Buffs Look To Keep Pace In Pac-12, Host Wildcats
THE GAME: No. 21 (AP)/25 (USA Today Sports/Coaches) ranked University of Colorado hosts the University of Arizona on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m. at the Coors Events Center.
BROADCAST: Sunday'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. The live stream is free to the public and not tied to a Pac-12 Network carrier.
OPENING TIP: Colorado leads the Pac-12 in scoring defense during conference games at 50.6 points a game.
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 14-2 overall, its best start since the 2003-04 NCAA Tournament team began its season 18-2. The Buffaloes are 3-2 in Pac-12 play, and have won three straight, their best string in conference play since the end of the 2011 Big 12 Conference season. Colorado claimed a 57-43 win over Arizona State on Friday, holding the Sun Devils to a CU opponent season-low 23.6 percent shooting.
Colorado averages just under 68 points per game on 43 percent shooting from the field. The Buffaloes scored in bunches during the nonconference schedule hitting 80 points three times. Defensively, CU allows just over 53 points and has held opponents to 34 percent shooting for the year.
The Buffaloes continue to rank among the best rebounding teams in the nation. CU's +10.9 rebounding margin is second in the Pac-12 and the Buffaloes ranked 11th in NCAA Division I through games of Jan. 17. On the Pac-12 team leaderboard, the Buffaloes rank in the top five in 17 of 21 statistical categories, including second in scoring defense and tied for first in rebounding defense.
Redshirt freshman forward Arielle Roberson leads Colorado in total points (219), averaging 13.7 per game. A three-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, Roberson also ranks second on the team in rebounding (5.8 rpg) and field-goal percentage (.470). She had a career-best 11 rebounds in the win over Arizona State, including a personal-high six on the offensive end. Roberson ranks 10th in offensive rebounds (2.9 orpg), 12th in scoring and 14th in field-goal percentage on the Pac-12 leaderboard.
All-Pac-12 guard Chucky Jeffery leads the team in assists (4.1 apg), rebounds (8.6 rpg) and steals (2.4 spg) and is in a virtual tie with Roberson for the lead in scoring average wise (13.7 ppg). She recorded her fourth double-double of the season, and 24th of her career, with 19 points and a team season-high 16 rebounds against Arizona State. Jeffery ranks second in the Pac-12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4), and is also fifth in assists, overall rebounding and defensive rebounds (6.5), eighth in steals, 10th in free-throw percentage (.727) and 13th in scoring.
Junior guard Brittany Wilson ranks second on the team in steals (1.5 spg) and assists (2.4 apg) while coming in at fourth in scoring at 8.0 points per contest. She dished out five assists in the Arizona State game, tying her season-high. Wilson is also second on the team in 3-pointers made (17) and has hit 78 percent from the free-throw line. Wilson ranks 12th in 3-point percentage (.333) and 14th in 3-pointers made (1.1 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 (9.0 ppg) and rebounding (5.3 rpg) while hitting 46.8 percent from the field. Reese has scored in double-figures in eight of the last 13 contests including a game-high 11 in the road win at Utah.
Junior center Rachel Hargis is the only Buffalo to start all 16 games. A career 33 percent shooter entering the season, Hargis has made the most of her opportunity hitting 51 percent this season. She leads CU in blocked shots with 20, knocking away four in the last two games alone. Hargis also has 16 assists on the year, after registering just 17 in 35 games as a sophomore. Hargis had a career- and team-season high seven blocked shots against Louisville, just one off the school single-game record. She ranks 14th in the Pac-12 in blocks at 1.3 per outing.
Colorado's balance has served them well through the first half of the season. Aside from Roberson and Jeffery averaging in double figures, six others average between four and nine points per game. In the road game at Utah, nine different Buffaloes scored at least three points and had two or more rebounds.
ABOUT THE WILDCATS: Arizona is 11-5 overall and tied with Colorado and Washington for fifth in the Pac-12 at 3-2 after a 62-58 win Friday night at Utah. The Wildcats average 67.2 points per game, and have shown the ability to score in bunches. Arizona has hit 80 points four times this season, including a league season best with its 100-68 home win over Oregon on Jan. 13. The Wildcats lead the Pac-12 in free-throw percentage (.736) and rank second in steals (11.2 spg) and 3-pointers made (6.1 3mpg).
Senior guard Davellyn Whyte leads Arizona and ranks fourth in the Pac-12 at 16.7 points and second in assists with 5.1 per outing. Junior guard Kama Griffitts is second on the team in scoring at 11.5 points, and has 34 3-pointers to her credit, but has missed the last three games. Junior forward Alli Gloyd averages 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest. Junior forward Erica Barnes tops the Wildcats in rebounding at 6.3 an outing.
Niya Butts is in her fifth year has head coach at Arizona with a record of 73-70.
THE SERIES: This will be the 12th meeting between Colorado and Arizona with the Buffaloes holding an 8-3 series lead. The Buffaloes swept the initial Pac-12 season series from the Wildcats in 2011-12, winning 56-54 in Tucson and 69-59 in Boulder. Overall CU has won the last five in the series dating back to 1989. The Buffaloes are 5-1 all-time against Arizona in Boulder, the lone loss coming in 1975, CU's first season.
Linda Lappe is 2-0 against Arizona as a head coach. Niya Butts is 0-2 against Colorado as a head coach.
MORE ON THE DEFENSE: Colorado leads the Pac-12 in scoring defense through five conference games at 50.6 points per outing. CU has held its last two (Utah & Arizona State) to 43 points each, the first time the Buffaloes have held consecutive opponents under 45 in conference play since 1996-97, the Buffs' Big 12 Tournament Championship year. CU won at Texas A&M 69-40 on Feb. 8 and defeated Oklahoma at home 61-42 on Feb. 12.
Since the second half of the home game against Utah (Jan. 8), the Buffs have held their opponents to a 26.9 field goal percentage (38-of-141), spanning a total of five halves, or 100 minutes.
Arizona State was held to 17 points on 4-of-30 from the field in the second half of Friday's game. The four field goals were one shy of a school record (3 vs. Texas State 12/1/10 and Kansas State 3/7/92). The 13.3 percent allowed was just a fraction off the all-time opponent low for a half, 13.0 (3-of-23) vs. Kansas State on 3/7/92).
Colorado has allowed just four teams in the 60's all season and has held seven straight opponents under the 60-point mark. That run ties for the second best in team history and is just one off the longest.
NATIONALLY RANKED: After a one week hiatus, Colorado rejoined the USA Today Sports Women's Basketball Coaches poll at No. 25 released on Tuesday.
Colorado, 14-2 overall and 3-2 in the Pac-12 Conference, received 67 votes, up from 28 last week when the Buffaloes were the second team listed in the "receiving votes" category. Colorado made its first appearance of the season in the coaches' poll on Jan. 1, also at No. 25.
On Monday the Buffaloes moved up two spots to No. 21 in the Associated Press Women's Basketball Top 25 poll. The Buffaloes have resided in the AP poll for the last five weeks, reaching as high as No. 20 on Dec. 31. CU's five week run in the AP poll is its longest since appearing in all 19 polls of the 2003-04 season. In the AP poll, the Buffaloes received 232 votes, their highest vote total of the season.
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 163rd time Colorado has appeared in the AP poll, trailing only Stanford, USC and UCLA among Pac-12 schools. This week's ranking marks the 153rd time Colorado has appeared in the coaches' poll dating back to the 1988-89 campaign.
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 finished the nonconference regular season at 11-0, the Buffs' second consecutive perfect nonconference season, and third in school history (1992-93). 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.
In terms of overall winning streaks, CU's 11-game run tied for the eighth best in team history.
MORE ON THE BOARDS: Colorado ranked 11th in NCAA Division I in rebounding margin at +10.5 through games of Jan. 17, and upped that to +10.9 on Friday. The Buffaloes have either tied or led the rebounding battle in 14 of 16 games this season, coming up on the short end for the first time in the Stanford loss. The Buffaloes have enjoyed double-digit margins in nine 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).
SUCCESS ON THE ROAD: Colorado is 4-0 away from Boulder this season and is 13-7 in its last 20 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 71.5 points on 45 percent shooting in those four road contests. CU has also held its opponent to 55.8 points per game and enjoys a +12.8 rebound margin.
Colorado held Utah to 43 points in Salt Lake City on Jan. 13, its fewest allowed in a true road game since a 45-42 win at Pacific on Dec. 18, 2004
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 scored in double-digits in the first 13 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 22.0 points (32 percent) and 19.6 rebounds (46 percent) per game. Sophomore forward Jen Reese has headed the bench effort averaging 9.0 points and 5.3 rebounds, ranking third 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 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 and junior Brittany Wilson top the Buffaloes' effort with 87 each, tying for 11th on CU's all-time list. Lexy Kresl, who set CU's single-season freshman record in 2011-12 at 63 is 14th with 81. Senior Chucky Jeffery rounds out the current Buffs at 17th with 59.
JEFFERY MOVING UP CAREER LADDERS: Senior guard Chucky Jeffery became the 11th CU player to reach 1,400 points in the road win at Utah. She is just the seventh player to reach 1,400 points and 700 rebounds and joins Bridget Turner (1985-89) as the only players in team history with 1,400 points, 700 rebounds and 400 assists.
She had two steals against Arizona State to break her tie with Sandy Bean (1978-82) for fourth in all-time steals (252). Jeffery is currently fifth in career assists, needing 23 to catch Tracy Tripp (1985-89) for the fourth spot.
On CU's career charts Jeffery also ranks sixth in rebounds (796), 13th in field-goals made (535), 14th in free-throws made (294), 16th and blocks (61) and 17th in 3-point field goals (59).
In other miscellaneous categories Jeffery is also fifth in double-doubles (24), is sixth in double-figure rebounding games (26) and 10th in double-figure scoring games (77).
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 and, at 1-2 on the season, the Buffaloes are 3-7 against ranked opponents under Linda Lappe. CU is 62-144 all-time against ranked opponents, including a 38-47 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.
HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 377-128 all-time record at the Coors Events Center (.747). The Buffaloes have won 10 or more games in a season at the CEC in 24 of 35 years. The Buffaloes have enjoyed five 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 made their Pac-12 Network on 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.