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No. 21/20 Buffaloes Continue Pac-12 Play At Washington

Jan 18, 2014

THE GAME: No. 21 (AP)/20 (USAT) University of Colorado travels to face the University of Washington on Sunday,  Jan. 19, at 5 p.m. MST at the Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle.

BROADCAST: Sunday's game will be televised live nationally on the Pac-12 Networks (Check your local listings). Krista Blunk will have the call and will be joined by Tammy Blackburn with the color commentary. Sunday's game will also air live on KKZN AM 760. Carol Callan of USA Basketball will handle play-by-play duties.

OPENING TIP: Colorado is 11-0 this year when winning the rebound battle, but 0-5 when being outrebounded by its opponent.

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 11-5 overall and 1-4 in the Pac-12, looking to halt a three-game skid. The Buffaloes fell to Washington State 70-60 to open the Pacific Northwest road trip on Friday in Pullman. Colorado had a three-game Pac-12 losing streak last year before reeling off nine straight wins to close out the regular season (10 including the Pac-12 Tournament).

Colorado is averaging 71.9 points per game while hitting 42 percent from the field and 69 percent from the free-throw line. Colorado has three players averaging double-digits, and nearly a fourth, and eight players scoring between 5.6 and 13.3 points per contest.

The Buffaloes rank second in the Pac-12 in scoring defense (60.1 ppg), free-throw percentage (.693), field-goal percentage defense (.361) and 3-point defense (.264) while ranking third in scoring margin (+10.4 ppg) and rebounding margin (+6.9).

Reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Arielle Roberson is Colorado's leading scorer (13.3 ppg) and rebounder (8.1) and also leads in free throws made (54) and attempted (89). She had 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists against the Cougars. Roberson averaged
20 points on 67 percent shooting (14-of-21) and 6.5 rebounds against Cal and Stanford, rebounding nicely from the Southern California road trip that saw her average just 4.5 points on 24 percent shooting (4-of-17).

She has a team-best four double-doubles on the season which all occurred in the final five nonconference games, including the Southern Utah contest where she scored 18 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds. She recorded three straight double-doubles (Wyoming-Illinois-Denver), becoming the first Buff to do that 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 fourth in offensive rebounds (3.6 orpg), ninth in overall rebounds, 13th in field-goal percentage and 17th in scoring on the Pac-12 charts.

Junior forward Jen Reese leads Colorado and ranks seventh in the Pac-12 in field-goal accuracy at 50.4 percent. She is second on the team in scoring (12.1 ppg) and rebounding (5.7). Reese led Colorado in scoring against Washington State with 15 points.  She 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.

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 21st in the Pac-12 in scoring.

Junior guard Lexy Kresl has been running a solid point for the Buffaloes averaging 9.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.  She led Colorado in scoring at Louisville with 17 points while grabbing eight rebounds.

Kresl leads the Pac-12 in free-throw accuracy at 89.1 percent (41-of-46). She also ranks eighth in assists and ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5). Kresl leads the team in assists with 57. She had only 30 assists in 29-games as a sophomore in 2012-13.

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 (25) while ranking second in assists (2.7 apg) and third in scoring (10.3 ppg). She had 15 points against Stanford and in the process reached the 1,000-career point milestone, becoming the 25th player in team history to reach that mark.

She had a monster night against Illinois, recording career 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.

Sophomore forward Jamee Swan has started the five of the last six contests and had a breakout game against Stanford. Swan recorded her second career double-double with career-highs in points (20) and rebounds (13). She hit 9-of-17 from the field and dished out a personal best five assists. In the starting lineup, Swan is averaging 8.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Overall Swan is averaging 5.6 points on 48 percent from the field while leading the team in blocked shots (0.8 bpg) and ranking third in rebounding at 5.1 per outing.

Senior guard Ashley Wilson continues to be an important spark off the bench and celebrated her 100th career game in the win over UCLA. Wilson scored a career-best 14 points in the win over Southern Utah, and then backed up that performance with 12 points and six rebounds against USC. Her back-to-back double-figure scoring games are a first for her, in fact she only had two double-figure scoring games in her first 97 career outings.

Freshman guard Lauren Huggins has provided a nice scoring punch off the bench. Huggins leads Colorado from 3-point range with 24 on the season with multiple 3-pointers in six of her first 14 games. Huggins ranks 15th in the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage (.358) and 13th in 3-pointers made (1.7 3mpg).

Senior center Rachel Hargis, averaging 3.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game, tied a career-high with 12 points in the win over Illinois. Hargis needs just six blocks to become the eighth Buffalo  to register 100 in a career.

Junior guard Jasmine Sborov started the first 14 games averaging 7.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game but is sidelined with a broken bone in her right foot. Over her last four games she averaged 7.0 rebounds which included her first career double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing a career-best 10 rebounds against Southern Utah. Sborov was solid in the UCLA game, scoring 11 points on 4-of-7 from the field along with eight rebounds. She played a career-high 33 minutes against the Bruins and also matched her personal best by drilling a pair of 3-pointers.

Sborov has hit 72.4 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 seven 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.

ABOUT THE HUSKIES: Washington  is 9-7 overall and 2-3 in the Pac-12 after defeating Utah 53-52 in overtime on Friday, snapping a three-game losing streak. Washington averages 72.2 points on 41 percent from the field. The Huskies rank fourth in the Pac-12 in 3-pointers made per game at 7.3 and hit 31 percent from beyond the arc. Washington allows its opponents 70.9 points on 39 percent shooting. The Huskies allow their opponents 37 percent shooting from 3-point range.

Junior guard Jazmine Davis leads Washington and ranks fifth in the Pac-12 at 18.9 points per game. She also tops the Huskies in 3-pointers (34) and free throws made (78) and attempted (113). Freshman guard Kelsey Plum averages 18.4 points, ranking seventh in the Pac-12, and is right behind Davis with 33 3-pointers on the season. Sophomore forward Talia Walton averages 11.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game while leading the team with 25 blocked shots. Aminah Williams tops the Huskies in rebounding and ranks third in the Pac-12 at 11.0 per game. She pitches in 7.4 points an outing while hitting 46 percent from the field.

Mike Neighbors, who spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach at Washington, is in his first season as a collegiate head coach with a record of 9-7.

THE SERIES: This will be the 12th meeting between Colorado and Washington with the Buffaloes holding an 8-3 series lead. Colorado has won the last two and two of three over Washington since joining the Pac-12 in 2011-12. The Buffaloes defeated Washington 68-61 in the lone regular season meeting last year in Boulder and then less than two weeks later topped the Huskies again, 70-59, in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Pac-12 Tournament in Seattle. Colorado and Washington have split four meetings all-time on the Huskies' home court.

Linda Lappe is 2-1 against Washington as a head coach. Mike Neighbors has never faced Colorado as a head coach.

CONNECTIONS: Freshman guard/forward Haley Smith makes her first return trip to her home state of Washington. Smith is a graduate of Skyline High School in Sammamish, Wash., located east of Seattle. Washington head coach Mike Neighbors was a CU assistant coach in 2005-06 under Kathy McConnell-Miller.

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: Colorado has a record of 36-12 since the beginning of the 2012-13 season. Of those 12 losses, nine have been to ranked teams and eight of those ranked higher than Colorado at the time the game was played. The Buffaloes have won 33 of their last 36 games against unranked opponents.

Colorado prepared for the Pac-12 season with a 10-1 nonconference record, with the lone loss coming on the road at then No. 7/7 ranked Louisville. The Buffaloes have  been dominant in the nonconference in the last four years with an overall record of 41-5, including wins in 34 of their last 35 games.

TIGHTENING UP THE GÇÿDGÇ¥: Colorado set a school record for field-goal percentage defense in 2012-13 at 35.0 percent and the Buffaloes are on pace to flirt with that mark again.

Colorado is allowing just 36.1 percent from the field which ranks second in the Pac-12. The Buffaloes have been even more stingy from long range, allowing only 26.4 percent shooting beyond the arc, trailing only California (.258) the Pac-12.

The Buffaloes, who rank second in the Pac-12 in scoring defense (61.4 ppg), have held 10 opponents under 60 points. Colorado has held its opponents under 70 points in 45 of the last 48 games.

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 three players averaging double-digits in scoring, with one more just a hair under; eight averaging at least six points and nine pitching in at least four.

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 five times. Colorado has had five players score in double-digits in three games and four in double-digits in four others. 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.

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.

AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Colorado is 0-3 against ranked teams this season after dropping an 87-77 decision to Stanford. The Buffaloes have lost their last nine to ranked opponents and are 3-13 under Linda Lappe. Only one of those opponents, No. 19/19 California on Jan. 10, was ranked lower than Colorado at the time. Eleven of Colorado's last 13 ranked opponents have been ranked No. 8 or higher.

CU is 62-151 all-time against ranked opponents.

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.

LIGHTS OUT: Colorado 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 is 4-3 on the road this season and has won 22 of its last 35 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 26-16 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: Colorado slid four spots to No. 21 as the 10th Associated Press Women's Basketball Top 25 Poll was released on Monday.

Colorado received 179 points, down from 307 last week. The Buffaloes have been ranked in 25 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 183rd time Colorado has appeared in the AP poll, which is the third-most among Pac-12 Conference schools, trailing only Stanford and USC. 

In the USA Today Sports Coaches Poll on Tuesday, Colorado dipped two spots to No. 20. The Buffaloes received 150 points, down from 254 last week. Colorado's ranking is higher in the coaches' poll for the first time since March, 15, 2004 when the Buffaloes were No. 16 in the coaches' poll and No. 17 in the AP 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.

The Buffaloes currently have four ranked teams on their schedule, three of which were preseason No. 10 picks. Stanford is No 4, Louisville is No. 5 and California is No. 15 in both. Arizona State is No. 19 in the AP poll and reentered the coaches' poll this week at No. 24. Iowa, which was ranked for a couple weeks last month, is receiving votes in both polls

WILSON CLIMBING CAREER CHARTS: Senior guard Brittany Wilson became the 25th player in team history to reach 1,000 points during the Stanford game. She now has 1,013 points, trailing Raegan Scott (1993-97) by 32 points for 24th place.

She is ninth in career 3-pointers made (118) and attempted (377) and 15th in steals (150).

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 233 out of a possible 234 games played during their careers. Wilson has not missed a game in her career, playing in all 117 possible contests. Hargis has played in 116 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 389-131 all-time record at the Coors Events Center (.748), 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, 7-2 at Coors in 2013-14, has won 14 of its last 17 and 25 of its last 31 at home.