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No. 12/14 Colorado Hosts Southern Utah Sunday

Dec 27, 2013

THE GAME: No. 12 (AP)/14 (USAT) University of Colorado closes out the nonconference portion of its schedule by hosting Southern Utah University on Sunday, Dec. 29, at 2 p.m. at the Coors Events Center.

BROADCAST: Sunday's game will air live on KKZN AM 760. Mark Johnson will handle play-by-play duties and will be joined by Carol Callan of USA Basketball with the color commentary. A free live video stream will be available through Colorado's video player. All CU women's basketball home games that are not televised will be available through at this link:
Non-televised Pac-12 road games are scheduled to be available on the opponents' video player, free of charge.

OPENING TIP: Colorado has averaged 84 points on 48 percent shooting in six home wins this season.

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 9-1 overall coming off its first loss of the season, a 69-62 setback at No. 7/7 ranked Louisville on Dec. 21. The loss snapped Colorado's 33-game nonconference regular season win streak which dated back to the 2010-11 season. The Buffaloes' nine-game win streak to begin the season is the fifth best start in program history.

Colorado is averaging 77.7 points per game while hitting 45 percent from the field and 73 percent from the free-throw line. Colorado has four players averaging double-digits, six players scoring between 7.3 and 13.6 points per game and nine pitching in at least five a contest.

The Buffaloes lead the Pac-12 in scoring margin (+18.1) and rebounding margin (+10.7) while ranking second in scoring defense (59.6 ppg) and defensive rebounding (31.6 drpg) and third in scoring (77.7 ppg), free-throw percentage (.726), field-goal percentage (.452), field-goal percentage defense (.352), rebounds (44.8 rpg) and rebounding defense (34.1 rpg).

Junior forward Jen Reese is the leader among four Buffaloes averaging double-digits at 13.6 per game while hitting 54.2 percent from the floor, ranking fifth in the Pac-12. She also ranks second on the team in rebounding (6.7 rpg) and free-throw percentage (.818). Reese recorded the second double-double of her career with 14 points and a team season-best 14 rebounds at Louisville. Her 14 rebounds also matched her career high which she also achieved against UCLA in 2011. Over her last six games she is averaging 15.8 points and 7.7 rebounds an outing.

She has hit her season high of 18 points twice this season, first at New Mexico and most recently in the win over Denver. At New Mexico she was 7-of-10 from the field, tying a career-high for field goals made and recording the second-highest scoring output of her career (22 at Arizona State on Feb. 17, 2013). Against Denver she was 6-of-10 from the field and was a team season-best 6-of-6 from the foul line. Reese was named to the Omni Classic All-Tournament team after averaging 14.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and hitting 11-of-16 field goals (.688) over the two games. She also ranks ninth in the Pac-12 in free-throw percentage, 16th in rebounding and 19th in scoring.

Reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Arielle Roberson leads Colorado in rebounding at 8.3 per game while pitching in 13.4 points per contest. Roberson has three of Colorado's four double-doubles, which occurred in the three straight contests (Wyoming-Illinois-Denver). She is the first Buff with double-doubles in three straight games since Chucky Jeffery had three in a row from Feb. 3-Feb. 10, 2013 (at USC, vs. Oregon State, vs. Oregon). She had a season-high 22 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Denver. In that game she established team-season and career-highs in free throws made (13) and attempted (17).

Roberson was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week for Dec. 2-8 averaging 15 points and 11 rebounds while hitting 48 percent from the field in the wins over Wyoming and Illinois. She ranks fifth in offensive rebounds (3.5 orpg), eighth in overall rebounds, 15th in defensive boards (4.8 drpg) and 20th in scoring on the Pac-12 charts.

Junior guard Lexy Kresl has been running a solid point for the Buffaloes averaging 11.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. She led Colorado in scoring at Louisville with 17 points while grabbing eight rebounds. Kresl already has six games with at least five rebounds and is averaging 7.3 boards over the last three contests

Kresl leads the Pac-12 in free-throw accuracy at 91.2 percent (31-of-34), including a perfect 6-of-6 against Louisville, tying Reese for the team best this season. She also ranks seventh in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8) and 25th in scoring. Her team-leading 39 assists in the first 10 games have already surpassed her 2012-13 29-game season total of 30.

Kresl was the MVP of the 2013 Omni Hotels Classic averaging 15.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists. She dished out a career-high six assists, with no turnovers, and added 12 points in the first round win over South Alabama. Kresl scored 19 points in the championship game, just one point off her career high, hitting 7-of-14 from the field and adding four assists, five rebounds and three steals.

Senior guard Brittany Wilson leads the team in steals (17), ranks second in assists (3.0 apg) and is fourth in scoring (10.8 ppg). She had a monster night against Illinois, recording career and team-season highs with 13 rebounds and eight assists. She has Colorado's top scoring output this year with a career-best 26 points in the win over Iowa marking the fifth 20-point game in her career as she also set personal bests from the line hitting on 10-of-14 from the charity stripe.

Junior guard Jasmine Sborov has sprinted out to a great start averaging 8.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. Sborov has hit 77.8 percent from the foul line, delivering a pair of clutch performances on the road. She hit two foul shots at Colorado State with under a minute left to give Colorado a three point lead. In the win over Wyoming, she iced the game for the Buffaloes with another two free throws that provided the final margin, 63-59, with five seconds remaining. She has scored in double-digits in five games, including a career-high 13 points in the season opening win over Colorado State. She came into this season with just three double-figure scoring games over the first 62 games of her career.

Freshman guard Lauren Huggins has provided a nice scoring punch off the bench. Huggins leads Colorado from 3-point range, already with 22 on the season as she has multiple 3-pointers in six of her first 10 games. Huggins ranks sixth in the Pac-12 in 3-pointers (2.2 3mpg) and 11th in percentage (.407). She is second on the team in steals with 12 and recorded a career- and team-season high four against Rice.

Senior center Rachel Hargis, averaging 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, tied a career-high with 12 points in the win over Illinois. Hargis, who needs just seven blocks to become the eighth Buffalo to register 100 in a career, has seven in her last four games and ranks 10th in the Pac-12 in that same category (0.9 bpg).

Sophomore forward Jamee Swan scored a career-high 16 points in the win over South Alabama hitting 7-of-10 from the floor. She had a team-best eight rebounds in that contest and ranks fifth on the team at 4.4 per game. Swan is averaging 4.6 points on 57 percent from the field while ranking second on the team, and 13th in the Pac-12 at 0.8 blocks per outing. Senior guard Ashley Wilson returned to the lineup at Louisville after missing the previous three games with a shoulder injury.
Wilson is averaging 5.0 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 50 percent from the floor.

ABOUT THE THUNDERBIRDS: Southern Utah is 7-2 overall and has won three straight, including a 75-63 win at Northern Colorado on Dec. 19 to open its Big Sky Conference season. The Thunderbirds are averaging 75.1 points on 42 percent from the field and 74 percent from the free-throw line. Southern Utah pulls down 42 rebounds per game and enjoys a plus-8 advantage over its opponents. The Thunderbirds give up 67 points an outing while allowing opponents to shoot 38 percent.

Senior forward Carli Moreland paces Southern Utah at 11.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Sophomore forward Lori Parkinson gives the Thunderbirds a solid 1-2 punch in the front court averaging 11.6 points and 7.2 rebounds while shooting 54 percent from the field. Senior guard Andrea Jones tops Southern Utah in assists with 39, averages 9.6 points per game and is a perfect 20-of-20 from the free-throw line.

JR Payne is in her fifth season at Southern Utah with a record of 51-77.

THE SERIES: This will be the third meeting between Colorado and Southern Utah with the Buffaloes winning both previous meetings, both of which were played at the Coors Events Center. Colorado claimed an 88-36 decision in the last meeting on Dec. 19, 2009.

Linda Lappe has never faced Southern Utah as a head coach. JR Payne is 0-1 against Colorado as a head coach.

CONNECTIONS: Southern Utah sports one Colorado native on its roster. Senior forward and leading scorer Carli Moreland is a native of Broomfield and a graduate of Legacy High School.

FAST OUT OF THE GATE: Colorado's 9-0 mark to start the season is the fifth best in team history. Three of the top five all-time best starts in program history have come in the last three seasons. CU's best start was a 15-0 mark to begin the 1992-93 season. Here are Colorado's top-eight all-time season starts:

Year Start Final Other
1992-93 15-0 27-4 NCAA Elite 8
2011-12 12-0 21-14 WNIT Quarterfinals
1980-81 12-0 28-5 *AIAW National Tourn. First Round
2012-13 11-0 25-7 NCAA First Round
2013-14 9-0 ?? 33 straight regular season nonconf wins
1993-94 7-0 27-5 NCAA Sweet 16
1982-83 7-0 21-8 #Big Eight Semifinals
*-CU's first national tournament appearance; #-First year of Big Eight Conference round-robin play.

AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Colorado fell in its first opportunity against a ranked team this year, dropping a 69-62 decision at No. 7/7 Louisville. The Buffaloes were 1-6 against ranked teams in 2012-13, with six of seven coming against the top 10. Ten of Colorado's last 11 ranked opponents have been ranked No. 8 or higher.

CU is 62-149 all-time against ranked opponents and 3-12 under Linda Lappe.

FREE THROW HISTORY: Sophomore Arielle Roberson had one of the top free-throw performances in team history in the win over Denver. Her 13 free throws made tied for the fifth best single-game performance in team history and most since Jackie McFarland had 13 against TCU in the 2008 WNIT, just days after setting her school record of 15 against Villanova. Roberson's 17 attempts tie for the second most in team history, just one off the school-record 18 attempted by LeaAnn Banks at Colorado State on Dec. 5, 1984.

Most Free Throws Made In One Game (Attempted):
15 - Jackie McFarland vs. Villanova, Mar. 27, 2008 (16)
14 - Jackie McFarland vs. Texas Tech, Mar. 6, 2007 (16)
14 - Shelley Sheetz vs. Arkansas, Dec. 8, 1992 (16)
14 - Debbie Descano vs. Montana State, Feb. 20, 1980 (16)
13 - Arielle Roberson vs. Denver, Dec. 12, 2013 (17)
13 - Jackie McFarland vs. TCU, Mar. 30, 2008 (14)
13 - Shelley Sheetz vs. Nebraska, Mar. 18, 1992 (16)
13 - Gretchen DeWitte vs. Nebraska, Feb. 7, 1987 (13)

Most Free Throws Attempted In One Game (Made):
18 - LeaAnn Banks at Colorado State, Dec. 5, 1984 (9)
17 - Arielle Roberson vs. Denver, Dec. 12, 2013 (13)
17 - Tera Bjorklund vs. North Carolina, Mar. 24, 2003 (12)
17 - Erin Scholz vs. Auburn, Mar. 17, 1996 (12)
17 - Bridget Turner vs. UNLV, Mar. 18, 1989 (11)

ROBERSON PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore Arielle Roberson was named the Pac-12 Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 2-8, the league office announced on Dec. 9.

For Roberson it's her first Player of the Week honor and sixth conference weekly award overall. She was a five-time winner of the Pac-12's Freshman of the Week award last season.

Roberson averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds while hitting 48 percent from the field in Colorado's wins over Wyoming (63-59) on Dec. 4, and Illinois (79-56) on Dec. 7.

Roberson scored 13 points and matched a season-high with 12 rebounds in the win at Wyoming. Eight of her rebounds were on the offensive end, one less than she had in her previous four games combined. She hit 6-of-15 from the field and also dished out an assist.

Against Illinois, Roberson led Colorado in scoring, tying a season-high with 17 points, hitting 58 percent from the field (7-of-12). She pulled down 10 rebounds, logging her fifth career double-double.

Roberson's honor is CU's ninth weekly award in the Pac-12 since the Buffaloes joined the conference in 2011; fourth in the Player of the Week category.

MORE OFFENSE: Colorado has hit 80 points in five games this season, with four coming in succession from the Alcorn State through South Alabama contests. It marked the first time that the Buffaloes had hit 80 points in four consecutive games since late in the 1982-83 season when Colorado achieved the mark in five straight (Feb. 12-Mar. 5, 1983).

Colorado's 94 points against South Alabama were its most since a 96-90 overtime win over TCU in the third round of the 2008 Postseason WNIT, and the most in regulation since the last time the Buffaloes hit the century mark, a 100-71 win over Cal State-Fullerton on Nov. 18, 2005.

The Buffaloes scored 85 at New Mexico, the most on the road, in regulation time, since a 101-56 win at TCU on Dec. 7, 1993. Colorado scored 90 on the road in a one-point overtime loss at Baylor on Feb. 23, 2000 and that same number in a 9-point overtime win at Kansas on Feb. 24, 1995.

SCORING BALANCE: Colorado has four players averaging double-digits in scoring, six averaging at least seven points and eight pitching in at least five.

Seven different Buffs have led the team, or tied for the team lead, in scoring led by Arielle Roberson who has been in the drivers seat three times. Lexy Kresl, Jen Reese and Brittany Wilson have each led Colorado in two games.

Colorado has had five players score in double-digits in three games and four in double-digits in two others another. The Buffaloes didn't register any five-player double-digit games in 2012-13, but were 8-0 in games with four in double figures.

LIGHTS OUT: Colorado is shooting 45 percent from the field (270-of-598), ranking third in the Pac-12.

The Buffaloes had one of their best shooting stretches in recent memory during the three-game span of New Mexico through the Omni Classic. CU hit an impressive 52.8 percent (93-of-176) during that span and finished above 50 percent in all three contests, including a season-best 55.6 percent (30-of-54) at New Mexico.

In 2012-13 Colorado had only two games above 50 percent for the entire 32-game season. The last time the Buffaloes had hit 50 percent in three consecutive games was from Nov. 27-Dec. 4, 1998, current head coach Linda Lappe's freshman season.

NUMBERS FROM DEEP: Colorado hit 10-of-18 3-pointers at New Mexico, its best performance percentage wise since the home game against the Lobos last season. The Buffaloes hit 62 percent from long range (8-of-13) in their 84-39 win over New Mexico in Boulder on Dec. 29, 2012. The 10 3-pointers were Colorado's most in a game on the road since hitting 15 at Oklahoma State on March 25, 2012, in the WNIT Quarterfinals. Colorado also had 10 at home against Oregon on Feb. 10, 2013.

Jen Reese and Jasmine Sborov both went 2-for-2 from long range against the Lobos, setting new career-highs for 3-pointers made for both players. In fact the duo, 4-for-4 on the day, had been a combined 7-for-48 (.146) in their careers prior to the New Mexico game.

ROAD WARRIORS: Colorado has won 21 of its last 32 true road contests. 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. Overall the Buffaloes are 25-14 away from Boulder dating back to the tail end of the 2010-11 season.

BIG WIN STREAKS: Colorado saw its 33-game regular season nonconference win streak come to an end at Louisville a string that had began with a 74-52 win over Colgate on Dec. 30, 2010. This run is just one of several enjoyed by the Buffaloes over the last three seasons.

Colorado had claimed perfect 11-0 nonconference marks in each of the last two seasons, comprising of two of the top eight overall winning streaks in team history. The 2011-12 team actually began the season 12-0, including a win in its first ever Pac-12 Conference game, tying for the fifth-best streak in team history and the second longest to begin a season.

The Buffaloes' 11-game streak to start the 2012-13 season ties for the eighth best overall. Throw in a 10-game streak at the end of the 2012-13 campaign, and the Buffaloes have registered three separate double-digit winning streaks in the last two seasons.

Colorado has 10 double-figure win streaks in its history, looking to possibly add an 11th on Saturday. Head coach Linda Lappe has presided over three of those streaks, one behind her mentor Ceal Barry who coached the Buffaloes to four different double-figure win streaks over her 22 seasons on the bench.

NATIONALLY RANKED: Following its first loss of the season, Colorado slipped one spot to No. 12 in the seventh regular season Associated Press Women's Basketball Top 25 Poll released on Monday.

Colorado received 467 points, down from 517 last week. The Buffaloes have been ranked in 22 consecutive AP polls, their longest run since appearing in 27 straight from Jan. 22, 2001 through the final poll of the 2001-02 season.

Colorado has a long history of rankings in the AP poll, dating back to the 1980-81 season. This ranking marks the 180th time Colorado has appeared in the AP poll, which is the third-most in the Pac-12 Conference, trailing only Stanford and USC.

Colorado remained at No. 14 for the second-straight week in the latest coaches poll released on Tuesday. The Buffaloes received 362 points, down slightly from 374 the previous poll. The No. 14 spot is the highest Colorado has been in this poll since coming in at No. 13 in the March 8, 2004 poll.

For the first time since 2003, Colorado was ranked in both the Associated Press and USA Today Sports Coaches Top 25 Preseason polls, coming in at No. 19 in each.

Prior to the 2003-04 campaign the Buffaloes were ranked 20th in both polls. The preseason rankings were Colorado's highest since debuting at No. 12 (AP) and No. 13 (Coaches) heading into the 2001-02 campaign.

Colorado was not ranked in the final 2012-13 Coaches poll, coming in as the first team listed in the receiving votes category. The Buffaloes appeared in 11 Coaches polls in 2012-13, reaching has high as No. 18 the week of March 4, 2013.

Colorado currently has five ranked teams on its schedule, three of which were preseason No. 10 picks. Stanford is No. 4 and Louisville is No. 7 in both, Iowa is No. 21 in the AP poll and No. 25 in the coaches, California comes in at No. 22 in the coaches poll while listed at No. 23 in the AP. Arizona State debuted at No. 25 in this week's AP poll and is receiving votes in the coaches poll.

WILSON CLIMBING CAREER CHARTS: Senior guard Brittany Wilson has 957 career points, needing 43 to become the 25th player in team history to reach 1,000.

She is in ninth place on CU's all-time list for 3-point field goals with 114. Wilson had a pair of steals at Louisville, taking over sole possession of 17th place with 143 and needing just two more to crack the top 15.

IRON WOMEN: The senior duo of Brittany Wilson and Rachel Hargis have a good chance to end their careers ranking No. 1 & No. 2 in games played at Colorado.

The two have combined for 221 out of a possible 222 games played during their careers. Wilson has not missed a game in her career, playing in all 111 possible contests. Hargis has played in 110, missing only one contest, the 2013 NCAA Tournament game against Kansas, with a knee injury.

Barring any unforeseen setbacks, and with a modest postseason run, the two will be looking to catch Erin Scholz who set the school record at 132 games played from 1993-97. The duo will reach the top 20 in school history with 121 games played.

BUFFS ON TV: Colorado will be featured on the Pac-12 Networks 15 times during the 2013-14 regular season, a school record number for television appearances in one campaign.

Colorado's appeared on a program-best 13 national and regional telecasts in 2012-13, a figure that also included three postseason contests. Entering this season, the Buffaloes have tipped off on 112 national or regional contests since the Fall of 2001.

Colorado made its 2013-14 Pac-12 Network debut by hosting Iowa on Nov. 20.

Fourteen of Colorado's 18 conference games will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks, including eight of nine at home. All home games not televised on the Pac-12 Networks, will be available online through Colorado's video player. Pac-12 road games that are not televised will be available on the opponent's video player.

HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 388-129 all-time record at the Coors Events Center (.750), and finished the 2012-13 season with a record of 15-3. 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.

Colorado, a perfect 6-0 at Coors in 2013-14, has won 13 of its last 14 and 24 of its last 28 at home.