Buffs Begin Crucial Stretch With Swing Through SoCal
THE GAME: The University of Colorado takes on its only road trip in the next three weeks with a swing through Los Angeles, beginning with UCLA on Friday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. MST at Pauley Pavilion.
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. A live video stream will also be available through UCLA's Pac-12 player at this address:
OPENING TIP: Senior guard Lexy Kresl is just 19 points from becoming the 27th player in team history to reach 1,000 points.
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 10-11 overall and tied with Oregon, and Sunday's opponent, USC, for eighth place in the Pac-12 at 3-7. The Buffaloes have a huge opportunity to climb the standings over the next two weeks as their next four opponents are either tied or directly above them, putting them just two games out of fifth place. Colorado snapped a three-game skid by defeating Arizona, 81-69, on Feb. 1. The eight losses since the end of the nonconference season have come by a margin of only 8.9 points per game.
Colorado is averaging 72.3 points per game on 43.5 percent shooting. The Buffaloes' scoring has dipped slightly during Pac-12 play, as is the norm with stiffer competition, but still checks in at a solid 70 points per game. CU has shot better during Pac-12 play, hitting 43.9 percent, including 39.2 percent from 3-point range. Colorado registered its seventh 80-point game of the season in the win over Arizona and third during Pac-12 play. CU scored 82 at Washington, the most for the Buffaloes in a conference road game since an 84-60 win at Nebraska on Feb. 26, 2002. Colorado's 84 points in the first meeting against UCLA are the most against a conference opponent since putting up a similar number against Oregon on Feb. 10, 2013.
Defensively, Colorado has allowed 72.3 points per game on 38.2 percent from the field. Colorado is second in the Pac-12 in rebounding (43.4 rpg), offensive rebounds (13.8 orpg), 3-point defense (.285) and blocked shots (5.2 bpg) while ranking third in rebounding margin (+6.3), defensive rebounds (29.6 drpg), 3-point percentage (.382) and free throw percentage (.735).
Colorado is led in scoring by the front court duo of senior Jen Reese (13.7 ppg) and junior Jamee Swan (13.5 ppg) who have gone back-and-forth for the team lead virtually all season, separated by just a handful of points. Senior guard Lexy Kresl is third in overall scoring at 12.8 points per game, but leads the Buffaloes during Pac-12 play at 14.7 per contest. Sophomore guard Haley Smith rounds out Colorado's quartet of double-figure scorers at just over 10 per outing.
Swan paces Colorado at 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game while shooting 48.9 percent from the field. She recorded her team best fifth double-double of the season, and seventh of her career, with 10 points, on 5-of-8 shooting, and 11 rebounds against Arizona State. She had a strong weekend at the Washington schools averaging 25 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3.5 assists while shooting 66 percent from the field in the two games. Swan had 22 points and 11 rebounds at Washington and then scored a career-high 28 points on 12-of-17 shooting and matched a personal-best five blocked shots at WSU.
In the Pac-12 Swan ranks second in blocks, third in offensive rebounds (3.2 orpg), sixth in overall rebounding, ninth in field goal percentage and 14th in scoring.
Reese is second in rebounding (7.3 rpg), free throw percentage (.844) and field goal percentage (.476). She had 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting with eight rebounds and three assists in the win over Arizona. In the first meeting with UCLA, she scored a career and team season-high 30 points 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 51.5 percent during Pac-12 games (51-of-99).
Reese has scored in double figures in 14 of 21 games - scoring nine in three others - and has three double-doubles. She has four games of 20 or more points this season. On the Pac-12 leaderboard, Reese is sixth in free throw percentage, seventh in defensive boards (5.4 drpg), ninth in overall rebounding, 11th in scoring and 13th in field goal percentage.
Kresl leads the Buffaloes at 4.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game, and is also the team's top 3-point shooter at 42 percent (42-of-100). Kresl has upped her scoring average to 20 per game over the past six, including 20-point performance against Arizona, hitting 4-of-8 from downtown. In all she has scored in double-digits in seven-straight games the longest such streak of her career. Kresl has made 22 of her last 40 from 3-point range (.555). Kresl scored a career-high 26 points in the overtime win over Utah hitting 6-of-8 from the field and setting personal bests with 11-of-16 from the foul line.
On the Pac-12 charts Kresl ranks fourth in 3-pointers made (2.2 3mpg) and assists, sixth in 3-point percentage (.420), 13th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2) and 18th in scoring.
Smith leads the team in free throw percentage (.875) while ranking third in field goal percentage (.466) and rebounding (6.3 rpg) and fourth in scoring (10.2 ppg). She has made 25-of-27 (.926) from the free throw line during league play, the second-best mark in the Pac-12 during that span. Smith has also been one of Colorado's most consistent rebounders, registering at least five rebounds in the last 12 contests. On the overall Pac-12 leaderboard Smith ranks third in free throw percentage, 15th in field goal percentage and 19th in rebounding.
Senior guard Jasmine Sborov is averaging 6.3 points and 5.1 rebounds and ranks second on the team in assists with 57. She is coming off one of her best all-around games of her career scoring 14 points with 11 rebounds and seven assists against Arizona. It was her third career double-double, the second this season and first ever against a conference opponent. In fact all three numbers, points-rebounds-assists, are personal bests in a Pac-12 game. Her 14 points marked just her fourth Pac-12 game scoring in double-digits. Against Iowa, Sborov led Colorado with career-highs in points (17) and rebounds (12). Sborov also dished out a career-high nine assists against San Jose State.
Sophomore wing Lauren Huggins is second on the team with 29 3-pointers and has hit 34.5 percent from long range. Huggins had seven points and a career-high seven rebounds against Arizona. Her seven rebounds were more than the total of her first nine Pac-12 games combined (five).
Sophomore forward Zoe Beard-Fails is averaging 4.5 points and 3.4 rebounds and pitched in four points in each of the games against the Arizona schools. Against Long Beach State she had career highs in points (14), rebounds (8) and field goals made and attempted (7-of-13).
ABOUT UCLA: UCLA is 8-13 overall and tied with Washington State for sixth place in the Pac-12 at 4-6. The Bruins have lost their last four, coming off of road losses to Oregon (67-65) and No. 7 ranked Oregon State (82-64). UCLA's schedule has been a who's-who of college women's basketball, facing eight ranked teams including four in the Top 10 in Texas, Notre Dame, UConn and Oregon State. The Bruins average 65.4 points per game on 39 percent from the field. Opponents average 69.9 points per game on 40 percent from the field.
All Pac-12 guard Nirra Fields leads UCLA at 14.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game. Freshman guard Jordin Canada averages 11.1 points per game, ranking second on the squad in scoring and steals (34). Sophomore backcourt mate Kari Korver is UCLA's top 3-point shooter with 40 on the season and at 39 percent. She averages 10.7 points and 3.9 rebounds an outing.
Cori Close is in her fourth year as head coach at UCLA with a record of 61-55.
THE SERIES: This will be the 11th meeting between Colorado and UCLA with the series tied at 5-5 after the Bruins' 90-84 win in Boulder on Jan. 11. Colorado pulled off the rare three-game sweep over the Bruins in 2013-14. CU claimed its first Pac-12 win over UCLA with a 61-59 win at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 5, 2014. The Buffaloes then handily won the rematch in Boulder, 62-42, on Feb. 28, and six days later completed the sweep with a 76-65 triumph in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament. Colorado is 3-3 against UCLA as a member of the Pac-12 and the all-time series is tied 2-2 in Los Angeles.
Linda Lappe is 3-3 against UCLA as a head coach. Cori Close is 3-3 against Colorado as a head coach.
CONNECTIONS: UCLA assistant coach Jenny (Roulier) Huth was a three-time All-Big 12 performer for Colorado (1998-02) and teammate of current CU head coach Linda Lappe. Roulier scored 1,399 points in her CU career, helping the Buffaloes to two NCAA Tournaments, including the 2002 Elite Eight.
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 had a string of 20 straight free throws made end with her only attempt at Washington State. Smith has made 25-of-27 in Pac-12 play (.926), the league's second best mark during that span.
MOST FREE THROWS WITHOUT A MISS:
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.
MOST FIELD GOALS IN ONE GAME:
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 17 of its 21 opponents this season by an average of 6.3 per game. The Buffaloes are second the Pac-12 in overall rebounds (43.4 rpg) and offensive rebounds (13.8 orpg) while ranking third in defensive rebounds (29.6 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 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 nine rebounders in the Pac-12. Junior Jamee Swan is sixth at 7.8 per game while senior Jen Reese is ninth at 7.3 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 Feb. 2, it's tied for the third-most in NCAA Division I for the 2014-15 campaign (DePaul, Norfolk State, Purdue), trailing only Hofstra and Norfolk State who have both played in five. The NCAA I record for overtimes in one season is seven set by Wisconsin in 1998-99.
Colorado's 77-72 overtime win over Utah moved the Buffaloes to 3-1 on the season with the extra session and above .500 all-time at 24-23.
2014-15 OVERTIME GAMES
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 54-33 since the beginning of the 2012-13 season. Of those 33 losses, 15 have been to ranked teams and 14 of those ranked higher than Colorado at the time the game was played. The Buffaloes have won 51 of their last 69 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 13th player in team history to reach 1,000 points and 600 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 24th on CU's career scoring list with 1,075 points.
Reese reached 600 at Washington State and is currently 15th on CU's all-time list at 617. She is 18th in career field goals made with 429.
KRESL SOLID FROM ARC, LINE: Senior guard Lexy Kresl ranks seventh in career 3-pointers made at 166 and is fifth in attempts with 517. She has made 22-of-40 over her last seven outings.
She has made a 3-pointer in 84 of 114 career games and has 45 contests with two or more buckets from long range. Kresl hit five at Washington, tying a season high and also marking her seventh 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 81.9 (167-of-204) 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 Friday's game with 981.
HUGGINS SHOOTS UP LIST: With 22 3-pointers over the last 17 games, sophomore Lauren Huggins has put herself among the Buffaloes' career leaders. She is currently 17th in both career 3-pointers made with 69 and attempts at 194.
SWAN'S SWATS: Junior forward Jamee Swan ranks second in the Pac-12 in blocked shots at 2.1 per game. She has 27 blocked shots over the last 11 games (2.5 bpg) a number that includes a trio of career and team-season high five block efforts (Long Beach State, USC and Washington State).
Swan has 108 career blocks ranking eighth on CU's all-time list.
AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Colorado is 0-3 against ranked teams this season after dropping a 68-60 decision to No. 11/11 Arizona State on Jan. 30. The Buffaloes have dropped their last 15 against ranked opponents. Colorado is 62-157 all-time against ranked opponents.
STRONG SCHEDULE: Colorado currently holds down the 27th toughest schedule in the nation (through games of Feb. 3) as its opponents have a combined record of 238-154 (.607). The Buffaloes are third in the Pac-12 trailing UCLA (3rd, .667) and Arizona State (22nd, .612).
Taking into account the records of future opposition, Colorado jumps to 20th as its cumulative opponent record is 267-166 (.617), trailing only UCLA in the Pac-12 (2nd, .666).
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).