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Colorado Ready For Rematch With Utah Sunday

Jan 17, 2015

THE GAME: The University of Colorado completes its home-and-home series with the University of Utah by traveling to play the Utes on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 12 p.m. at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.

BROADCAST: Sunday's game is scheduled to air live nationally on the Pac-12 Networks. Christian Miles will have the play-by-play with Drew Shiller with the color commentary. Sunday'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 41-of-51 from the free throw line over the last two games (.804).

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 8-8 overall and 1-4 in the Pac-12 Conference after defeating Utah 77-72 in overtime at the Coors Events Center on Jan. 14, snapping a five-game losing skid. The Buffaloes lost their first four Pac-12 games and the win over Utah avoided the slowest conference start in team history. Colorado has dropped seven of its last nine.

Colorado is averaging 72.2 points per game on 43.1 percent shooting. The Buffaloes have broke out of a mini scoring slump over a four-game span that included the start of conference play. Colorado has averaged 80.5 points over the last two games after being held to 57.8 points over the previous four games. Colorado has hit the 80-point mark five times this season, most recently against UCLA where its 84 points against the Bruins was the most against a conference opponent since putting up a similar number against Oregon on Feb. 10, 2013.

Defensively, Colorado has allowed 70.6 points per game on 38.1 percent from the field. The Buffaloes top the Pac-12 in blocked shots at 5.6 per game and are the Pac-12's second ranked rebounding team, pulling down 44.4 per contest. The Buffaloes rank third in 3-point percentage (.374) and fourth in 3-point defense (.279) and rebounding margin (+6.3).

Senior Jen Reese leads Colorado in scoring (14.5 ppg) and rebounding (7.8 rpg) while ranking second in free throw percentage (.823) and field goal percentage (.484). She scored a career and team season-high 30 points in the loss to UCLA which put her over the 1,000-point mark in her career. She made 14-of-19 from the field and also dished out five assists, all career-highs. The 30 points are the most by a CU player since Chucky Jeffery had 30 against Idaho on Dec. 4, 2011. Reese is hitting 57.4 percent during Pac-12 games (31-of-54).

Reese has scored in double figures in 12 of 16 games and has three double-doubles. She has four games of 20 or more points this season. On the Pac-12 leaderboard, Reese is seventh in free throw percentage and rebounding, ninth in scoring and defensive boards (5.4 drpg) and 14th in offensive rebounding (2.3 orpg).

Junior forward Jamee Swan tops Colorado in blocked shots (2.0 bpg) while ranking second in scoring (13.1 ppg), rebounding (7.7 rpg) and steals (15). Swan has led Colorado in scoring in eight games including a 14-point effort in the Jan. 9 loss against USC where she also tied a career and team season best with five blocked shots. She scored 21 at Cal, hitting 20 points for the third time this season and the fifth time in her career. She led Colorado against Stanford with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. The double-double was her third of the season and fifth of her career.

In the Pac-12 Swan ranks second in blocks, sixth in offensive rebounds (2.9 orpg), eighth in overall rebounding, 14th in defensive rebounds (4.8 drpg), and 17th in scoring.

Senior guard Lexy Kresl is averaging 10.6 points and 5.0 rebounds while leading the Buffaloes at 5.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Kresl scored a career-high 26 points in the win over Utah hitting 6-of-8 from the field and setting personal bests with 11-of-16 from the foul line. She leads Colorado in 3-pointers with 27 and has made 7 of her last 10 spanning the last two games.

Kresl 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 fourth in the Pac-12 in assists and also ranks eighth in 3-pointers made (1.9 3mpg), 13th in 3-point percentage (.386), 14th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3) and 29th in scoring.

Sophomore guard Haley Smith leads the team in field goal (.489) and free throw percentage (.868) while ranking third in scoring (11.0 ppg) and rebounding (6.3 rpg). She has averaged 17 points over the last two games and in that span has made 15 straight free throws including a monster 11-for-11 effort against Utah that ties for the fourth best single-game performance in team history. Smith scored a personal Pac-12 high 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting against UCLA.  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 third in free throw percentage, 13th in field goal percentage, 18th in rebounding and 27th in scoring.

Senior guard Jasmine Sborov is averaging 6.6 points and 5.3 rebounds and ranks second on the team in assists with 41. She scored in double figures for the fourth time this season with 10 points against USC on 5-of-10 from the field. Her 10 points marked just her third Pac-12 game scoring in double-digits and just one off her league best of 11 set at UCLA last season. Her five field goals made were a Pac-12 best. 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.

Sophomore forward Zoe Beard-Fails has picked up her play and earned a starting role for the Buffaloes front court for a recent five-game stretch. Overall on the season she has averaged 4.6 points and 3.8 rebounds. Against Long Beach State she had career highs in points (14), rebounds (8) and field goals made and attempted (7-of-13).

Sophomore wing Lauren Huggins is second on the team with 23 3-pointers and has hit 36.5 percent from long range ranking 15th in the Pac-12. Huggins rebounded from a four-game scoring drought to make 3-of-9 from long range against USC and UCLA.

Freshmen Brecca Thomas and Alina Hartmann have been increasing their productivity. Thomas scored a career-high 11 points in the win over Utah including a personal-best 4-of-4 from the foul line. Hartmann has scored in three of the last four games. Classmate Zoe Correal had a personal best six points on 3-of-6 shooting at Stanford.

ABOUT UTAH: Utah is 6-10 overall and looking for its first Pac-12 Conference win of the season. The Utes have dropped their last five and six of their last eight. Utah scored its second highest point total of the season in the 77-72 loss to Colorado on Jan. 11. Prior to that game the Utes had averaged just 45.5 points over their first four league contests. Overall the Utes average 56.4 points per game while hitting 38 percent from the field and 69 percent from the free throw line. Defensively, Utah is allowing its opponents just 58.2 points per game and 36 percent shooting, both numbers ranking third in the Pac-12. The 77 points given up to Colorado was Utah's second-highest total of the season.

Senior forward Taryn Wicijowski leads Utah with a season double-double at 15.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, numbers that both rank in the top 10 in the Pac-12. She is coming off a 29-point, 14-rebound performance in the first game against Colorado. Freshman forward Tanaeya Boclair is second on the team in scoring at 9.1 points per game, hitting 43 percent from the floor. Junior guard Danielle Rodriguez tops the Utes and ranks seventh in the Pac-12 in assists at 4.2 per game while pitching in 7.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest. Sophomore guard Paige Crozon averages just under seven points per game and has made 20 3-point field goals on 36 percent beyond the arc.

Anthony Levrets is in his fifth season as head coach at Utah with a record of 75-76.

THE SERIES: This will be the 26th meeting between Colorado and Utah with the Buffaloes claiming a 13-12 series lead. Colorado has won 6-of-8 since the two teams joined the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 campaign; and the Buffaloes have won 13 of the last 19 overall dating back to 1980. This is the third year where the Pac-12 GÇ£travel partnersGÇ¥ will face each other in consecutive games. Colorado has won both GÇ£rematchGÇ¥ games. The teams split their meetings last year, each winning at home. Utah won the first game, 58-55, in Salt Lake City, on Jan. 29. The Buffaloes responded with a win at home, 61-45, on Feb. 2.

Linda Lappe is 6-2 against Utah as a head coach. Anthony Levrets is 2-6 against Colorado as a head coach.

SMITH PERFECT FROM FREE THROW LINE: Sophomore Haley Smith was a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line in the home win over Utah. Both numbers represent career highs for Smith with the 11 free throws made tying for the team season high along with Jen Reese (11-of-13) and Lexy Kresl (11-of-16).

Smith's 11-for-11 outing also ties for Colorado's fourth best single game performance for free throws made with out a miss. She has made 15 straight free throws over the last two games and currently ranks third in the Pac-12 at 86.8 percent. She has made 16-of-17 in Pac-12 play (.941).

13-of-13, Gretchen DeWitte vs. Nebraska, Feb. 7, 1987
12-of-12, Jackie McFarland vs. Missouri, Mar. 5, 2008
12-of-12, Mandy Nightingale vs. Florida, Dec. 22, 2000
11-of-11, Haley Smith vs. Utah, Jan. 14, 2015
11-of-11, Shelley Sheetz vs. Kansas, Feb. 12, 1992.

REESE'S TOP FIELD GOAL NIGHT: Senior forward Jen Reese had a career night with 30 points against UCLA. She made 14-of-19 from the field and the 14 field goals made tie for the third-best single-game total in team history. Reese joins 10 others who have had 14 field goals in a game, most recently by CU's all-time leading scorer Brittany Spears against California in the first round of the 2011 Postseason WNIT.

17, Tracy Tripp at Oklahoma State, Feb. 4, 1987
15, Jean Raikes vs. Temple Junior College, Nov. 20, 1976
14, Jen Reese vs. UCLA, Jan. 11, 2015
14, 10 others, most recently Brittany Spears vs. Cal, Mar. 21, 2011

BACK TO THE BOARDS: Colorado has outrebounded, or been even, with 13 of its 16 opponents this season by an average of 6.3 per game. The Buffaloes are second the Pac-12 in overall rebounds (44.4 rpg) and rank third in defensive rebounds (30.4 drpg) and offensive boards (14.0 orpg).

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 came over an eight-game span 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.

Colorado sports two of the top eight rebounders in the Pac-12, separated on the season by a single rebound. Senior Jen Reese is seventh at 7.8 per game while junior Jamee Swan is eighth at 7.7 per contest.

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 has played in four overtime games, the most in one season in team history. As of January 15, it's the second-most in NCAA Division I for the 2014-15 campaign, trailing only Hofstra which has played in five. The NCAA I record for overtimes in one season is seven set by Wisconsin in 1998-99.

Colorado is coming off a 77-72 overtime win over Utah, a win that moved the Buffaloes to 3-1 on the season with the extra session and above .500 all-time at 24-23.

Nov. 17 vs. Western Kentucky (68-68)            L, 78-79
Nov. 29 vs. Colorado State (64-64/74-74)      W, 87-81
Dec. 5 vs. San Jose State (85-85)                    W, 97-89
Jan. 11 vs. Utah (63-63)                                   W, 77-72

The Buffaloes had played three overtime games in one season on four other occasions, most recently in 1995-96. Colorado played in overtime in three of its first seven games marking the first time the Buffaloes had played three during the nonconference schedule.  Overall it's the 14 time Colorado has played multiple overtime games in one season.

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. The Buffaloes are 3-3 overall in double overtime games.

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: Colorado has a record of 52-30 since the beginning of the 2012-13 season. Of those 30 losses, 14 have been to ranked teams and 13 of those ranked higher than Colorado at the time the game was played. The Buffaloes have won 49 of their last 65 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 is the 15th player in team history to reach 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a career.

She reached the 1,000-point milestone during her career-high 30-point effort against UCLA on Jan. 11 and is the 26th player to reach that mark. She is currently 26th on CU's career scoring list with 1,019 points, 26 away from cracking the top 25.

Reese became the 21st player to reach 500 career rebounds during the Missouri State game. She is currently 15th on Colorado's all-time list with 588.

With 409 career field goals made, she is five away from reaching the career top 20.

KRESL SOLID FROM ARC, LINE: Senior guard Lexy Kresl ranks  seventh in career 3-pointers made at 151 and is sixth in attempts with 489. She has made 7-of-10 over her last two outings.

She has made a 3-pointer in 79 of 109 career games and has 40 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 81.7 (156-of-191) would rank sixth on the Buffs' all-time list (minimum of 100 attempts).

She 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 is also closing in on the 1,000 point mark, entering Sunday's game with 887. Maintaining her 8.1 points per game career average would put her at 1,000 points near the end of the regular season.

HUGGINS SHOOTS UP LIST: With 16 3-pointers over the last 12 games, sophomore Lauren Huggins has put herself among  the Buffaloes' career leaders. She is currently 18th in career 3-pointers made with 63 and 19th in attempts at 173.

SWAN'S SWATS: Junior forward Jamee Swan ranks second in the Pac-12 in blocked shots at 2.0 per game. She has 15 blocked shots over the last six games (2.5 bpg) a number that includes a pair of career and team-season high five block efforts (Long Beach State, USC).

Swan has 96 career blocks ranking ninth CU's all-time list.

AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Colorado is 0-2 against ranked teams this season after dropping a 62-55 decision at No. 15/15 Stanford on Jan. 3. The Buffaloes have dropped their last 14 against ranked opponents. Colorado is 62-156 all-time against ranked opponents.

STRONG SCHEDULE: Colorado currently holds down the 27th toughest schedule in the nation (through games of Jan. 15) as its opponents have a combined record of 142-92 (.607). The Buffaloes are fourth in the Pac-12 trailing UCLA (2nd, .683), Arizona State (18th, .624) and California (22nd, .615).

Taking into account the records of future opposition, Colorado jumps to 21st as its cummulative opponent record is 208-117 (.640), trailing only UCLA in the Pac-12 (2nd, .696).

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).

HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 401-139 all-time record at the Coors Events Center (.743). 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 is 7-4 at the Coors Events Center in 2014-15 and has won 25 of its last 36 and 36 of its last 50 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 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.