Buffs Open Pac-12 Season At Stanford On Saturday
THE GAME: The University of Colorado begins its Pac-12 Conference schedule by visiting Stanford University on Saturday, Jan. 3, at 8 p.m. MST, at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif.
BROADCAST: Colorado makes its Pac-12 Network debut Saturday, its first of 12 scheduled regular season games on the network. Anne Marie Anderson will have the play-by-play with Ros Gold-Onwude with the color commentary. Saturday'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.
OPENING TIP: Colorado is 22-17 all time in conference openers; 1-2 as a member of the Pac-12.
ABOUT THE BUFFS: Colorado is 7-4 overall after dropping its nonconference finale, 62-56, to Long Beach State. The Buffaloes will begin Pac-12 play with five of their first eight on the road beginning with this weekend's swing through the Bay Area. Colorado is 1-2 on the road this season, defeating Denver on Nov. 25 before losing back-to-back games at Iowa and Missouri in early December.
Despite being held to 56 points against Long Beach State, the Buffaloes played well offensively throughout the nonconference season averaging nearly 75 points per game while shooting 43 percent from the field. Colorado has hit 80 points four times this season and the 97 points scored against San Jose State are the most in the coach Linda Lappe era and most since scoring 100 against Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 18, 2005.
Defensively, Colorado has allowed 68.1 points per game on 35 percent from the field. The Buffaloes are the Pac-12's top rebounding team, pulling down 47.9 per game as well as a plus-9.1 margin. Colorado also leads the Pac-12 in blocked shots (6.0 bpg) while ranking second in field goal percentage defense and fourth in free throw percentage (.710), 3-point percentage (.374), and 3-point defense (.271).
Senior forward Jen Reese leads Colorado by averaging 14.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game while hitting 45 percent from the field and 82 percent from the free throw line. Reese has scored in double figures in eight of 11 games including 15 points in the win over Wyoming. She 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.
On the Pac-12 leaderboard, Reese is sixth in overall rebounding and free throw percentage, eighth in offensive rebounds (2.6 orpg), ninth in defensive rebounds (5.6 drpg) and 10th in scoring.
Senior guard Lexy Kresl is averaging 10.7 points per game, leads Colorado in assists (5.6 apg) and steals per game (1.3 spg) and tied for the top spot in 3-pointers with 20. Kresl led all players with 17 points on 5-of-11 from 3-point range in the loss to Missouri. 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 third in the Pac-12 in assists and also ranks fourth in 3-pointers made (2.2 3mpg), 12th in defensive rebounds (4.9 drpg), 13th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4) and 28th in scoring.
Junior forward Jamee Swan, who has come off the bench the last two games, is averaging 13.6 points and 8.2 rebounds while hitting 51 percent from the field; ranking second in the team in all three categories. She led Colorado with 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds against Long Beach State, her second double-double of the season and the fourth of her career. Swan also registered a personal best five blocked shots against the 49ers. Her blocked shot and rebounding numbers from the LBSU game are both team season highs.
Swan tops Colorado and ranks second in the Pac-12 in blocked shots (2.0 bpg) while ranking fourth in offensive boards (3.4 orpg), seventh in overall rebounding, 12th in field goal percentage,13th in scoring and 15th in defensive boards (4.8 drpg).
Sophomore guard Haley Smith leads Colorado in field-goal accuracy at 52 percent while averaging 11.4 points and 6.7 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. She hit 10-of-14 from the field during her career-best day against the Spartans.
On the Pac-12 leaderboard Smith ranks 10th in field goal percentage, 14th in overall rebounding and 25th in scoring.
Senior guard Jasmine Sborov is averaging 6.8 points and 5.4 rebounds and ranks second on the team in assists with 30. She had a solid line against Wyoming with 11 points, six rebounds and three assists. 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. She is tied for 13th on the Pac-12 leaderboard for blocked shots at just under one per game.
Sophomore forward Zoe Beard-Fails has picked up her play and earned a starting role for the Buffaloes front court the last two games. Overall on the season she has averaged 5.5 points and 4.5 rebounds, but in her two starts she's increased those numbers to 11 points and 7.5 rebounds. Against Long Beach State she had career highs in points (14), rebounds (8) and field goals made and attempted (7-of-13).
On the Pac-12 charts Beard-Fails ranks 13th in blocked shots (0.9 bpg) and 15th in free throw percentage (.735).
Sophomore wing Lauren Huggins is averaging 5.6 points per game and leads the team in 3-point shooting, connecting on 20-of-51 from long range (.392). Huggins was 4-of-7 from ling range against Colorado State, hitting three of her four 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 13th in the Pac-12 in 3-pointers made (1.8) and 15th in percentage.
Freshmen Brecca Thomas and Alina Hartmann have been increasing their productivity. Thomas has started the last two games, scoring a career-best nine points in the win over Wyoming. Hartmann is averaging 6.0 points and 2.5 rebounds over the last two contests.
ABOUT STANFORD: No. 15 (AP & USAT) Stanford is 8-4 overall and has won two straight to enter conference play. The Cardinal average 74.3 points per game on 44 percent from the field. Stanford is the Pac-12's top 3-point shooting team in terms of accuracy at 40 percent. Defensively Stanford gives up 62 points an outing, allowing 37 percent from the floor. The Cardinal give up the second fewest rebounds in the Pac-12, limiting opponents to 34.4 per contest.
Sophomore guard Lili Thompson tops Stanford in scoring at 15.9 points per game. She's hit nearly 47 percent from 3-point range ranking fourth in the Pac-12. The Cardinal have three of the top seven 3-point shooters in the league. Sisters Karlie and Bonnie Samuelson are sixth and seventh respectively at just over 45 percent as the duo combine for just a hair under 17 points per game. Senior guard Amber Orrange leads Stanford in assists (43) and steals (24) while averaging 11.3 points per game. Freshman Kaylee Johnson is the Pac-12's second leading rebounder at 11.2 per contest.
Tara VanDerveer is in her 29th season at Stanford with a record of 783-160. Overall she is in her 36th season as a collegiate head coach with a record of 935-211.
THE SERIES: This will be the 17th meeting between Colorado and Stanford with the Cardinal holding a 12-4 edge in the series. Stanford has won the last seven, accounting for all the meetings as conference rivals including Pac-12 Tournament matchups in the last two seasons. This will be the first meeting since the 1999-2000 campaign where the Cardinal has not been ranked in the Top 6 nationally. Colorado will be looking for its first win at Maples Pavilion in its seventh attempt.
Linda Lappe is 0-7 against Stanford as a head coach. Tara VanDeveer is 12-4 against Colorado as a head coach.
BACK TO THE BOARDS: Colorado has outrebounded, or been even, with 10 of its 11 opponents this season by an average of 9.1 per game ranking tops in the Pac-12. The Buffaloes also lead the Pac-12 in overall rebounds (47.9 rpg), offensive boards (15.5 orpg) and defensive rebounds (32.5 drpg).
Colorado has five games with 50 or more rebounds, including the Long Beach State contest where the Buffaloes dominated the 49ers 50-26, the largest margin of the season and biggest since holding a plus-25 margin against Arizona (51-26) on Jan. 20, 2013. All five of Colorado's 50-plus rebounding games have come over the last seven outings including a season-high 60 against San Jose State the program's most since pulling down 60 against Marquette in the first round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament.
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 "double" 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 51-26 since the beginning of the 2012-13 season. Of those 26 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 48 of their last 61 games against unranked opponents.
The Buffaloes have been dominant in regular season nonconference games under Linda Lappe. Colorado is 48-9 in that stretch since the beginning of the 2010-11 season. The Buffaloes have won 41 of their last 46 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 18th on Colorado's all-time list with 555.
The 6-2 shooter is also Colorado's active leading scorer with 945 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 (472) and is eighth in 3-pointers made (144)
She has made a 3-pointer in 77 of 104 career games and has 38 contests with two or more buckets from long range. Kresl hit five against Missouri, tying a season high and also marking her sixth career game with five or more 3-pointers.
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 Tuesday's game at 834.
HUGGINS SHOOTS UP LIST: With 13 3-pointers over the last seven games, sophomore Lauren Huggins has put herself among the Buffaloes' career leaders. She is currently 18th in career 3-pointers made with 60 and 20th in attempts at 161.
SWAN'S SWATS: Junior forward Jamee Swan ranks second in the Pac-12 in blocked shots at two per game. She has 26 blocks over the last 13 games dating back to last season.
Swan has 86 career blocks ranking 10th 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 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.
HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 400-137 all-time record at the Coors Events Center (.745). 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 24 of its last 33 and 35 of its last 47 at home.
BUFFS ON TV: Colorado women's basketball will be televised to a regional or national audience at least 13 times during the regular season, including 12 games on the Pac-12 Networks during league play. This marks the third consecutive year the Buffaloes will have double-digit regional or national television appearances.
Colorado made its television debut on ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain on Nov. 25, defeating Denver 77-49. Colorado's first eight Pac-12 games will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks as will five of the Buffaloes' nine home conference games. All remaining home games, and conference road games, that aren't televised will be scheduled to be streamed live through Colorado's Pac-12.com video portal. In addition, CU's game at Missouri on Friday, Dec. 12, aired on SEC Network +, the SEC's online video streaming option.
Entering this season, Colorado has tipped off on 127 national or regional telecasts since the fall of 2001, and 28 since the advent of the Pac-12 Networks in 2012.