No. 20/25 Buffs Open Pac-12 With No. 4/3 Stanford
THE GAME: No. 20 (AP)/25 (USAT) ranked University of Colorado opens the 2013 Pac-12 Conference season by hosting defending league champion and No. 4 (AP)/3 (USAT) ranked Stanford University on Friday, Jan. 4, at 8 p.m. at the Coors Events Center.
BROADCAST: Friday will mark the Pac-12 Network debut for the Buffaloes, their first of nine regular season games scheduled for the network. Anne Marie Anderson will handle play-by-play duties with Rosalyn Gold-Owunde providing the color commentary. Friday'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.
OPENING TIP: Of Colorado's 14 all-time wins over top 10 teams, three, and the most, have come against Stanford (1993, 2002 NCAA Tournaments, 1990-91 preseason).
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 11-0 for the fourth time in team history and the second-straight year after finishing the nonconference regular season with an 84-39 win over New Mexico on Dec. 29. The win clinched the Buffaloes' second consecutive perfect nonconference season, and third in school history (1992-93). Colorado is one of only three remaining unbeaten teams in NCAA Division I joining No. 1 UConn and No. 3/4 Duke. Colorado will continue a string of 24 nonconference regular season wins into next season. The Buffaloes are 31-4 in the nonconference season under head coach Linda Lappe.
Colorado's offense has played well, averaging 74.3 points per game, ranking second in the Pac-12. The Buffaloes have improved that number to 79.5 points over the last four games, hitting the 80-point barrier in three of those four contests. CU is shooting 45 percent from the field, and 48 percent inside the 3-point arc. Colorado has shared the ball well averaging 15.3 assists per game, and it has come from a multitude of players. Seven Buffaloes are already in double-figures for assists through 11 games. Colorado also has held a sizeable advantage in rebounds (+14.4 rpg), and ranked sixth in NCAA Division I through games of Dec. 30.
Defensively, the Buffaloes are holding teams to 54.6 points per game on 34.2 percent from the field. Colorado ranks in the top five of the Pac-12 in 17 of 21 statistical categories, including second in scoring, rebounding defense (30.7 rpg), assists and turnover margin (+3.2).
Redshirt freshman forward Arielle Roberson leads Colorado and ranks seventh in the Pac-12 in scoring at 15.7 points per game. A three-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, Roberson also ranks second on the team in rebounding (6.1 rpg) and field-goal percentage (.521). She scored 18 points in the win over New Mexico, giving her a school record 11th consecutive game scoring in double-figures to begin her CU career. Along with her scoring success, Roberson ranks ninth in field-goal percentage, 11th in offensive rebounds (3.0 orpg), and 19th in overall rebounds on the Pac-12 leaderboard.
All-Pac-12 guard Chucky Jeffery leads the team in assists (4.7 apg), rebounds (8.2 rpg) and steals (2.6 spg), while ranking second in scoring (12.3 ppg). She has dished out 15 assists over the last two games (7.5 apg), recording a team-season high eight against New Mexico. Jeffery leads the Pac-12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7), and ranks fourth in assists, sixth in steals, seventh in overall rebounding, eighth in defensive rebounds (5.7 drpg) and free-throw percentage (.815), 14th in offensive rebounds (2.5 orpg) and 17th in scoring.
Junior guard Brittany Wilson has started all 11 games and ranks second on the team in steals (1.8 spg) and assists (2.6 apg) while coming in at fourth in scoring at 9.5 points per contest. She has upped her scoring to 12 points over the last five games, including a season-high 19 points at Denver. Over that same span she has shot 48 percent from the floor (21-of-44), including 10-of-24 from 3-point range (.417). Wilson ranks 10th in 3-point field-goals made (1.4 3mpg) and percentage (.357) and 15th in assists and steals 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 (10.5 ppg) and rebounding (5.9 rpg) while hitting 50.5 percent from the field and 76.9 percent from the free-throw line. She set a career-high with 16 points in the win over Utah Valley. Reese has scored in double-figures in seven of the last eight contests, averaging 11.8 points during that span. On the Pac-12 charts Reese is 12th in field-goal percentage and 25th in scoring.
Junior center Rachel Hargis joins Wilson as the only Buffs to start all 10 games. A career 33 percent shooter entering the season, Hargis has made the most of her opportunity hitting 52 percent (28-of-54) through 11 games. Hargis netted season-best totals with nine points and seven rebounds against Utah Valley. She also has 14 assists on the year, after registering just 17 in 35 games as a sophomore, and a team-best 14 blocked shots, ranking 11th in the Pac-12 (1.2 bpg). Hargis had a career- and team-season high seven blocked shots against Louisville, just one off the school single-game record.
Sophomore guard Lexy Kresl tied a career-high with 20 points in the win over New Mexico. She hit a perfect 5-of-5 from the 3-point arc which tied a school record for 3's made without a miss, matching Jenny Roulier who also hit 5-of-5 against Missouri on Feb. 13, 2002. She made her only attempt in the Utah Valley game, giving her a 6-of-6 streak over the last two games. Prior to Utah Valley she had made just 9-of-42 on the season (.214).
Colorado has seven players averaging between four and 12 points per game. Five different Buffaloes have led the team in scoring through the first 11 games.
ABOUT THE CARDINAL: Stanford is 11-1 overall and ranked No. 4 (AP) and 3 (USAT) in the latest top 25 polls. The Cardinal had a six-week run as the nation's top ranked team come to an end after dropping a 61-35 decision to Connecticut at home on Dec. 29. Stanford leads the Pac-12 and ranks ninth in the country in field-goal accuracy at 48.1 percent. Stanford averages 72.3 points per game and leads the Pac-12 in scoring defense at 52.5 points per outing.
Junior All-America candidate Chiney Ogwumike leads the Pac-12 in scoring at 21.5 points per game and ranks second in rebounding at 12.8 boards per contest. She has a league-leading 10 double-doubles and also shoots 57.7 percent from the field. Senior forward Joslyn Tinkle is averaging 13 points per game and shooting 52.3 percent from the floor. Junior forward Mikaela Ruef tops the Cardinal in rebounding at 6.7 per game. Sophomore guard Amber Orrange paces Stanford at 4.9 assists per game while scoring 10 points per contest.
Hall of Fame head coach Tara VanDerveer is in her 27th year at Stanford with a record of 720-150. She is 872-201 overall in her 34th season as a collegiate head coach.
THE SERIES: This will be 12th meeting between Colorado and Stanford with the Cardinal holding a 7-4 edge. The Cardinal took the first two Pac-12 Conference meetings last season, an 80-54 win in Boulder on Jan. 14, and a 68-46 win at Stanford on Feb. 23. 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.
Linda Lappe is 0-2 against Stanford as a head coach. Tara VanDeveer is 7-4 against Colorado as a head coach.
NATIONALLY RANKED: Colorado debuted at No. 25 in the USA Today Sports Top 25 women's basketball coaches poll released on Tuesday.
Colorado is ranked in the coaches' poll for the first time since coming in at No. 24 in the final poll of the 2003-04 season (April 2004). That was also the last time the Buffaloes were ranked in both major women's basketball polls, finishing 17th in the final Associated Press poll that year.
Colorado moved up three spots to No. 20 in the latest AP poll released Monday.
The Buffaloes had received votes in the previous two coaches polls, finally cracking the top 25 Tuesday with 60 votes. This week's ranking marks the 152nd time Colorado has appeared in the coaches' poll dating back to the 1988-89 campaign.
In the AP poll, Colorado received 224 votes - up from 156 last week - to make its third-straight appearance and highest ranking since that No. 17 showing in the final AP poll of the 2003-04 season (March 15, 2004).
The Buffaloes have a long history of rankings in the AP poll, dating back to the 1980-81 season. This week's ranking marks the 161st time Colorado has appeared in the AP poll, trailing only Stanford, USC and UCLA among Pac-12 Conference schools. The current three-week run in the poll is the Buffaloes longest since a four-week stretch from Dec. 24, 2007-Jan. 14, 2008.
LAPPE AND COLORADO IN THE POLLS: Head coach Linda Lappe joined some elite company when the Buffaloes received their first AP ranking in five years. She is only one of eight NCAA Division I women's head coaches to have played for an AP ranked team, and then return to lead that same program into the AP poll. Overall she is the 31st person to play for and coach an AP ranked program.
The Buffaloes were ranked for 29 weeks during Lappe's playing career (1998-03) including 27 straight from Jan. 22, 2001 through the end of her junior year (March 11, 2002). CU's highest AP ranking during that span was No. 10, on March 4, 2002.
JEFFERY'S HEADLINER WEEK: Senior guard Chucky Jeffery led the Buffaloes to their first Associated Press ranking in five seasons and their first top-10 win in over 10 years, and as a result picked up some well-deserved conference and national recognition.
On Dec. 17, Jeffery was named the espnW National Player of the Week and Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week for the week of Dec 10-16. She also received national and Pac-12 Player of the Week honors from collegesportsmadness.com.
On Dec. 18, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) named Jeffery its Ann Meyers Drysdale Women's National Player of the Week.
Jeffery averaged 18 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists while shooting 46 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line in wins over Denver and No. 8 ranked Louisville.
Against Louisville she had a game-high and personal season-best 22 points along with seven rebounds, four assists and one steal as the Buffaloes claimed their first win over a top-10 opponent since defeating No. 5 Stanford in the 2002 NCAA Sweet 16. Jeffery recorded season highs from the 3-point line (2-of-5) and the foul line (8-10) as she became the 16th player in team history to reach 1,300 career points.
Jeffery had 14 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and two steals in the road win over Denver on Dec. 11. She notched her second double-double of the season, and 22nd of her career, tying Sandy Bean (1978-82) for fifth on CU's all-time list.
Jeffery's Pac-12 Player of the Week honor is her second, as she received the same award on Dec. 5, 2011.
FAST OUT OF THE GATE: Colorado is 11-0 for the second straight year; its fourth start of 11-0. 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 ranked sixth in NCAA Division I in rebounding margin at +14.3 through games of Dec. 30, 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 seven games. Over the last five games, Colorado has held a +19 rebounding margin.
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 40 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the field. In first half action during that same stretch Colorado is averaging 34 points on 43 percent shooting. The Buffaloes are outscoring their opponent by 10 points per game in the second 20 minutes.
Colorado has scored at least 34 points in all 11 second periods this season and have hit 40 five times with a high of 46 at UMKC. The Buffaloes have scored 30 or more second half points in their last 16 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 11 games of her career setting a new school record. She passed Tracy Tripp's previous mark of 10, set during the 1985-86 season.
BENCH PRODUCTION: Colorado is getting good production from its bench to the tune of 25.2 points (34 percent) and 21.7 rebounds (48 percent) per game. Sophomore forward Jen Reese has headed the bench effort averaging 10.5 points and 5.9 rebounds, ranking third overall on the team in both categories.
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 the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award three times this season. 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.
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 continue an inside-outside 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 86 and ranks 11th on CU's all-time list. Junior Brittany Wilson is right behind Malcolm-Peck in 12th with 85. Lexy Kresl, who set CU's single-season freshman record in 2011-12 at 63 is 14th with 78. Senior Chucky Jeffery rounds out the current Buffs at 17th with 56.
JEFFERY MOVING UP CAREER LADDERS: Junior guard Chucky Jeffery is within 10 assists and seven steals of moving into the career top five in both categories. She is currently sixth in assists at 405 needing 10 to catch Laurie Welch (1978-82) for fifth. Jeffery is tied for sixth with Annan Wilson (1989-93) in career steals at 242 needing seven to catch Amy Mathern (1989-93).
On CU's career charts Jeffery also ranks seventh in rebounds (749), 14th in scoring (1,340) and free-throws made (276), 15th in field-goals made (504), 16th and blocks (60) and 17th in 3-point field goals (56).
In other miscellaneous categories Jeffery is also tied with Sandy Bean (1978-82) for fifth in double-doubles (22), is seventh in double-figure rebounding games (24) and 13th in double-figure scoring games (73).
AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Colorado picked up its 14th all-time win over a top-10 ranked opponent with its 70-66 win over No. 8 Louisville on Dec. 14. The win marked the Buffaloes' first over a top-10 opponent since defeating No. 5 Stanford in the 2002 NCAA Sweet 16. It was the first top-10 win as an unranked team since knocking off No. 7 Texas Tech 63-49 on Jan. 11, 1997.
The win snapped a three-game slide against ranked teams as the Buffaloes improved to 3-5 against ranked opponents under Linda Lappe. CU improved to 62-142 all-time against ranked opponents, including a 38-45 mark at home.
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 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 375-126 all-time record at the Coors Events Center (.749). 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.