Colorado Concludes Road Trip Sunday At USC
THE GAME: The University of Colorado concludes its swing through Los Angeles by facing the University of Southern California on Sunday, Feb. 8, at 12 p.m. MST at the Galen Center.
BROADCAST: Sunday's game is scheduled to air live on the Pac-12 Network Mountain and Los Angeles Channels. Brian Webber will have the play-by-play with Mary Murphy with the color commentary. Sunday's game will air live on KKZN 760 AM. Cory Lopez will have the call.
OPENING TIP: Senior guard Lexy Kresl is just six points from becoming the 27th player in team history to reach 1,000 points.
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 10-12 overall and in 10th place in the Pac-12 at 3-8. The Buffaloes are just two games out of the top six and play three of those teams in the next five games including Sunday's opponent in USC, one game ahead in standings at 4-7. Colorado dropped a tough 72-65 decision at UCLA on Friday, in a game where the Buffaloes erased a 17-point deficit to take a pair of one-point leads late, only for the Bruins to pull away at the end. The nine losses since the end of the nonconference season have come by a margin of only 8.7 points per game and the last five are only by 5.8 points per game -- less than two possessions a contest.
Colorado is averaging 72.0 points per game on 43.4 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 69.5 points per game. CU has shot better during Pac-12 play, hitting 43.7 percent, including a Pac-12 best 39.9 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 72.8 points per game on 38.5 percent from the field. Colorado is second in the Pac-12 in rebounding (43.3 rpg), offensive rebounds (14.0 orpg), rebounding margin (+6.0) and blocked shots (5.2 bpg) while ranking third in 3-point defense (.288), rebounding margin (+6.3), defensive rebounds (29.3 drpg), 3-point percentage (.385) and free throw percentage (.738).
Colorado is led in scoring by the front court duo of junior Jamee Swan (13.6 ppg) and senior Jen Reese (13.3 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 14.5 per contest. Sophomore guard Haley Smith rounds out Colorado's quartet of double-figure scorers at 10 per outing.
Swan paces Colorado at 7.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the field. She led the Buffaloes with 17 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots against UCLA. Swan 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 which included a career-high 28 points at Washington State. She has 26 blocked shots over the last nine contests (2.9 bpg).
In the Pac-12 Swan ranks second in blocks, third in offensive rebounds (3.3 orpg), sixth in overall rebounding, eighth in field goal percentage, 13th in scoring and 15th in defensive rebounds (4.5 drpg).
Reese is second in rebounding (7.3 rpg), free throw percentage (.848) and field goal percentage (.468). 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 22 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 fifth in free throw percentage, ninth in overall rebounding and defensive boards (5.5 drpg), 13th in field goal percentage and 14th in scoring.
Kresl leads the Buffaloes at 4.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game, and is also the team's top 3-point shooter at 43 percent (44-of-103). Kresl has upped her scoring average to 19 per game over the past seven, including a career-best 26-point performance in the overtime win over Utah. She has scored in double-digits in eight-straight games the longest such streak of her career after pitching in 13 points and six assists at UCLA. Kresl has made 24 of her last 43 from 3-point range (.558). During Pac-12 play she has hit 48 percent from beyond the arc, the second best mark among league competitors.
On the overall Pac-12 charts Kresl ranks fourth in 3-pointers made (2.2 3mpg) and assists, fifth in 3-point percentage (.427), 13th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2), 14th in free throw percentage (.767) and 18th in scoring.
Smith leads the team in free throw percentage (.875) while ranking third in field goal percentage (.462) and rebounding (6.1 rpg) and fourth in scoring (10.0 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 12 of the last 13 games. On the overall Pac-12 leaderboard Smith ranks 19th in rebounding and falling just short of the minimum number of attempts to be ranked among the league leaders in overall free throw percentage.
Senior guard Jasmine Sborov is averaging 6.5 points and 5.1 rebounds and ranks second on the team in assists with 59. She has stepped up play in the last two, averaging 12.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists. Against UCLA, she scored 11 points and had five rebounds, recording her first consecutive double-digit scoring efforts of the season and first ever in Pac-12 play. She had 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.
Sophomore wing Lauren Huggins is second on the team with 32 3-pointers and has hit 36.0 percent from long range, ranking 15th in the Pac-12. She hit 3-of-5 at UCLA, making three consecutive shots during Colorado's second half run that chipped away at the Bruins' double-digit lead. Prior to the UCLA game she had made just 3-of-15 over the previous four games. 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 3.3 rebounds and pitched in four points in each of the last three games. Against Long Beach State she had career highs in points (14), rebounds (8) and field goals made and attempted (7-of-13).
ABOUT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Southern California is 12-10 overall and tied with Oregon and Washington State for seventh place in the Pac-12 at 4-7. The Trojans snapped a five-game losing skid with a 73-54 win over Utah on Friday. USC averages 69.3 points per game on 41.8 percent from the field and 64.7 percent from the foul line. USC gives up 65.3 points per outing while allowing opponents to shoot 42.9 percent, the latter ranking last in the Pac-12. The Trojans lead the Pac-12 in offensive rebounds at 14.8 per game while ranking second in turnover margin (+2.8) and steals (10.0 spg).
USC sports a balanced scoring attack with three players in double figures, and a fourth just outside 10 per game. Senior forward Alexyz Vaioletama leads the Trojans at 12.0 points per game while shooting 48.6 percent from the floor. She ranks second on the team in rebounding at 6.9 per contest. Freshman guard McKenzie Calvert is averaging 10.7 points per game and hitting 36 percent from 3-point range. Junior guard Brianna Barrett averages 10.2 points and tops the Trojans in both assists (86) and steals (50). Senior forward Kaneisha Horn tops USC in rebounds at 7.0 per game while averaging 9.8 points an outing.
Cynthia Cooper is in her second year as head coach of USC with a record of 34-23. She is in her 10th year as a collegiate head coach with a record of 184-129.
THE SERIES: This will be the 12th meeting between Colorado and Southern California with the Trojans holding a 7-4 series lead. USC won the first meeting, 81-61 in Boulder on Jan. 9, and has won the last three after sweeping the 2013-14 season series. USC leads the series 3-2 since the Buffaloes joined the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season. USC has won three of five all-time meetings in Los Angeles.
Linda Lappe is 2-5 against USC as a head coach. Cynthia Cooper is 3-0 against Colorado as a head coach.
KRESL ON ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT TEAM: Senior Lexy Kresl has been named to the Capital One Academic All-District 7 Women's Basketball team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Kresl is one of nine players selected to the all-district team made up of NCAA Division I schools from 14 Midwestern states: Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. She now moves onto the Capital One Academic All-America ballot to be voted on later this month.
A native of Paradise Valley, Ariz., Kresl is an integrative physiology major carrying a 3.56 overall GPA. She aspires to attend Physician Assistant school after graduating in May and to work in pediatrics. Kresl is a two-time Pac-12 Conference All-Academic Women's Basketball selection, and vying for a third, earning first team honors as a junior and second team accolades as a sophomore.
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 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 in the home loss to UCLA on Jan. 11. 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 18 of its 22 opponents this season by an average of 6.0 per game. The Buffaloes are second the Pac-12 in overall rebounds (43.5 rpg) and offensive rebounds (14.0 orpg) while ranking third in defensive rebounds (29.3 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.
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 54-34 since the beginning of the 2012-13 season. Of those 34 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 70 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 1,079 points.
Reese reached 600 at Washington State and is currently 14th on CU's all-time list at 625. She is 18th in career field goals made with 430.
KRESL SOLID FROM ARC, LINE: Senior guard Lexy Kresl ranks seventh in career 3-pointers made at 168 and is fifth in attempts with 520. She has made 24-of-43 over her last eight outings.
She has made a 3-pointer in 85 of 115 career games and has 46 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 (172-of-210) 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 994.
HUGGINS SHOOTS UP LIST: With 25 3-pointers over the last 18 games, sophomore Lauren Huggins has put herself among the Buffaloes' career leaders. She is currently 17th in career 3-pointers made with 72 and tied for 16th in attempts at 199.
SWAN'S SWATS: Junior forward Jamee Swan ranks second in the Pac-12 in blocked shots at 2.2 per game. She has 26 blocked shots over the last nine games (2.9 bpg).
She has three games with five blocks this season, standing as both career and team season highs (Long Beach State, USC and Washington State). Her 48 blocked shots on the season rank eighth on CU's single-season list and her current 2.2 per game pace would rank fourth on the Buffaloes' all-time charts.
Swan has 112 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).