Buffs Welcome No. 8 Louisville To Boulder Friday
THE GAME: The University of Colorado will host No. 8 (AP & WBCA) ranked University of Louisville on Friday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. at the Coors Events Center.
BROADCAST: Friday's game will be broadcast live on KKZN AM 760. Mike Rice will have the play-by-play. 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. The live stream is free to the public and not tied to a Pac-12 Network carrier.
OPENING TIP: Louisville is the highest ranked nonconference opponent to visit Boulder since No. 2 LSU on Nov. 27, 2004.
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is off to an 8-0 start for the fourth time in team history, and a second straight year, after claiming an 83-63 win at Denver on Dec. 11.
The Buffaloes have been especially good in the nonconference schedule under head coach Linda Lappe. Colorado has won its last 21 nonconference regular season contests and 28 of 32 dating back to the 2010-11 season.
Colorado's offense has played well, averaging 73 points per game and three times hitting at least 75. The Buffaloes are shooting 44 percent from the field, and 48 percent inside the 3-point arc. Colorado has shared the ball well averaging 14.6 assists per game, and it's come from a multitude of players. Six Buffaloes are already in double-figures for assists through eight games, and seven are averaging at least one per contest. Colorado also has held a sizeable advantage in rebounds (+14.6 rpg), and ranked eighth in NCAA Division I through games of Dec. 9.
Defensively, the Buffaloes are holding teams to 56 points per game on 35 percent from the field. Colorado ranks in the top four of the Pac-12 in 12 of 21 statistical categories, including third in scoring, scoring margin (+16.4), rebounding defense (30.6) and turnover margin (+2.8).
Redshirt freshman forward Arielle Roberson leads Colorado and ranks seventh in the Pac-12 in scoring at 16.5 points per game. 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 (6), is second in field-goal percentage (.544) and rebounding at 6.1 per game. Along with her scoring success, Roberson ranks 10th in field-goal percentage and offensive rebounding (3.3 orpg) and 17th in overall rebounding on the Pac-12 leaderboard.
All-Pac-12 guard Chucky Jeffery leads the team in assists (4.0 apg), rebounds (8.3 rpg) and steals (2.7 spg), while ranking second in scoring (11.0 ppg). Jeffery recorded her second double-double of the season, and the 22nd of her career, with 14 points and 11 rebounds in the win at Denver. She had a team season-high 12 rebounds in the win over Colorado State and is averaging 10.3 rebounds over the last four contests. Jeffery ranks fifth in steals and assists, sixth in defensive rebounds (6.1 drpg), seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5) and overall rebounding and 24th in scoring on the Pac-12 charts.
Junior guard Brittany Wilson has started all eight games and ranks second on the team in steals (1.9 spg) and assists (2.3 apg) while coming in at fourth in scoring at 9.5 points per contest. She has led the Buffaloes in scoring the last two games, scoring 13 against CSU and a season-high 19 at Denver. Over that two-game span she has shot 12-of-22 (.545) from the field and 6-of-11 (.545) from 3-point range. Wilson remains perfect from the free-throw line this season at 15-of-15, although she has fallen below the minimum attempts to be ranked on the league charts. She does rank 10th in 3-point percentage (.379), 12th in steals and 13th in 3-pointers made (1.4 3mpg) on the Pac-12 leaderboard.
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 (9.8 ppg) and second in rebounding (6.1 rpg) while hitting 46 percent from the field and 88 percent from the free-throw line. She matched a career-high with 15 points in the win at Illinois and is averaging 11.4 points over the last five contests. Reese scored in double-figures in four straight games prior to the Denver contest, the best stretch of her career. On the Pac-12 charts Reese is 15th in offensive rebounding (2.4 orpg), 17th in overall rebounding and 30th in scoring.
Junior center Rachel Hargis joins Wilson as the only Buffs to start all eight games. A career 33 percent shooter entering the season, Hargis has made the most of her opportunities hitting 51 percent (19-of-37) through eight games. She also has 13 assists on the year, tied for fourth on the team, after registering just 17 in 35 games as a sophomore. She has five games with multiple assists, including a pair against Colorado State, after having just four multiple assist games in each of her first two seasons.
Sophomore guard Jasmine Sborov has started the last six games including a career-best 11-point effort at Illinois. She is averaging 5.7 points and 4.1 rebounds on 57 percent shooting as a starter.
Colorado has seven players averaging between four and 11 points per game. 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 CARDINALS: Louisville is 9-1 overall and ranked No. 8 in both the Associated Press and WBCA Coaches polls. The Cardinals are averaging 74 points per game, but have been at both ends of the spectrum of offense so far this season. Louisville has hit the 90-point mark four times this year, but has played two games in the 40's including its lone loss of the season, a 48-47 squeaker against No. 7 Kentucky. Defense has been the constant, with the Cardinals giving up just 49 points a game, and only twice as their opponent reached 60.
Louisville is led by Preseason All-Big East guard, Shoni Schimmel who averages 12.1 points and 4.2 assists per game. Sophomore forward Sara Hammond tops the Cardinals in rebounding at 7.8 per contest while averaging 11.2 points on 48 percent from the field. Senior forward Monique Reid averages 9.2 points off the bench for Louisville while hitting 61 percent from the floor.
Jeff Walz is in his sixth year at Louisville with a record of 128-57. He has led the Cardinals to four NCAA Tournaments including a pair of Sweet 16's and the 2009 NCAA championship game.
THE SERIES: This will be the first meeting between Colorado and Louisville. The Buffaloes are 12-9 against the teams that currently make up the Big East. Colorado has won its last two against the Big East, including a 48-47 decision over Villanova in the third round of the 2012 Postseason WNIT.
Linda Lappe has never faced Louisville as a head coach. Jeff Walz has never faced Colorado as a head coach.
CONNECTIONS: Colorado Director of Basketball Operations Jenni Benningfield is a native of Louisville, Ky. Benningfield played at Vanderbilt and had current Louisville assistant Stephanie Norman as a coach her final two seasons with the Commodores. Louisville head coach Jeff Walz was an assistant coach at Nebraska (1997-01) during the time Colorado head coach Linda Lappe played for the Buffaloes.
AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Louisville will be the first ranked team to visit Colorado during the nonconference schedule since Virginia was ranked No. 23 (AP)/21 (WBCA) in a 74-59 decision over the Buffaloes on Jan. 2, 2010. The Cardinals will be CU's highest ranked non-league opponent since No. 2 (AP & WBCA) LSU visited the Coors Events Center on Nov. 27, 2004. Stanford was No. 4 when the Cardinal made their initial Pac-12 visit to Boulder this last January.
The Buffaloes played just two games against ranked teams in 2011-12, both against Stanford. Colorado is on track to at least triple that number this year as Pac-12 rivals California, UCLA and Stanford have solid footing in both polls.
Colorado has 13 wins against Top 10 opponents, the last coming against No. 5 Stanford in the 2002 NCAA Sweet 16. CU is 61-142 all-time against ranked opponents, including a 37-45 mark at home.
The Buffaloes have lost their last three against ranked teams, but are 2-5 under Linda Lappe.
FAST OUT OF THE GATE: Colorado is 8-0 for the second straight year; its fourth start of 8-0. 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.
MORE ON THE BOARDS: Colorado entered the week ranking eighth in NCAA Division I in rebounding margin, currently sitting at +14.6, the second best mark in the Pac-12. The Buffaloes have either tied or led the rebounding battle in each game this season and have enjoyed double-digit margins in four games.
The Buffaloes grabbed a season-high 59 rebounds in the win over Colorado State, their most since also recording 59 against Bowling Green on Nov. 23, 2001. CU had 24 offensive rebounds, nearly matching Colorado State's overall total (26). Colorado's 24 offensive rebounds were its most since it had 24 at Iowa State on Feb. 18, 1996.
Colorado's +33 advantage against the Rams tied for the ninth largest single-game margin in team history, most recently achieved against San Francisco on Nov. 30, 2011 (53-20).
Colorado had 50 rebounds against Denver, hitting the 50 mark for the second straight game for the first time since grabbing 50 against UC Irvine and 52 against Illinois-Chicago in the first two games of the 2009-10 season.
CU's 109 rebounds over a two-game span are its most since hitting the same number during the 2001 Coors Classic (59 vs. Bowling Green, 50 vs. Houston). The Buffaloes 46 offensive rebounds during that stretch are their most since grabbing 48 in back-to-back games in December 1994 (25 vs. Montana State, 23 vs. Notre Dame).
STRONG FINISHES: Colorado has benefitted from strong second half finishes, averaging nearly 40 points per game (39.6) while shooting 46 percent (114-of-249) from the field. In first half action during that same stretch Colorado is averaging 33 points on 41 percent shooting (104-of-252). The Buffaloes are outscoring their opponent by nine points per game in the second 20 minutes.
Colorado has scored at least 35 points in all eight second periods this season and have hit 40 three times with a high of 46 at UMKC. The Buffaloes have scored 30 or more second half points in their last 13 games dating back to the 2012 Pac-12 Tournament.
SUCCESS ON THE ROAD: Colorado is 3-0 away from Boulder this season and is 12-7 in its last 19 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.
The Buffaloes are averaging 76.7 points on 45 percent shooting in those three road contests. CU has also held its opponent to 60 points per game and enjoys a plus-14 rebound margin.
Colorado scored an overall season-high 83 points at Denver, the most in a true road contest since scoring 83 in a 3-point loss at Colorado State on Nov. 30, 2005. CU's 10-point halftime lead was its largest on the road since leading Colorado State 38-22 on Nov. 20, 2011
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).
Colorado's 23-point win at UMKC, was its 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 eight games of her career, now in second place in that regard. 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 26.4 points (36 percent) and 22.6 rebounds (50 percent) per game. Sophomore forward Jen Reese has headed the bench effort averaging 9.8 points and 6.1 rebounds, ranking third and second respectively on the team.
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 five Pac-12 Freshman of the Week awards given out by the conference. The Pac-12 has added Freshman of the Week to its weekly honors for the first time this season.
In her most recent award on Dec. 2, 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. 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 latest 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.
ARIELLE & ANDRE: The Roberson's are the only brother/sister tandem on the 2012-13 basketball rosters from the same school in the Pac-12 Conference. They're one of five brother/sister tandems on 2012-13 basketball rosters in Division I. The Big Ten has two tandems, followed by one each in the ACC, Mountain West and the Pac-12 Conferences. CU has another brother/sister pair on the ski team with freshmen Maria and Gustav Nordstrom from Sweden.
Colorado (Pac-12): Arielle (Fr.) and Andre Roberson (Jr.)
Air Force (Mountain West): Alicia (Sr.) and Marshall Leipprandt (Fr.)
Indiana (Big Ten): Kaila (Fr.) and Jordan Hulls (Sr.)
Ohio State (Big Ten): Caite (Fr.) and Aaron Craft (Jr.)
Virginia (ACC): Sarah Beth (So.) and Tayor Barnette (Fr.)
SEEING DOUBLE: Colorado is used to getting double takes from fans and opponents, as the Buffaloes once again sport two pairs of identical twins on its roster.
Brenna and Meagan Malcolm-Peck are senior wing players while Ashley and Brittany Wilson are junior guards. Brenna is the older of the two Malcolm-Pecks by 27 minutes. Ashley is the older of the Wilson twins, by only five minutes.
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 85 and ranks 11th on CU's all-time list. Junior Brittany Wilson is 13th all-time with 81. Lexy Kresl, who set CU's freshman record in 2011-12 is 15th with 71. 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 five points away from 1,300 and 25 points from moving into the top 15. She vaulted from 10th to a tie for seventh (Bridget Turner, 1985-89) in all-time rebounds with 725, after grabbing 11 at Denver.
On CU's career charts Jeffery also ranks sixth in assists (386), eighth in steals (235), 15th in free-throws made (267) and blocks (59), 16th in field-goals made (487) and 17th in 3-point field goals (54).
In other miscellaneous categories Jeffery is also tied with Sandy Bean (1978-82) for fifth in double-doubles (22), seventh in double-figure rebounding games (24) and 16th in double-figure scoring games (70).
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 371-126 all-time record at the Coors Events Center (.747). 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 made 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.