Buffs Look To Remain Unbeaten As CSU Visits
THE GAME: The University of Colorado will host Colorado State University on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 5:50 p.m. at the Coors Events Center. This will be game one of a women's-men's doubleheader as the CU men face CSU at 8:30 p.m.
BROADCAST: Wednesday's game will be broadcast live on KKZN AM 760. Mike Rice will have the play-by-play with Carol Callan of USA Basketball providing the color commentary. A live video stream will be available on the Pac-12 Digital platform at Pac-12.com. All CU women's basketball home games, and select road Pac-12 games, that are not televised will be available through Pac-12.com at this link: http://pac-12.com/live/cubuffs.aspx
OPENING TIP: Redshirt freshman forward Arielle Roberson has won three of the four Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Week awards given this season.
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is off to a 6-0 start for the second straight year after claiming its second road win, a 69-62 decision at Illinois on Dec. 1. The Buffaloes are 6-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1992-93 (15-0) and 1993-94 (7-0). The Buffaloes have been especially good in the nonconference schedule under head coach Linda Lappe. Colorado has won its last 19 nonconference regular season contests and 26 of 30 dating back to the 2010-11 season.
Colorado's offense has played well, averaging 71 points per game and twice hitting 75. The Buffaloes are shooting 45 percent from the field, and 49 percent inside the 3-point arc. Colorado has shared the ball well averaging 14.3 assists per game, and it's come from a multitude of players. Five Buffaloes are already in double-figures for assists through six games, and seven are averaging at least one per contest. Colorado also has held a sizeable advantage in rebounds (+10.3 rpg), ranking 19th in NCAA Division I through games of Dec. 2.
Defensively, Colorado is the top steals team in the Pac-12, averaging 11.7 per contest and ranks second in the league in turnover margin at plus-3 per game. The Buffaloes also rank fourth in scoring defense (57.0 ppg), scoring margin (+14.2), field-goal percentage (.446), field-goal percentage defense (.357), rebounding offense (42.2 rpg), rebounding defense (31.8 rpg) and rebounding margin.
Redshirt freshman forward Arielle Roberson leads Colorado and ranks third in the Pac-12 in scoring at 18.5 points per game. She has hit 60.3 percent from the field, ranking 19th in NCAA Division I. A three-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, Roberson scored a career and team-season high 25 points in the win at Illinois, hitting 7-of-8 from the field and a team-season best 10 free-throws made on 14 attempts. She also leads the Buffaloes in blocked shots (5) and is second in rebounding at 6.2 per game. Along with her scoring success, Roberson ranks fifth in field-goal percentage, ninth in offensive rebounds (3.2 orpg) and 17th in overall rebounding on the Pac-12 charts.
All-Pac-12 guard Chucky Jeffery is beginning to hit her stride. She leads the team in assists (3.8 apg), rebounds (7.0 rpg) and steals (3.0 spg), while ranking second in scoring (11.8 ppg). Jeffery recorded the team's first double-double of the season - and 21st of her career - with a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Wyoming. She is coming off a very "Chucky Like" performance at Illinois, filling up the box score with seven points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals and a blocked shot. Jeffery ranks fourth in steals, sixth in defensive rebounds (6.0 drpg), seventh in assists (3.8 apg), 10th in minutes played (31.8 mpg), 12th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2), 15th in overall rebounding and 22nd in scoring on the Pac-12 charts.
Junior guard Brittany Wilson has started all six games and ranks second on the team in steals (2.2 spg) and assists (2.0 apg) while coming in at fourth in scoring at 7.3 points per contest. She paced the Buffaloes in the season-opening win over Idaho, with 18 points, including a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line. Wilson, who leads the Pac-12 in free-throw percentage with a perfect 13-for-13 mark, has made 29 of her last 35 free throws (.824) dating back to last season. Wilson also ranks 11th in the Pac-12 in steals.
Sophomore forward Jen Reese has made a successful return from an eye injury that kept her out of the final nine games of 2011-12. She is third on the team in scoring (10.0 ppg) and rebounding (6.0 rpg) while hitting 50 percent from the field and 86 percent from the free-throw line. She matched a career-high with 15 points in the win at Illinois and is averaging 13 points over the last three contests. Reese has scored in double-figures in each of her last three games, the best stretch of her career. On the Pac-12 charts Reese is sixth in free-throw percentage, 14th in field-goal percentage and 19th in rebounding.
Junior center Rachel Hargis joins Wilson as the only Buffs to start all six games. She played just 12 minutes in the win at Illinois, but hit both of her shots from the field. A career 33 percent shooter entering the season, Hargis has made the most of her opportunities hitting 56 percent (14-of-25) through six games. She also has 10 assists on the year. Hargis had at least two assists in her first four games after recording multiple assist game just four times in each of her first two seasons.
Sophomore guard Jasmine Sborov has started the last four games and is coming off a career-best 11-point effort at Illinois. She is averaging 6.5 points and 4.8 rebounds on 60 percent from the field over the last four games. Sborov ranks 13th in the Pac-12 in offensive rebounds at 2.5 per game.
Colorado has eight players averaging between three and 10 points per game. Freshman forward Jamee Swan, made a splash against UMKC. After playing limited minutes in her collegiate debut, Swan got the starting nod against the Kangaroos and responded with 14 points on 6-of-9 from the field.
The Buffaloes are enjoying their best depth in the Lappe era. Thirteen different CU players have already hit the hardwood, with 12 of them having registered points.
ABOUT THE RAMS: Colorado State is 2-4 overall and has lost its last three games. The Rams are coming off a 71-49 setback at Bowling Green, and Wednesday's game will be their third straight on the road. CSU is averaging 55 points per game on 35 percent shooting. The Rams are also averaging nearly 40 rebounds and six blocked shots per game.
Colorado State has seven players averaging at least six points per game, led by freshman guard Caitlin Duffy at 9.3 an outing. Sophomore forward Kara Spotton leads the Rams in rebounding at 6.3 per game while also averaging 8.2 points. Sophomore guard LaDeyah Forte tops CSU in assists (24) and steals (11) while scoring 7.3 points per contest.
Ryun Williams is in his first season at Colorado State and his 18th overall as a head coach at the collegiate level with a record of 314-195. Williams spent the previous four years at the University of South Dakota. Williams' final game at South Dakota was a 64-55 loss to Colorado in the second round of the 2012 Postseason WNIT.
THE SERIES: This will be the 44th meeting between Colorado and Colorado State with the Buffaloes holding a commanding 32-11 series lead. This game will tie the Wyoming series as the most played nonconference matchup for the Buffaloes in team history.
Colorado has won five of the last six and eight of the last 10 meetings, including a 72-53 triumph in Fort Collins on Nov. 20, 2011.
The Buffaloes are 21-2 all-time against Colorado State in Boulder, and have won the last five.
Linda Lappe is 2-0 against Colorado State as a head coach. Ryun Williams is 0-1 against Colorado as a head coach, that game coming while he was at South Dakota.
CONNECTIONS: CU head coach Linda Lappe was a Colorado State assistant coach for one season (2006-07) before taking on the head coaching job at Metro State.
FAST OUT OF THE GATE: Colorado is 6-0 for the second straight year, looking for its sixth start of 7-0 or better. The Buffaloes began last season 12-0, tying the second-best mark in team history. CU's best start was a 15-0 mark to begin the 1992-93 season.
STRONG FINISHES: Colorado has benefitted from strong second half finishes, especially the last four contests. The Buffaloes are averaging 39 points in the second half over the last four games while shooting nearly 50 percent (57-of-115) from the field. In first half action during that same stretch Colorado is averaging 31 points on 40 percent shooting (46-of-115).
The defensive numbers are nearly identical with the opponent shooting 36 percent in both halves. The disparity has allowed the Buffaloes to score 10.5 more points per game than the opposition in the final 20 minutes.
Colorado has scored at least 37 points in all six second periods this season and have hit 40 twice with a high of 42 at UMKC. The Buffaloes have scored 30 or more second half points in their last 11 games dating back to the 2012 Pac-12 Tournament.
SUCCESS ON THE ROAD: Colorado is 2-0 away from Boulder this season and is 11-7 in its last 18 true road contests since the tail end of the 2010-11 campaign. Prior to the start of this run, The Buffaloes had just five wins in their previous 37 road games dating back to the 2008 Big 12 Conference schedule.
Colorado's win at Illinois was its first road win against a major conference opponent in a nonconference regular season game since defeating No. 20/17 ranked Vanderbilt, 62-51, on Dec. 9, 2007. The Buffaloes trailed by six at halftime against the Illini, allowing Colorado to claim its largest halftime deficit overcome to win on the road since defeating Missouri 80-79 in overtime on Feb. 23, 2010 after trailing by seven at the break (43-36).
In Colorado's win at UMKC, its 9-point halftime lead (36-27) was its largest on the road since leading Colorado State 38-22 on Nov. 20, 2011. Colorado's 78 points were its most in a road contest since scoring 80 in that overtime win at Missouri mentioned above. It was the most in regulation since an 87-78 loss at Minnesota on Nov. 22, 2009. The 23-point margin was CU's biggest on the road since an 82-47 win at Colorado State on Dec. 1, 2007.
ROBERSON AMONG ELITE COMPANY: Freshman guard Arielle Roberson has scored in double-digits in the first six games of her career, tying teammate Lexy Kresl (2011-12) and former All-American Shelley Sheetz (1991-92) for the second best mark in team history. Tracy Tripp holds the mark of 10, set during the 1985-86 season.
BENCH PRODUCTION: Colorado is getting good production from its bench to the tune of 24.7 points (35 percent) and 21.2 rebounds (50 percent) per game. Sophomore forward Jen Reese has headed the bench effort averaging 10.0 points and 6.0 rebounds, both figures ranking third overall on the team. Colorado's shooting remains consistent with the bench hitting 41 percent. CU's bench has been outstanding from the free-throw line hitting 79 percent. Reese is 12-of-14 from the line and junior guard Ashley Wilson is 6-of-8.
Colorado scored a season-high 42 bench points in the win over UMKC. The bulk of those came from freshman forward Arielle Roberson who scored 23 points in 19 minutes on 9-of-12 from the field in her lone game off the bench this season. Her 23 bench points are tied for the second most in the past 10 years and her nine field goals are the most. Only Bianca Smith, with 25 points off the bench against San Jose State on Dec. 22, 1999, had a bigger bench game in the last 10 years.
ROBERSON DOMINATES PAC-12 HONORS: Forward Arielle Roberson has won three of the four Pac-12 Freshman of the Week awards given out by the conference, including the last two. The Pac-12 has added Freshman of the Week to its weekly honors for the first time this season.
Roberson averaged 19.5 points on 72 percent from the field (13-of-18) and 71 percent from the foul line (12-of-17) in wins over Wyoming and Illinois last week. She scored a career and team season-high 25 points, including a critical, late, 3-point basket, to lead Colorado to a 69-62 road win at Illinois as the Buffaloes claimed their 19th straight regular season nonconference victory.
She hit 7-of-8 from the field against the Illini and sank a team season-high 10 free throws on 14 attempts. Roberson also had five rebounds, three steals and an assist against Illinois. Earlier in the week, Roberson netted 14 points on 6-of-10 from the field in the home win over Wyoming.
Roberson earned the inaugural Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award on Nov. 12 after scoring 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting with six rebounds, five steals, two assists and two blocks in her collegiate debut - a 70-65 win over Idaho on Nov. 11. Her second citation came on Nov. 26 after averaging 16.5 points and 7.5 rebounds en route to Omni Hotels Classic MVP honors.
Roberson's honor is CU's fourth weekly award in the Pac-12 since the Buffaloes joined the conference in 2011. Chucky Jeffery earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors last December. Her three weekly conference awards in one season are the most since Brittany Spears won four Big 12 Conference Rookie of the Week honors in 2007-08.
BUFFS EXPERIENCED FROM DEEP: While Colorado looks to achieve balance on its 2012-13 squad, there is no questioning its experience from shooting from the perimeter. The Buffaloes have four players with at least 50 career 3-point field goals, and all four rank among CU's career Top 20. Senior Meagan Malcolm-Peck tops current Buffs with 83 and ranks 12th on CU's all-time list. Junior Brittany Wilson is 13th all-time with 75. Lexy Kresl, who set CU's freshman record in 2011-12 is 15th with 69. Senior Chucky Jeffery rounds out the current Buffs at 17th with 54.
JEFFERY MOVING UP CAREER LADDERS: Junior guard Chucky Jeffery has moved into 16th in all-time scoring at CU and is 23 points away from 1,300 and 43 points from moving into the top 15. She became the 11th player in team history to reach 700 career rebounds and currently sits in 10th at 702. Jeffery needs just 24 rebounds to jump into seventh place all-time.
On CU's career charts Jeffery also ranks sixth in assists (377), eighth in steals (231), 15th in free-throws made (263) and blocks (59), 16th in field-goals made (480) and 17th in 3-point field goals (54).
In other miscellaneous categories Jeffery is also sixth in double-doubles (21), eighth in double-figure rebounding games (22) and 16th in double-figure scoring games (67).
COLORADO BASKETBALL'S SOLID START: Colorado's men's and women's basketball teams each began the 2012-13 season at 6-0, before the men suffered their first loss of the season on Dec. 1 at Wyoming. It is the first time the men's and women's programs have both started with six or more wins since 1982-83 when both teams started 7-0.
HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 370-126 all-time record at the Coors Events Center (.746). 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 fi ve undefeated seasons (1980-83, 1992-94) at the CEC.
BUFFS ON TV: Colorado's regular season schedule will feature at least 11 regionally or nationally televised games in 2012-13. Colorado will play nine regular season games on the Pac-12 Networks, and a guaranteed one, and potentially more, during the Pac-12 Tournament, March 7-10, in Seattle.
A program-best six regular season games will be televised nationally while three more will be on one of the regional networks. CU's first Pac-12 Tournament game will also be televised nationally, as would any ensuing round through the championship game, which will air Sunday, March 10, on ESPN2.
CU will make its first television appearance on Dec. 11 at Denver on ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain. The Buffaloes make their Pac-12 Network debut on Friday, Jan. 4 against defending league champion Stanford; their first of four straight televised games on the network. Colorado will have five straight road games televised beginning with Utah on Jan. 13, through a Super Bowl Sunday matchup at USC on Feb. 3. CU's final regular season televised game will be Feb. 8 at home against Oregon State.
Entering the 2012-13 season, CU has appeared on 99 regional or national telecasts over the previous 11 seasons.