth career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds against Oregon State. Seabrook, who ranked seventh in the Pac-12 in field-goal percentage during conference games (.474) has shot 50 percent or better in 19 of 31 games, 10 of 18 in league play. She made 81 percent from the line (25-of-31) during conference play.
Sophomore guard Brittany Wilson is second on the team in assists (58), steals (40) and 3-point field goals (38) and third in scoring at 8.1 points per contest. She was Colorado's leading scorer at the Pac-12 Tournament averaging 19.5 points on 50 percent shooting (12-of-24). Brittany's twin sister Ashley Wilson is hitting 46 percent from the floor while averaging 3.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.
Freshman guard Lexy Kresl averages 9.1 points per game and leads the Buffaloes in both 3-point field goals (56) and free-throw accuracy at 88.9 percent. Kresl scored a career-high 20 points in the win over Oregon State, including a personal best and team season high six 3-point field goals. On the Pac-12 charts she ranks fifth in 3-pointers made (1.8 3mpg), 15th in 3-point percentage (.322) and 27th in scoring.
Junior forward Meagan Malcolm-Peck is averaging 4.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. She is second on the team in offensive rebounds (56), third in assists (38) and fourth in 3-point field goals (18). She has scored 29 points in the last five games after scoring only 10 in the previous six combined. Sophomore Rachel Hargis, who averages 3.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per contest, is second on the team in blocked shots with 24 and her 0.8 per game average during conference only contests ranks 14th in the Pac-12.
Freshman guard Jasmine Sborov has seen extended minutes the second half of the season and has started the last five games. Since the Stanford game in Boulder, she is averaging 3.8 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting a team-best 44 percent from the field during that span (20-of-45). 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.
ALL PAC-12: Junior guard Chucky Jeffery made it 2-for-2 in All-Pac-12 Conference honors as she was named to both the coach's and media teams. In addition, Jeffery was named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive team voted on by league coaches, while CU's freshman duo of Lexy Kresl and Jen Reese received honorable mention to the All-Freshman squad.
Jeffery becomes Colorado's first All-Pac-12 women's basketball player capping off the Buffaloes first year in their new conference. She is the 13th different CU women's basketball player to be recognized on a league's all-conference first team (Intermountain, Big Eight and Big 12) and it's the program's 19th such mention overall. CU had five first-team All-Big 12 Conference awards in 15 seasons.
Jeffery's defensive team honor is the first for the program in any conference. Her steals per game average rose to 2.7 during conference only games, ranking third in the Pac-12. She had eight games with four or more steals and topped six steals on three occasions. Jeffery's 73 steals this season rank 13th on CU's single-season list.
Kresl and Reese have played pivotal roles in Colorado's success this season. Kresl, who was named to the media's Pac-12 All-Freshman team, is second in 3-point field goals (56) and fifth in scoring among freshmen. Reese averaged 7.8 points and 6.0 rebounds in 25 games before a season-ending eye injury. She leads all freshmen in rebounding average had the second-best rookie field-goal percentage in the Pac-12 (.449), a mark that also ranks 12th overall on the league charts.
ABOUT THE BEARS: Northern Colorado is 20-11 overall and finished second in the Big Sky Conference at 11-5. The Bears were the runner up in the Big Sky Tournament and earned the league's automatic WNIT bid. UNC averages 59.7 points per game while holding its opponent to 56.9 points an outing. The Bears led the Big Sky in field-goal shooting (.415) and rebounding defense (34.6 rpg) while ranking second in field-goal percentage defense (.356) and rebounding margin (+3.6).
Sophomore guard D'shara Strange, a first-team All-Big Sky performer as well as the league's Defensive Player of the Year, leads UNC and ranks sixth in the Big Sky in scoring at 13.8 points per game. She also tops the Bears and ranks third on the league charts in both rebounds (9.0 rpg) and steals (2.5 spg). Junior forward Lauren Oosdyke leads the Bears and ranks second in the Big Sky in shooting at 47.9 percent. She is second on the team in scoring and rebounding at 12.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per outing. Senior wing Kaisha Brown is averaging 10.8 points per game and has a team best 63 3-point field goals.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 16th meeting between Colorado and Northern Colorado with the Buffaloes holding a 9-6 edge. The teams have met just three times since the 1986-87 season, and this will be the first battle since a 69-60 Colorado win on Nov. 28, 2007 in Boulder. The Buffaloes have won the last six against the Bears. UNC's last win in the series came in Greeley, 59-53, on Jan. 27, 1978. The teams met twice a season from 1975-79 as members of the AIAW Intermountain Conference.
Colorado head coach Linda Lappe has never faced Northern Colorado as a head coach. Jamie White is 0-2 against Colorado as a head coach.
CONNECTIONS: Northern Colorado assistant coach Dina Piterniece played for Colorado from 2007-09. She was part of Colorado's 2008 WNIT semifinalist team, scoring three points in the second round win over Gonzaga.
LEXY FROM '3': Freshman guard Lexy Kresl scored a career high 20 points against Oregon State on a career best 6-of-7 from beyond the arc. Her 56 3-pointers this season are the third-most by a CU freshman and most since Brittany Spears had 57 in 2007-08 (Shelley Sheetz also had 57 in 1991-92). Kresl is already 16th in career 3-point field goals and her total also ties for 17th on CU's single-season list.
Kresl's 85.7% from beyond the arc against the Beavers is good for the best single-game 3-point field goal percentage in the Pac-12 this season. Prior to the OSU outing, Kresl had made 6-of-21 from 3-point range over the previous four games.
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 was the third highest for a Pac-12 league game this season, trailing only the California-Stanford rivalry games which drew 6,075 at Stanford and a conference season-best 7,864 in Berkeley on March 4. Overall the UCLA-Colorado attendance figure was the fourth 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 2,839 for 16 home dates this season and 3,346 in nine Pac-12 home games, both figures trailing only Stanford (4,250 overall, 4,345 league) in the Pac-12 and ranking 39th in the nation (prior to the Oregon game). CU is on pace for its best home attendance average since the 2003-04 team drew 3,092 over 16 home games.
MALCOLM-PECK CLIMBING IN 3-POINTERS, BLOCKS: Junior Meagan Malcolm-Peck drilled her 78th career 3-pointer in the Oregon game, ranking 12th on CU's all-time list. She is also 12th in blocked shots with 64.
JEFFERY MOVING UP CAREER LADDERS: Junior guard Chucky Jeffery ranks among Colorado's all-time leaders in several categories. She is ninth in steals (207), 11th in assists (341), 13th in rebounds (620), 16th in blocks (56), 17th in field-goals made (429), 18th in scoring (1,155) and 20th in 3-point field goals made (49).
HOME AT COORS: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 365-126 all-time record at the Coors Events Center (.743). The Buffaloes have won 10 or more games in a season at the CEC in 23 of the previous 34 years. The Buffaloes have enjoyed five undefeated seasons (1980-83, 1992-94) at the CEC.