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Buffs To Face Former Big Eight/Big 12 Foe Missouri

Dec 11, 2014

THE GAME: The University of Colorado travels to play the University of Missouri on Friday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m. MST, at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo.

BROADCAST: Friday's game will air live on KKZN 760 AM. Cory Lopez will have the call with Carol Callan of USA Basketball providing the color commentary.  The game will be streamed on SEC + allowing fans to watch on the WatchESPN App or WatchESPN.com subject to availability through a service provider.

OPENING TIP: Colorado is playing back-to-back true road contests against out-of-state teams for the first time during the nonconference schedule since opening the 2007-08 campaign at San Francisco and at USC.

ABOUT THE BUFFS: Colorado is 6-2 overall after seeing its five-game winning streak end with a 78-63 setback at No. 22 (AP) / 19 (WBCA) ranked Iowa on Dec. 5. 

Despite enduring their lowest point total of the season against the Hawkeyes, the Buffaloes have been solid offensively overall averaging just under 80 points per game while shooting 44 percent from the field and 71 percent from the free throw line. Colorado has hit 80 points four times this season and the 97 points scored against San Jose State are the most in the Linda Lappe era and most since scoring 100 against Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 18, 2005.

Defensively, Colorado has allowed 70.4 points per game on 35.5 percent from the field. The Buffaloes are the Pac-12's top rebounding team, pulling down 50.4 per game. Colorado is second in field goal percentage defense (.355), rebounding margin (+10.1) and blocked shots (5.9 bpg).

Senior forward Jen Reese is off to a fantastic start. She leads Colorado by averaging 16.0 points and 8.6 rebounds per game while hitting 47 percent from the field and 87 percent from the free throw line. Reese scored a career and team-season high 26 points in the win over Colorado State. She also matched a personal-best with 14 rebounds for her sixth career double-double and third of the season. Her 26-point performance also marked the third time this season she's hit the 20-point mark and sixth of her career. Reese was named to the Omni Hotels Classic All-Tournament team.

On the Pac-12 leaderboard, Reese is fifth in free throw percentage, seventh in overall rebounding, 10th in scoring and defensive rebounds (5.9 drpg) and 11th in offensive rebounds (2.8 orpg).

Senior guard Lexy Kresl is averaging just under 10 points per game and leads Colorado in assists (6.1 apg) and steals (1.5 spg) and  is second in 3-pointers with 15. She was MVP of the Omni Classic averaging 14.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 7.5 assists in the two-game classic. During that stretch, not only did she record her first career double-double, she topped that with just the fourth triple-double in program history in the win over Colorado State (12 points-11 rebounds-11 assists).

Kresl is second in the Pac-12, and 15th in the nation, in assists. She ranks 13th in defensive rebounding (5.0 drpg), 14th in free throw percentage (.762) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4) and 15th in 3-pointers made (1.9 3mpg) on the Pac-12 leaderboard.

Junior forward Jamee Swan is averaging 14.4 points and 8.4 rebounds while hitting 49 percent from the field; ranking second in the team in all three categories. Over the past three games she's grabbed double-figure rebounds in each, averaging 11.3 per contest. She scored a career best, and matched a team season high with 26 points in the win over San Jose State. Swan also had 11 rebounds to record her third career double-double and first of the season.

Swan tops Colorado and ranks third in the Pac-12 in blocked shots (1.8 bpg) while ranking third in offensive boards (3.8 orpg), eighth in rebounding and 12th in scoring.

Sophomore guard Haley Smith leads Colorado in field-goal accuracy at 55.1 percent while averaging 13.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. She recorded her first career double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds against San Jose State; both numbers marking personal bests. During Colorado's recent five-game winning streak she made a whopping 65 percent from the floor (34-of-52). She hit 10-of-14 from the field during her career-best day against the Spartans.

On the Pac-12 leaderboard Smith ranks ninth in field goal percentage, 12th in overall rebounding, 15th in defensive rebounds (4.8 drpg) and 19th in scoring.

Senior guard Jasmine Sborov is averaging 7.1 points and 5.6 rebounds and ranks second on the team in assists with 24. Against Iowa, Sborov led Colorado with career-highs in points (17) and rebounds (12) for her second career double-double. Sborov also dished out a career-high nine assists against San Jose State. On the Pac-12 charts she is 15th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3).

Sophomore wing Lauren Huggins is averaging 7.4 points per game and leads the team in 3-point shooting, connecting on 19-of-41 from long range for an impressive 46.3 percent. She has hit nine of her last 17 (.529). Huggins hit three of her four 3-pointers against CSU in the overtime sessions. Two of those came in the final minute of the first overtime, including one with 1.7 seconds remaining to send the game into the second extra period. Huggins ranks eighth in the Pac-12 in 3-pointers made and is ninth in 3-point percentage.

Forward Zoe Beard-Fails has provided a nice spark off the bench averaging 3.9 points and 3.9 rebounds. She has shown the knack of getting to the foul line ranking third on the team in attempts, hitting 15-of-23. She had a career-high seven rebounds in the win at Denver.

ABOUT THE TIGERS: Missouri is 6-2 overall coming off a 74-55 win over Saint Louis on Dec. 8. The Tigers are averaging 73.5 points per game on 45 percent shooting. Missouri allows just 58.4 points per game as opponents are making 35 percent from the field. The Tigers have a good edge on the boards, outrebounding their opponents by nine per game.

Sophomore guard Jordan Frericks leads Missouri with a season double-double averaging 14.4 points and 11.0 rebounds per game while making an outstanding 61 percent from the floor (43-of-71). Senior guard Morgan Eye averages just under 10 points an outing and leads Missouri in 3-pointers with 23. Sophomore forward Kayla McDowell averages 8.3 points and is Missouri's second-leading rebounder at just below seven per contest.

Robin Pingeton is in her fifth year as Missouri's head coach with a record of 66-67. She is in her 20th season as a collegiate head coach with a record of 401-224.

THE SERIES: This will be the 70th meeting between Colorado and Missouri making it the most played in program history; breaking a tie with series' against Kansas and Nebraksa. The Buffaloes own a 42-27 record against the Tigers with the 42 wins the most against any one team.

The two programs met at least twice a year from the formation of Big Eight Conference women's basketball in 1982-83 through Colorado's final year in the Big 12 Conference in 2010-11. Colorado won the last four meetings, seven of the last eight and eight of the last 10. The Buffaloes hold a 16-15 edge in Columbia and have won their last four.

Colorado's Linda Lappe is 2-0 against Missouri as a head coach. Robin Pingeton is 0-2 against Colorado as a head coach.

This will be Colorado's first regular season game against a former Big Eight/Big 12 opponent since the Buffaloes joined Pac-12 Conference in 2011-12. Missouri joined the Southeast Conference one year later. The Buffaloes have played two other former Big Eight/Big 12 opponents in the postseason, against Kansas in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament and Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals of the 2012 WNIT. Colorado has also played current Big 12 member TCU, in the first round of the 2014 WNIT, though the Horned Frogs joined the league after the Buffaloes had left for the Pac-12.

BACK TO THE BOARDS: Colorado has outrebounded each of its eight opponents this season by an average of 10.1 per game. Over the last six contests that margin has increased to 12.8 an outing. The Buffaloes lead the Pac-12 in overall rebounds (50.4 rpg) and also in offensive (16.6) and defensive (33.8) boards.

Colorado recorded 60 rebounds in the San Jose State game hitting that mark for the first time since pulling down 60 against Marquette in the first round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament.

The Buffaloes have three players ranking in the top 12 in rebounding in the Pac-12 while no other team has more than one. Jen Reese leads the effort in seventh at 8.6 per game. Jamee Swan is eighth (8.4 rpg) and Haley Smith is 12th (7.3 rpg).

KRESL'S DISH: Lexy Kresl recorded the fourth triple-double in team history by scoring 12 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out 11 assists in the double overtime win over Colorado State on Nov. 29.

Her triple-double was the team's first since Chucky Jeffery recorded the second of her two triple-doubles at Oklahoma State on Mar. 25, 2012 during the Postseason WNIT. Sandy Bean achieved the program's first triple-double against Utah State on Feb. 16, 1979.

For Kresl, both the rebounds and assists figures were career-highs. It was actually her second GÇ£doubleGÇ¥ of the week. Kresl put together her first career double-double in the win over Denver with 10 points and 10 assists. 

Nine of her assists in the Denver game came in the first 20 minutes, tying a school record for assists in one half originally set by Whitney Law against Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 18, 2005.

Counting Colorado's prior three triple-doubles, Kresl's points-assists double-double was the 14th in team history and first since Jeffery's triple at OSU (12 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists).

WORKING OVERTIME: Colorado played in overtime in three of its first seven games. The Buffaloes won the last two, defeating San Jose State 97-89 on Dec. 5 and Colorado State 87-81 in double overtime on Nov. 29, after dropping a 79-78 decision to Western Kentucky on Nov. 17.

Colorado played back-to-back overtime games for the first time in team history with the San Jose State and CSU contests. The Buffaloes had two overtimes in a three-game span in February 1988.

The double overtime game with CSU was just the sixth in team history and first since an 84-77 setback to Iowa State on Jan. 13, 2008. Lexy Kresl set a school single game record by playing in 49 minutes against Colorado State.

Colorado's win over San Jose State improved its all-time record to 23-23 all-time in overtime. The Buffaloes are 3-3 in double overtime games.

It's the fifth time Colorado has played three overtime games in one season and first since 1995-96; the most in any one campaign. This is the first instance where all three games have happened during the nonconference schedule. Overall it's the 14 time Colorado has played multiple overtime games in one season.

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: Colorado has a record of 50-24 since the beginning of the 2012-13 season. Of those 24 losses, 13 have been to ranked teams and 12 of those ranked higher than Colorado at the time the game was played. The Buffaloes have won 47 of their last 58 games against unranked opponents.

The Buffaloes have been dominant in regular season nonconference games under Linda Lappe. Colorado is 47-7 in that stretch since the beginning of the 2010-11 season. The Buffaloes have won 40 of their last 43 regular season nonconference contests. The Buffaloes  put together 33 straight nonconference wins from Dec. 30, 2010 through Dec. 12, 2013.

REESE'S PIECES: Senior forward Jen Reese has joined one elite group in Colorado history and is well on her way to join another.  Reese became the 21st player to reach 500 career rebounds during the Missouri State game. She is currently 19th on Colorado's all-time list with 533.

The 6-2 shooter is also Colorado's active leading scorer with 915 career points, putting her well within range to become the 26th player in team history to reach 1,000.

Hitting both marks would make her just the 15th player in team history to reach 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.

KRESL SOLID FROM ARC, LINE: Senior guard Lexy Kresl ranks  seventh in career 3-pointers attempted (461) and is 10th in 3-pointers made (139)

She has made a 3-pointer in 76 of 103 career games and has 37 contests with two or more buckets from long range.

Kresl has also been one of Colorado's most reliable free throw shooters over the past three seasons. Her career percentage of 83.0 (142-of-171) would rank fourth on the Buffs' all-time list (minimum of 100 attempts).

Kresl hit 84.1 percent from the line in 2013-14 (69-of-82) ranking third in the Pac-12 Conference. Her mark was also good for 19th on Colorado's single-season list.

Kresl has a shot at reaching 1,000 career points entering Friday's game at 817.

HUGGINS SHOOTS UP LIST: With 12 3-pointers over the last four games, sophomore Lauren Huggins has put herself among  the Buffaloes' career leaders. She is currently 18th on the all-time list with 59.

SWAN'S SWATS: Junior forward Jamee Swan ranks third in the Pac-12 in blocked shots at 1.8 per game. She has 18 blocks over the last 10 games dating back to last season.

Swan has 78 career blocks which puts her in a three-way tie for 10th place on CU's all-time list.

AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Colorado is 0-1 against ranked teams this season after dropping a 78-63 decision at No. 22/19 Iowa. The Hawkeyes are one of four teams on the Buffaloes' schedule ranked in the Top 25 joining Stanford, California and Oregon State.

The Buffaloes have dropped their last 13 against ranked opponents. Colorado is 62-155 all-time against ranked opponents.

OMNI HOTELS CHAMPS: Colorado won its Omni Hotels Classic championship for the 18th time by defeating Missouri State and Colorado State. The Buffaloes improved to 46-10 all-time in their home holiday classic and won their sixth straight title.

CHALLENGING START: Colorado opened a season with two teams that made the NCAA Tournament the previous year (North Dakota & Western Kentucky) for the first time since 2003-04 when the Buffaloes hosted Old Dominion and Notre Dame in the WBCA Classic. Only twice since then had the Buffaloes even played one team in their first two coming off a trip to the big dance, Loyola-Marymount in 2004-05 (Game 1) and Vanderbilt in 2006-07 (Game 2).

Two of Colorado's three opening opponents, North Dakota and Arkansas State, are their respective conference's top preseason pick and Western Kentucky was selected second. The Buffaloes have also faced two conference preseason players of the year in Western Kentucky's Chastity Gooch and Arkansas State's Aundrea Gamble.

WRAPPING UP THE WNIT: Colorado was 2-1 in the Preseason WNIT advancing to the quarterfinals and picking up a consolation round win. The Buffaloes competed in the season-opening event for the third time and moved to 8-2 all-time in the tournament.

The Buffaloes won the championship in 1995 and also advanced to the semifinals of the 2001 event.

Mississippi State defeated Western Kentucky 88-77 in the championship game. The 2014 Preseason WNIT featured five NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago along with four Postseason WNIT participants, including Colorado.

HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 399-136 all-time record at the Coors Events Center (.746). The Buffaloes have won 10 or more games in a season at the CEC in 25 of 36 years. The Buffaloes have enjoyed five undefeated seasons (1980-83, 1992-94) at the CEC.

Colorado was 12-6 at Coors in 2013-14 and has won 23 of its last 31 and 34 of its last 45 at home.