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Colorado Heads To Seattle For The 2015 Pac-12 Tournament

Mar 3, 2015

THE TOURNAMENT The University of Colorado is the No. 9 seed in the 2015 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament and will open play with a first round game against No. 8 seed USC on Thursday, March 5, at 7 p.m. MST at KeyArena in Seattle. The winner of Thursday's game will face league champions and top seed Oregon State on Friday, March 6, at 7 p.m.

BROADCAST: All Pac-12 Tournament games through the semifinals will air nationally on the Pac-12 Network with Sunday's championship game set to air on ESPN. Krista Blunk and Mary Murphy will have the call and will be joined by Jill Savage on the sidelines for Colorado's Pac-12 Network games. All of Colorado's Pac-12 Tournament games will also air live on KKZN AM 760. Cory Lopez will handle play-by-play duties while Carol Callan of USA Basketball will provide the color commentary.

POSTSEASON FACTS: Colorado is 3-3 in Pac-12 Tournament play, claiming a win in each of the prior three events the Buffaloes have participated in. Two of those three wins have come as the lower seed, including last season when the No. 9 seed Buffaloes defeated No. 8 UCLA, 76-65, in a first round game before falling to top-seeded Stanford in the quarterfinals.

In 2012 No. 10 Colorado defeated No. 7 Utah 55-41 in a first-round game in Los Angeles.

Colorado was the No. 4 seed in 2013, receiving a first round bye and claiming a 70-59 quarterfinal win over Washington before falling to eventual champion and top seeded Stanford in the semifinals.

Colorado has five conference tournament crowns in its history, the first four coming in the Big Eight Conference (1988, GÇÿ92, GÇÿ95 and
GÇÿ96) and the final in the first year of the Big 12 (1997). Overall the
Buffaloes are 32-27 in conference tournament games.

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 13-16 overall and finished the regular season tied with Oregon for ninth place in the Pac-12 at 6-12. The Buffaloes received the No. 9 seed for the Pac-12 Tournament by virtue of their 84-69 win over the Ducks on Feb. 22 in Boulder, in the only meeting of the season between the two teams. If that scenario sounds familiar, it is. Colorado and Oregon finished in that same spot, with the exact same Pac-12 record of 6-12 in 2014, with the Buffaloes picking up the higher seed by owning the tiebreaker.

Colorado split each of its final three weekend series. The Buffaloes are coming off their Arizona trip, defeating Arizona 66-51 in Tucson on Feb. 27 before dropping the regular season finale at No. 10 (AP)/10 (USAT) Arizona State 59-46 on Mar. 1. During that six-game stretch, where the Buffaloes were an even 3-3, two of those losses came to Top 10 nationally ranked ASU and league champion Oregon State with the third against fifth place, and likely NCAA Tournament bound, Washington.

Colorado is averaging 69.4 points per game on 42.6 percent shooting. The Buffaloes' numbers held relatively steady throughout the Pac-12 season, averaging just under 67 points per game while shooting 42.3 percent. During league games, the Buffaloes shot 37.6 percent from 3-point range and 77.6 percent from the line, both numbers ranking second in the Pac-12.

Defensively, Colorado has allowed 68.7 points per game and held both Arizona and Arizona State under 60 last weekend. Colorado is second in the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (.747), rebounding (42.1 rpg), defensive rebounds (29.0 drpg), rebounding margin (+5.6), blocked shots (4.6) and 3-point defense (.288) while ranking third in 3-point percentage (.375) and assists (15.2 apg) and fourth in offensive rebounds (13.2 orpg).

Junior forward Jamee Swan paces Colorado at 13.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 47.1 percent from the field. Swan had 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting with eight rebounds and three blocks against Arizona. She has scored in double-figures a team-best 20 times including four of five and 10 of her last 13. 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 and field goal percentage and 14th in defensive rebounds (4.7 drpg).

Senior guard Lexy Kresl is third on the team in overall scoring at 12.2 points per game while pacing Colorado at 4.4 assists and 1.1 steals per outing. She is also the team's top 3-point shooter at 39.7 percent (56-of-141). Kresl led Colorado at Arizona State with 12 points, six assists and five rebounds. Kresl had 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the win over Oregon, hitting 3-of-4 from 3-point range. She has made 36 of her last 81 from 3-point range (.444).

On the overall Pac-12 charts Kresl ranks fourth in assists, fifth in 3-pointers made (2.1 3mpg), sixth in free throw percentage, ninth in 3-point percentage, 11th in assist-to-turnover ratio and 20th in scoring.

Senior forward Jen Reese leads Colorado in free throw percentage (.870) and field goal percentage (.471) and is second in scoring (13.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.1 rpg). Reese had 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting with five rebounds and four assists against Arizona. She scored in double-figures for the 19th time this season and her eighth career 20-point outing; fifth of the season.

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 22 free throw attempts and is hitting 93.0 percent from the line during Pac-12 play (40-of-43) 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. 

On the Pac-12 leaderboard, Reese is second in free throw percentage, eighth in defensive boards (5.3 drpg), 11th in overall rebounding and field goal percentage and 14th in scoring.

Sophomore guard Haley Smith is second on the team in free throw percentage (.865) while ranking third in field goal percentage (.463) and rebounding (5.6 rpg) and fourth in scoring (9.2 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 20 games. She ranks 15th in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage.

Senior guard Jasmine Sborov is averaging 6.7 points and 4.9 rebounds and ranks second on the team in assists with 71. She's upped her scoring to 10 points over the last three contests while hitting 52 percent (12-of-23) 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 38 3-pointers and has hit 36.9 percent from long range, ranking 15th in the Pac-12. She has made 9-of-19 over the last seven games (.474)  including 2-of-4 during a 7-point effort at Arizona State. 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 3.8 points and 2.9 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 4.3 rebounds over the last three 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 3.8 points over the last six.

ABOUT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Southern California is 15-14 overall and finished the conference season in a seventh place tie with Washington State at 7-11. The Trojans dropped to the No. 8 seed after falling to the Cougars, 68-62, on the final day of the regular season. USC has lost its last three and four of its last six. The Trojans average 68.1 points per game on 41.5 percent from the field and 64 percent from the foul line. USC gives up 64.7 points per outing while allowing opponents to shoot 42.6 percent, the latter ranking last in the Pac-12. The Trojans lead the Pac-12 in offensive rebounds at 14.7 per game while ranking second in steals (9.3 spg) and third in turnover margin (+2.8).

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 12.3 points per game while shooting 49.4 percent from the floor. She ranks second on the team in rebounding at 6.8 per contest. Freshman guard McKenzie Calvert is averaging 10.3 points per game and hitting 35 percent from 3-point range. Junior guard Brianna Barrett averages 10.3 points and tops the Trojans in steals (58) and ranks second in assists (104). Senior forward Kaneisha Horn tops USC in rebounds at 6.9 per game while averaging 9.3 points an outing.

Cynthia Cooper is in her second year as head coach of USC with a record of 36-27. She is in her 10th year as a collegiate head coach with a record of 186-133.

THE SERIES: This will be the 13th meeting between Colorado and Southern California with the Trojans holding a 8-4 series lead.  USC swept the regular season series, winning 81-61 in Boulder on Jan. 9 in Boulder and 66-51 on Feb. 8 in Los Angeles. The Trojans are 4-2 in the seires since the Buffaloes joined the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season and have won the last four. This will be the first Pac-12 Tournament meeting between the two schools and second ever in the postseason. USC defeated the Buffaloes 87-70 in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Postseason WNIT, Colorado's final game as a member of the Big 12 Conference.

Linda Lappe is 2-6 against USC as a head coach. Cynthia Cooper is 4-0 against Colorado as a head coach.

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 11 of the last 15 games and are 79 percent over the last seven games (116-of-147).

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 nine Midwestern states: Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, 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 GÇÿSO YOU WANT TO BE A COACH' CLASS: Senior guard Jasmine Sborov will participate in the 13th annual GÇÿSo 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 GÇ£SoGÇ¥ program are to increase the understanding and application of skills necessary to secure coaching positions in women's basketball. GÇ£SoGÇ¥ 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 1,164 while Kresl is 25th with 1,067.

OFFENSIVE ATTACK: Colorado's offensive attack is enjoying one of its best seasons in over a decade. The Buffaloes are averaging 69.4 points per game, their best over the course of a season since 2003-04.

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. 11 ranked 3-point shooting percentage of 37.5 would rank as the fourth best single-season mark in team history if the season ended today. Colorado's 74.7 percent showing from the free throw line would rank in the ninth spot. CU's current overall pace of 42.6 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 24 of its 29 opponents this season by an average of 5.6 per game. The Buffaloes are second the Pac-12 in overall rebounds (42.1 rpg) and defensive boards (29.0 drpg) while ranking fourth in offensive rebounds (13.2 orpg). If the season ended today, Colorado's 42.1 per game rebounding average would be the ninth 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 11 of the current Pac-12 leaderboard. Junior Jamee Swan is sixth at 7.9 per game while senior Jen Reese is 11th at 7.1 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 GÇ£doubleGÇ¥ 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 March, it's tied for the sixth most in NCAA Division I for the 2014-15 campaign trailing only Hofstra, Jacksonville State, Norfolk State, Purdue and Richmond 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 57-38 since the beginning of the 2012-13 season. Of those 38 losses, 17 have been to ranked teams and 16 of those ranked higher than Colorado at the time the game was played. The Buffaloes have won 54 of their last 75 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 1,164 points.

Reese reached 600 at Washington State and is currently 13th on CU's all-time list at 669. She is 17th in career field goals made with 465.

KRESL SOLID FROM ARC, LINE: Senior guard Lexy Kresl ranks  seventh in career 3-pointers made at 180 and is fifth in attempts with 560. Her current 39.7 percent status from 3-point range this season would rank 15th on Colorado's all-time single-season list.

She has made a 3-pointer in 92 of 122 career games and has 50 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 four seasons. Her career percentage of 83.2 (193-of-232) 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 38, has moved into 15th place all-time with 78. She is 16th in attempts with 213.

SWAN'S SWATS: Junior forward Jamee Swan ranks second in the Pac-12 in blocked shots at 1.9 per game. She has 55 blocks on the season which ranks seventh on Colorado's single-season charts.

She has three games with five blocks this season, standing as both career and team season highs (Long Beach State, USC and Washington State). Swan has 41 percent of Colorado's blocked shots this season. The Buffaloes total of 134 blocks currently ranks seventh on the team's single-season record book.

Swan has 119 career blocks ranking eighth on CU's all-time list.

AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Colorado is 0-6 against ranked teams this season after dropping a 59-46 decision to No. 10/10 Arizona State on March 1. The Buffaloes have dropped their last 17 against ranked opponents. Colorado is 62-159 all-time against ranked opponents.

STRONG SCHEDULE: Colorado currently holds down the 18th toughest schedule in the nation (through games of March 2) as its opponents have a combined record of 356-236 (.601). The Buffaloes are third in the Pac-12 trailing only UCLA (4th, .635) and Stanford (12th, .607).

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 CEC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 404-142 all-time record at the Coors Events Center (.740). The Buffaloes finished the regular season 10-7 at the Coors Events Center marking the 26th time in 37 years the team has finished with at least 10 wins at home.

The Buffaloes have enjoyed five undefeated seasons (1980-83, 1992-94) at the CEC.

Colorado has won 28 of its last 42 and 39 of its last 56 at home.