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Buffs Host Basketball Alumni, Arizona State Sunday

Jan 25, 2014

THE GAME: The University of Colorado hosts Arizona State University on Sunday, Jan. 26, at 1 p.m. at the Coors Events Center.

BROADCAST: Sunday's game will be televised live nationally on the Pac-12 Networks (Check your local listings). Anne Marie Anderson will have the call and will be joined by Ros Gold-Onwude with the color commentary. Sunday's game will also air live on KKZN AM 760. Mike Rice will handle play-by-play duties and will be joined by Carol Callan of USA Basketball with the color commentary.

COLORADO SET TO HONOR ALUMNI: Approximately 50 former Colorado women's basketball players and staff will be on hand at Sunday's game as part of Alumni weekend and Colorado's continued celebration of its 40th season of women's basketball. The group touches all eras, from the 1970's through today.

CU women's basketball alumni will be honored at halftime of Sunday's game with special recognition to four teams celebrating or nearing anniversaries: the 1992-93 Big Eight Champions and Elite Eight team, the 1993-94 Big Eight Champions and NCAA Sweet 16 team, the 2002-03 Sweet 16 team and the 2003-04 NCAA Tournament squad.

Also at halftime there will be a special presentation. CU will present the first ever Jane Wahl Legacy Award. Wahl was Colorado's first women's Athletic Director when the program first introduced varsity competition in 1974-75. Wahl oversaw women's athletics through the 1978-79 season.

Wahl will be in attendance and will receive the inaugural award which will be given annually to GÇ£a member of the CU women's basketball community, who through their achievements bring honor and recognition to the university and CU Athletics.GÇ¥

OPENING TIP: Colorado shot 50 percent in the Arizona game (24-of-48), marking just the second time since 2009-10 the Buffaloes have reached 50 percent in a conference regular season game. The other time was last season at home against the same Arizona Wildcats as the Buffaloes hit exactly 50 percent (32-of-64) in a 73-36 win on Jan. 20, 2013.

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 12-6 overall and 2-5 in the Pac-12. The Buffaloes snapped a four-game skid with a 68-47 win over Arizona at the Coors Events Center Friday night. Colorado improved to 8-2 at home in 2013-14, picking up its first league win in three tries in the friendly confines.

Colorado is averaging 71.6 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 5.4 and 13.3 points per contest.

The Buffaloes rank second in the Pac-12 in scoring defense (61.7 ppg), field-goal percentage defense (.361), 3-point defense (.276) and scoring margin (+9.9 ppg) while ranking third in free-throw percentage and fourth in rebounding margin (+5.5), blocked shots (3.8 bpg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.0).

Reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Arielle Roberson is Colorado's leading scorer (13.3 ppg) and rebounder (8.0) and also leads in free throws made (59) and attempted (101). She led the Buffaloes with 10 rebounds in the win over Arizona, her fifth double-figure rebounding effort of the season. Roberson, who pitched in seven points against the Wildcats, has also averaged 16 points over the last five contests.

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 fifth in offensive rebounds (3.4 orpg), eighth in overall rebounds, 14th 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 50.0 percent. She is second on the team in scoring (12.8 ppg) and rebounding (5.8). Reese also ranks 14th in free-throw percentage (.732) and 20th in the Pac-12 in scoring.

Reese led Colorado against Arizona, tying a career-high with 22 points, which she also achieved at Arizona State on Feb. 17, 2013. Reese drilled a career-best eight field goals, on just 13 attempts. She has scored in double-figures in 12 of her 17 games including the last three in which she is averaging 16.7 points per game. Reese needs just two rebounds to reach 100 for the season and 20 points to reach 700 for her career.

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.

Senior guard Brittany Wilson leads the team in steals (26) while ranking second in assists (3.1 apg) and third in scoring (10.7 ppg).  She nearly recorded her second career double-double with 12 points and a career and team season-high nine assists in the win over Arizona. On the overall Pac-12 charts, Wilson ranks 14th in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.1) and 27th in scoring.

Wilson, who is scheduled to play in her 120th career game Sunday, leads the Buffaloes in assists during the Pac-12 season at 3.6 per game. She is averaging 12.5 points and 4.0 assists over the last four contests. Wilson is fourth in the Pac-12 in free-throw accuracy during league games at 79.2 percent hitting 19-of-24. She was 8-for-9 from the line against Washington and has made 14-of-15 over the last four games (.933).

Wilson scored 16 points in the loss to Washington, her 46th career double-figure scoring game. She was 8-for-9 from the free-throw line against the Huskies and has made 14 of 15 over the last three games (.933). 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 six of the last eight  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. Overall Swan is averaging 5.4 points on 48 percent from the field while leading the team in blocked shots (0.8 bpg) and ranking third in rebounding at 5.0 per outing.

Senior guard Ashley Wilson made her first start of the season at Washington scoring six points and grabbing a pair of rebounds. 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 29 on the season with multiple 3-pointers seven games. She tied her own career and team season high with five 3-pointers in the win over Arizona, finishing with 15 points. She made 5-of-8 from downtown after making only one of her previous 10 and 2-of-16 during Pac-12 play before Friday. Huggins also played great defense against the Wildcats recording a personal-best two blocked shots while also  coming up with three rebounds and two steals. Huggins ranks 10th in the Pac-12 in 3-pointers made (1.8 3mpg).

Freshman Haley Smith has started the last four games for the Buffaloes and scored a career-high six points in the win over Arizona. She led Colorado with a career-high seven rebounds against Washington. Prior to the Washington game, she had only 12 rebounds in her first 14 games. Senior center Rachel Hargis, averaging 3.6 points and 2.7 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 Lexy Kresl, who started the first 16 games of the season at point guard is out of the lineup with an injury to her right leg. She had been running a solid point for the Buffaloes averaging 9.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Kresl leads the Pac-12 in free-throw accuracy at 89.4  percent (42-of-47) while ranking eighth in assists and 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5). Kresl leads the team in assists with 61. 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.

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 SUN DEVILS: No. 14 (AP)/23 (USA Today Sports) Arizona State is 16-3 overall and 5-2 in Pac-12 play after a 65-62 win at Utah on Friday. Arizona State sports the Pac-12's third-highest scoring offense at 75.1 points per game and second-best shooting percentage at .444. The Sun Devils allow their opponents 65.6 points per game on 42.8 percent from the field.

Arizona State has eight players averaging at least 5.5 points per game led by senior guard Deja Mann at 11.4. Senior guard Adrianne Thomas is second on the team in scoring (9.4 ppg) and assists (2.7 apg). Three of the top eight field-goal shooters in the Pac-12 are on the Sun Devils' roster. Freshman forward Sophie Brunner ranks third in the Pac-12 at 54.8 percent. Classmate Kelsey Moos is right behind her in fourth at 54.7 while junior guard Promise Amukamara is eighth at .475. Brunner and Moos are also Arizona State's top two rebounders at 6.7 and 5.9 per game respectively.

Charli Turner Thorne is in her 17th year as head coach at Arizona State with a record of 318-200. Overall she is in her 19th year as a collegiate head coach with a record of 358-240.

THE SERIES: This will be the 14th meeting between Colorado and Arizona State with the Buffaloes holding an 11-2 series lead. The teams have split their first four meetings since Colorado joined the Pac-12 prior to the 2011-12 season. The Buffaloes swept the Sun Devils in their home-and-home last year winning 57-43 in Boulder on Jan. 18 and 71-63 in Temp on Feb. 17. Both of the Sun Devils' wins in the series came in 2011-12. Arizona State claimed a 64-43 win in Tempe and won its only game in seven tries in Boulder, 60-47. Before 2011-12, the two teams had not played since the 1987-88 preseason schedule. 

Linda Lappe is 2-2 against Arizona State as a head coach. Charli Turner Thorne is 0-3 against Colorado, the first loss coming while she was at Northern Arizona during the 1993-94 season. Turner Thorne was on sabbatical for the 2011-12 season and did not coach against Colorado in Arizona State's two Pac-12 wins.

CONNECTIONS: Colorado has two Arizona natives on its roster. Junior guard Lexy Kresl is from Paradise Valley, a suburb of Phoenix. Sophomore forward Jamee Swan is from Marana which is near Tucson. Arizona State has one Colorado player, redshirt sophomore Eliza Normen, who is from Louisville and graduated from Monarch High School.

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: Colorado has a record of 37-13 since the beginning of the 2012-13 season. Of those 13 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 34 of their last 38 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 27.6 percent shooting beyond the arc, trailing only California (.275) the Pac-12.

The Buffaloes, who rank second in the Pac-12 in scoring defense (61.7 ppg), have held 11 opponents under 60 points. Colorado has held its opponents under 70 points in 46 of the last 50 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 five points.

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 six 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 4-4 on the road this season and has won 22 of its last 36 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 26-17 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. 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 received votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today Sports Coaches Top 25 polls this week.

Colorado dropped out of both polls this week, sliding from No. 21 in the AP poll and No. 20 in the coaches poll last week.

The Buffaloes had been ranked in 25 straight AP polls prior to this week. Colorado has been ranked in 183 all-time AP polls, ranking third in the Pac-12 behind only Stanford and USC.

Colorado had been ranked in all previous 11 polls this season (including preseason), reaching as high as No. 11 in the AP poll and No. 14 in the coaches.

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 and Louisville is No. 5 inboth. California is No. 19 in the AP and No. 16 in the coaches. Arizona State is No. 14 in the AP poll and No. 23 in the coaches. Iowa and USC are both receiving votes in the AP poll.

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 1,041 points, trailing Raegan Scott (1993-97) by four points for 24th place.

She is ninth in career 3-pointers made (120) and attempted (386) and 15th in steals (152). Wilson has 250 career assists needing just nine more to crack the Top 20 in that category.

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 237 out of a possible 238 games played during their careers. Wilson has not missed a game in her career, playing in all 119 possible contests. Hargis has played in 118 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 390-131 all-time record at the Coors Events Center (.749), 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, 8-2 at Coors in 2013-14, has won 15 of its last 18 and 26 of its last 32 at home.