Buffs Travel To Arizona For Final Regular Season Road Trip
THE GAME: The University of Colorado begins its final regular season road trip by facing the University of Arizona on Friday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m. at the McKale Center in Tucson.
BROADCAST: Friday's game is scheduled to air live on the Pac-12 Networks' Mountain, Arizona, Oregon and Washington channels. Christian Miles will have the play-by-play with Kyndra de St. Aubin with the color commentary. Friday's game will air live on KKZN 760 AM. Cory Lopez will have the call.
OPENING TIP: Balance has been key to Colorado's success. The Buffaloes are 12-5 when three or more players score in double-figures and a perfect 7-0 when four or more score at least 10. Colorado is 0-10 when two or fewer hit double-digits.
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 12-15 overall and tied with Oregon for ninth place in the Pac-12 at 5-11. The Buffaloes are one-game behind Washington State which is in eighth at 6-10. Colorado appears to be heading for the No. 8-9 game at the Pac-12 Tournament for the second straight season. The Buffaloes have an outside shot to climb as high as a tie for seventh in the final regular season league standings, but tiebreakers would put Colorado in the No. 8, No. 9 spot. Colorado could also be the No. 10 seed, but would need to finish with a worse record than Oregon to fall there.
The Buffaloes split their final home series this past weekend, falling to No. 7/8 ranked Oregon State 66-44 on Feb. 20, but rebounding to defeat Oregon 84-69 on Senior Day on Feb. 22. Colorado went 2-2 on its final home stand and has won three of its last seven.
Colorado is averaging 70.4 points per game on 42.5 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 67.7 points per game. CU has shot 42.0 percent during Pac-12 play, including a league-best 38.2 percent from 3-point range.
Defensively, Colorado has allowed 69.7 points per game on 38.3 percent from the field. Colorado is second in the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (.748), rebounding (42.8 rpg), defensive rebounds (29.3 drpg), rebounding margin (+5.8) and blocked shots (4.7 bpg) while ranking third in scoring (70.4 ppg), 3-point percentage (.378), 3-point defense (.291) and offensive rebounds (13.5 orpg) and fourth in assists (15.3 apg).
Junior forward Jamee Swan paces Colorado at 13.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 46.7 percent from the field. Swan averaged 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 blocks last weekend against Oregon State and Oregon. She has scored in double-figures a team best 19 times including three straight and nine of her last 11. Swan also leads the team with seven double-doubles and nine double-digit rebounding games.
In the Pac-12 Swan ranks second in blocks, third in offensive rebounds (3.2 orpg), sixth in overall rebounding, 12th in scoring, 13th in defensive rebounds (4.8 drpg) and 14th in field goal percentage.
Senior guard Lexy Kresl is third on the team in overall scoring at 12.5 points per game and leads the Buffaloes during conference play at 13.5 per contest. She paces Colorado at 4.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game, and is also the team's top 3-point shooter at 40.8 percent (53-of-130). Kresl had 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the win over Oregon, hitting 3-of-4 from 3-point range. She is averaging 15.5 points over the last 13 games and has made 33 of her last 70 from 3-point range (.471).
On the overall Pac-12 charts Kresl ranks fourth in assists, fifth in 3-point percentage, sixth in 3-pointers made (2.1 3mpg), seventh in free throw percentage (.803), 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2) and 18th in scoring.
Senior forward Jen Reese leads Colorado in free throw percentage (.867), is second in scoring (13.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.2 rpg) and third in field goal percentage (.459). Reese averaged 17 points and six rebounds over the weekend with the Oregon schools. She had 19 against No. 7/8 Oregon State including a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line, tying her career best performance for free throws without a miss. Reese has made her last 20 free throw attempts and is hitting 92.7 percent from the line during Pac-12 play (38-of-41) the best mark in the league during that span. Reese has Colorado's top scoring game of the season putting in a career-best 30 in the home game against UCLA, which also put her over the career 1,000 point mark. She made 14-of-19 from the field and also dished out five assists, all career-highs.
Reese has scored in double figures in 18 of 27 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 second in free throw percentage, eighth in defensive boards (5.4 drpg), 10th in overall rebounding and 14th in scoring.
Sophomore guard Haley Smith is second on the team in free throw percentage (.865) and field goal percentage (.463) while ranking third in rebounding (5.8 rpg) and fourth in scoring (9.3 ppg). She has made 28-of-31 (.903) from the free throw line during league play. Smith has also been one of Colorado's most consistent rebounders, registering at least five rebounds in 14 of the last 18 games. She ranks 15th in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage.
Senior guard Jasmine Sborov is averaging 6.6 points and 5.0 rebounds and ranks second on the team in assists with 69. She's upped her scoring to 8.3 points over the last seven contests while hitting 49 percent (21-of-43) from the field during that same time frame. In the win over Oregon she scored 13 points, grabbed a team-best nine rebounds and dished out four assists. Sborov had one of her best all-around games of her career in this season's first game with Arizona scoring 14 points with 11 rebounds and seven assists. 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 35 3-pointers and has hit 36.5 percent from long range, ranking 14th in the Pac-12. She has made 6-of-12 over the last six games (.500) including 2-of-4 during an eight-point effort against Washington. 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. Huggins had seven points and a career-high seven rebounds in the first meeting with 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 4.1 points and 3.1 rebounds and is second on the team in blocked shots with 16. Against Long Beach State she had career highs in points (14), rebounds (8) and field goals made and attempted (7-of-13).
Colorado continues to succeed with help from its freshman class. Forward Zoe Correal scored a career-high seven points in the win over Oregon and is averaging 3.1 points and 3.3 rebounds over the last eight games. Guard Alina Hartmann scored a career-best 11 points off the bench against Washington State hitting 4-of-6 from the field. Guard Brecca Thomas is averaging 4.3 points and 2.3 assists over the last four.
ABOUT ARIZONA: Arizona is 9-18 overall and resides in last place in the Pac-12 at 2-14. The Wildcats have lost four straight, but their last win was an impressive one, a 60-57 triumph at home over perennial power and then No. 12 ranked Stanford on Feb. 8, snapping a 24-game losing streak to the Cardinal. Arizona ranks 11th in the Pac-12 in scoring (58.0 ppg) and 12th in field goal percentage (.361). The Wildcats are one of the better offensive rebounding teams in the league, grabbing just under 13 per game. Defensively, Arizona allows 67.1 points per game on 42.7 percent from the floor. The Wildcats have done well defending the perimeter, allowing 30.4 percent from 3-point range, the fourth best mark in the Pac-12.
Senior guard Candice Warthen leads Arizona in scoring (12.6 ppg), assists (2.8 apg) and steals (1.1 spg) while ranking second in rebounding (5.3 rpg) and 3-point field goals (16). Sophomore forward LaBrittney Jones tops the Wildcats in rebounding (6.0 rpg), blocks (1.4 bpg) and field goal percentage (.434) and is second in scoring (9.4 ppg). Freshman guard Charise Holloway leads Arizona in 3-pointers made and attempted (25-of-97) and is fourth in scoring (6.7 ppg). Sophomore guard Malena Washington is second in assists (2.1 apg) while pitching in 7.1 points per outing.
Niya Butts is in her seventh season as the head coach at Arizona with a record of 88-126.
THE SERIES: This will be the 17th meeting between Colorado and Arizona with the Buffaloes holding a 13-3 series lead. Colorado has won 10 straight over the Wildcats including all seven meetings as Pac-12 rivals. Colorado won the season's first meeting, an 81-69 decision in Boulder on Feb. 1.
Linda Lappe is 7-0 against Arizona as a head coach. Niya Butts is 0-7 against Colorado as a head coach.
CONNECTIONS: Colorado has two Arizona natives on its roster. Senior guard Lexy Kresl is from Paradise Valley, a suburb of Phoenix. Junior forward Jamee Swan is from Marana which is near Tucson.
PERFECT NIGHT AT THE LINE: Colorado hit all 14 free throws in the win over Washington State, the third best total in team history for free throws made without a miss. The Buffaloes have hit 75 percent or better in 10 of the last 13 games and are 80 percent over the last six games (101-of-126).
MOST FREE THROWS WITHOUT A MISS:
19-of-19 vs. Nebraska, Feb. 7, 1987 (W 91-71)
16-of-16 at Kansas State, Feb. 21, 2009 (L 60-72)
14-of-14 vs. Washington State, Feb. 13, 2015 (W 72-51)
9-of-9 vs Villanova, Nov. 30, 2002 (L 54-59)
9-of-9 vs. Illinois State, Nov 26, 1988 (W 74-60)
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.
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.
SBOROV AMONG 'SO YOU WANT TO BE A COACH' CLASS: Senior guard Jasmine Sborov will participate in the 13th annual 'So You Want To Be A Coach' program in conjunction with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association National Convention April 3-5 in Tampa, Fla.
The objectives of the "So" program are to increase the understanding and application of skills necessary to secure coaching positions in women's basketball. 'So' participants will learn about recruiting, the administrative side to coaching, how to get hired, skill development, the importance of knowing the rules, and how to balance work and life.
Qualified candidates must have exhausted their final year of basketball eligibility at a four-year institution or have graduated within the past year. Each participant is selected based on her academics, contributions to women's basketball on and off the court, professional resume and a written recommendation from their head coach.
Sborov, a native of Round Rock, Texas, has been a vital part of Colorado women's basketball's community service efforts during her career and has participated in a wide variety of events. She was one of nominees for the 2015 AllState WBCA Good Works Team.
She has participated in National Girls and Women In Sports Day and Healthy Kids Day a pair of separate events that promote health and fitness to youth in the community. Last winter, Sborov participated in a fitness activity with Imagine!'s Out and About group. The mission of Imagine! is to create and offer innovative supports to people of all ages with cognitive, developmental, physical, and health related needs so they may live fulfilling lives of independence and quality in their homes and communities. This past summer she dove into the coaching arena, helping with a local AAU girls basketball team.
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 28-of-31 in Pac-12 play (.903).
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
TWO 1,000 POINT SCORERS: Senior guard Lexy Kresl became the 27th player in team history to reach 1,000 points during her 14-point performance at USC. With classmate Jen Reese hitting the 1,000-point milestone earlier in the season, it marks the first time since 2006-07 that two Buffaloes reached the 1,000-point milestone in the same season: Jackie McFarland (3rd 1,957) and Jasmina Ilic (23rd 1,093).
Reese is currently 20th in career scoring at 1,139 while Kresl is 26th with 1,050.
OFFENSIVE ATTACK: Colorado's offensive attack is enjoying one of its best seasons in over a decade. The Buffaloes are averaging 70.4 points per game, their best over the course of a season since the 2001-02 team put up 76.1 points per outing.
Colorado registered its eighth 80-point game of the season in the win over Oregon on Feb. 22 and fourth during Pac-12 play. The 84 points ties CU's Pac-12 season high which came in the home loss to UCLA (90-84) on Jan. 11. 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 number of 80-point games, both overall and in league games, are the most since the 2001-02 season when the Buffaloes had 13 80-point games, five during the Big 12 Conference schedule.
Colorado is hovering around a pair of Top 10 single-season percentage numbers in the team annals. The Buffaloes' nationally No. 10 ranked 3-point shooting percentage of 37.8 would rank as the fourth best single-season mark in team history if the season ended today. Colorado's 74.8 percent showing from the free throw line would rank in the ninth spot. CU's current overall pace of 42.5 percent from the field would be the team's best since 2003-04 (.435).
BACK TO THE BOARDS: Colorado has outrebounded, or been even, with 22 of its 27 opponents this season by an average of 5.9 per game. The Buffaloes are second the Pac-12 in overall rebounds (42.8 rpg) and defensive boards (29.3 drpg) while ranking third in offensive rebounds (13.5 orpg). If the season ended today, Colorado's 42.8 per game rebounding average would be the seventh best in team history.
Colorado has six games with 50 or more rebounds, including a 52-33 edge in the win over Washington State, its biggest margin in conference plays since holding a plus-25 margin against Arizona (51-26) on Jan. 20, 2013. Colorado had 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 has two players ranking in the top 10 of the current Pac-12 leaderboard. Junior Jamee Swan is sixth at 8.0 per game while senior Jen Reese is 10th at 7.2 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. 23, it's tied for the fourth-most in NCAA Division I for the 2014-15 campaign (DePaul, Jacksonville State, Louisiana-Lafayette, McNeese State, Oklahoma, San Jose State, Southern Mississippi and William & Mary), trailing only Hofstra, Norfolk State and Purdue who have each 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 56-37 since the beginning of the 2012-13 season. Of those 37 losses, 16 have been to ranked teams and 15 of those ranked higher than Colorado at the time the game was played. The Buffaloes have won 53 of their last 74 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 12th player in team history to reach 1,100 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 20th on CU's career scoring list with 1,139 points.
Reese reached 600 at Washington State and is currently 13th on CU's all-time list at 659. She is 18th in career field goals made with 454.
KRESL SOLID FROM ARC, LINE: Senior guard Lexy Kresl ranks seventh in career 3-pointers made at 177 and is fifth in attempts with 549. Her current 40.8 percent status from 3-point range this season would rank 11th on Colorado's all-time single-season list.
She has made a 3-pointer in 90 of 120 career games and has 49 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 82.7 (187-of-226) would rank fifth 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.
HUGGINS SHOOTS UP LIST: Sophomore Lauren Huggins, who is second on the team in 3-pointers this season with 35, has moved into a tie with Chucky Jeffery (2009-13) for 15th place all-time with 75. She is 16 in attempts with 206.
SWAN'S SWATS: Junior forward Jamee Swan ranks second in the Pac-12 in blocked shots at 1.9 per game. She has 30 blocked shots over the last 14 games (2.1 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 52 blocked shots on the season tie for seventh on CU's single-season list and her current 1.9 per game pace would rank sixth on the Buffaloes' all-time charts.
Swan has 41 percent of Colorado's blocked shots this season. The Buffaloes total of 126 blocks currently ranks ninth on the team's single-season record book.
Swan has 116 career blocks ranking eighth on CU's all-time list.
AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Colorado is 0-4 against ranked teams this season after dropping a 66-44 decision to No. 7/8 Oregon State on Feb. 20. The Buffaloes have dropped their last 16 against ranked opponents. Colorado is 62-158 all-time against ranked opponents.
STRONG SCHEDULE: Colorado currently holds down the 19th toughest schedule in the nation (through games of Feb. 25) as its opponents have a combined record of 334-220 (.603). The Buffaloes are third in the Pac-12 trailing only UCLA (5th, .643) and Stanford (16th, .606).
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).