THE GAME: The University of Colorado faces its first road test of the season as the Buffaloes travel to play the University of Missouri-Kansas City on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 12 p.m. MST at the Swinney Recreation Center in Kansas City, Mo.
BROADCAST: Sunday's game will be broadcast live on KKZN 760 AM. Carol Callan of USA Basketball will provide the play-by-play. A live video stream of Sunday's game is available through www.umkckangaroos.com, subscription fees do apply.
OPENING TIP: Colorado won all four of its nonconference regular season games away from Boulder in 2011-12.
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Brittany Wilson's clutch free throw shooting and Arielle Roberson's overall play pushed Colorado past Idaho 70-65 on Nov. 11, in the Buffaloes' season-opener at the Coors Events Center.
Wilson, a junior guard, finished with a game-best 18 points, including four free throws in the final 18 seconds, while Roberson added 16 points. Idaho (0-2) had three players in double figures, led by Alyssa Charlston's 16.
Roberson, a 6-1 forward, redshirted her freshman season due to rehabilitation from hip surgery. CU coaches believed her return would boost the Buffs inside play as well as their overall defense - and they were correct. In addition to her 16 points, Roberson collected six rebounds and added five steals and two blocked shots in her CU debut.
Senior point guard Chucky Jeffery missed the opener, serving a suspension because of a violation of team rules. Had she not been in the lineup last season against Idaho, the Buffs would have been in trouble.
With the Vandals up 59-58 with just over 2 minutes remaining in last season's meeting, Jeffery went on a tear, scoring seven of her career-best 30 points to rescue the Buffs, 68-59.
But CU would have to do without Jeffery this time around - and her teammates coped pretty well.
Idaho's Ali Forde scored the game's first points, but the Vandals' 2-0 lead was quickly erased by a Meagan Malcolm-Peck three-pointer. Roberson took over from there, scoring CU's next six points. Malcolm-Peck and Brittany Wilson combined for 10 of the next 15 points as the Buffs built an 11-point (25-14) cushion.
The Vandals wouldn't go away; an 11-2 run over the first half's final 6 minutes brought them to within two (27-25) on a layup by Charlston. But the Buffs righted themselves and got field goals by Jasmine Sborov and Rachel Hargis to lead 31-26 at intermission.
CU shot 46 percent from the field (12-of-26) in the first half to Idaho's 34 percent (9-of-26). The Buffs held an 18-16 edge on the boards, but also turned the ball over one more time than the Vandals (11-10).
Brittany Wilson led CU with 10 first-half points, while Stacey Barr had nine for Idaho.
Behind the three-point shooting of Lexy Kresl and Roberson's inside work, the Buffs built a pair of eight-point leads in the first 6 minutes of the second half. Kresl drained a pair of treys during that span, marking her 19th career game with two or more three-pointers.
The Vandals weren't lacking for long-distance shooters. They got treys from Connie Ballestero, Christina Salvatore and Stacey Barr to creep to within four (43-39) with 14 minutes to play.
Thanks to Roberson, CU was able to pull away before Idaho could fashion its next run. She scored consecutive baskets to restore a double-digit Buffs lead (54-44), but the Vandals weren't folding.
They closed to 56-50 on a conventional three-point play by Charlston and a trey by Krissy Karr, then to 56-52 on another basket by Charlston with just over 5:30 remaining. Another three-pointer by Karr less than 2 minutes later pulled Idaho to three back (58-55), but CU answered with one of two free throws by Roberson and an Ashley Wilson layup to go ahead 61-55.
The Vandals answered on three of four free throws by Charlston to cut their deficit to 61-60 with 3:04 remaining. Ashley Wilson responded to those with another layup for a 63-60 CU lead. After an Idaho miss and a CU rebound, Jen Reese hit a pair of foul shots to put the Buffs up 65-60 with 51.6 seconds to play, and Roberson followed by hitting one of two free throws 11 seconds later for a 66-60 CU advantage.
Idaho called timeout with 37.2 seconds remaining, then another with 22.5 showing after the Vandals couldn't get off a shot. When they did, they missed, but a pair of flagrant fouls was called. Brittany Wilson and Charlston each their free throws (68-62), then Barr hit a long trey to draw the Vandals to within 68-65.
With 13.8 seconds left, Brittany Wilson's pair of foul shots gave the Buffs their final five-point advantage.
ABOUT THE KANGAROOS: UMKC is 2-1 on the young season. After dropping its season opener to Missouri Western State, the Kangaroos have won two straight, edging Southeast Missouri State, 69-64, and Saint Louis, 56-53. UMKC has been able to turn its opponent over the last three games, averaging 11 steals and forcing nearly 20 turnovers an outing. Teams have been able to shoot 45 percent against UMKC while also averaging nine more rebounds per game than the Kangaroos.
Senior forward Kim Nezianya leads UMKC at 15.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game while shooting 48 percent from the floor. Junior guard Eilise O'Connor is also averaging 15.3 points per game while dishing out 3.7 asissts. Junior center Ashli Hill is also scoring in double digits at 10.3 per game while averaging 3.7 blocked shots.
THE SERIES: Colorado has won all three meetings with UMKC, with the last battle a 71-49 decision on Dec. 20, 2008, at the Coors Events Center. CU will make its second ever trip to UMKC, the first meeting ending in a 60-49 triumph on Dec. 14, 1988.
The Buffaloes are 9-1 all-time against teams that currently make up the Summit League. CU last played a Summit League last season, a 64-55 win at South Dakota in a second round Postseason WNIT game.
CONNECTIONS: Sunday's game will be a homecoming for freshman guard Kyleesha Weston, who is a 2012 graduate of Park Hill High School in Kansas City. Weston played club basketball with the MoKan Eclipse program and was a teammate of UMKC freshman guard/forward Taylor Leathers. Two UMKC staff members are familiar with Colorado from previous experiences in the Big 12 Conference. Associate head coach Bruce Erickson was at Oklahoma State from 2006-09 and assistant coach Meredith Doyle was a graduate assistant at Baylor in 2006-07.
ROBERSON EARNS FIRST HONOR: Forward Arielle Roberson was named the inaugural Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Week for the week of Nov. 5-12.
The Pac-12 has added Freshman of the Week to its weekly honors for the first time this season, joining the standard Player of the Week honor which this week went to Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike.
Roberson, a 6-1 forward from San Antonio, had a sparkling collegiate debut, scoring 16 points on 7-of-13 from the field as Colorado defeated Idaho 70-65 in its season opener on Nov. 11. She grabbed six rebounds, four of which came on the offensive end, while collecting five steals, two assists and two blocked shots.
Her five steals were the most by a freshman in her CU debut since all-time leading scorer Brittany Spears had five in her initial game at San Francisco in 2007. Her final steal was critical as it came with under one minute left with the Buffaloes hanging on to a five-point lead.
Roberson's honor is CU's second weekly award in the Pac-12 since the Buffaloes joined the conference in 2011. Chucky Jeffery earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors last December, ironically following a stellar performance (30 points, 10 rebounds) against this same Idaho squad. Jeffery and fellow senior Meagan Malcolm-Peck both earned Freshman of the Week honors in the Big 12 Conference, during the 2009-10 season.
ARIELLE & ANDRE: The Roberson's are the only brother/sister tandem on the 2012-13 basketball rosters from the same school in the Pac-12 Conference. They're one of five brother/sister tandems on 2012-13 basketball rosters in Division I. The Big Ten has two tandems, followed by one each in the ACC, Mountain West and the Pac-12 Conferences. CU has another brother/sister pair on the ski team with freshmen Maria and Gustav Nordstrom from Sweden.
Colorado (Pac-12): Arielle (Fr.) and Andre Roberson (Jr.)
Air Force (Mountain West): Alicia (Sr.) and Marshall Leipprandt (Fr.)
Indiana (Big Ten): Kaila (Fr.) and Jordan Hulls (Sr.)
Ohio State (Big Ten): Caite (Fr.) and Aaron Craft (Jr.)
Virginia (ACC): Sarah Beth (So.) and Tayor Barnette (Fr.)
SEEING DOUBLE: Colorado is used to getting double takes from fans and opponents, as the Buffaloes once again sport two pairs of identical twins on its roster.
Brenna and Meagan Malcolm-Peck are senior wing players while Ashley and Brittany Wilson are junior guards. Brenna is the older of the two Malcolm-Pecks by 27 minutes. Ashley is the older of the Wilson twins, by only five minutes.
BUFFS SIGN FOUR TO NLI's: Zoe Beard-Fails, Desiree Harris, Haley Smith and Briana Watts have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball and continue their education at the University of Colorado in 2013-14 head coach Linda Lappe announced on Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA's early signing period.
Beard-Fails is a 6-2 forward from Herndon, Va., and attends Georgetown Day School in Washington D.C. She missed all but five games of her junior year with an ACL and meniscus tear, but is nearing full strength as her senior season commences. The 51st rated forward in the nation according to ESPN.com's HoopGurlz, Beard-Fails averaged 27 points and nearly 18 rebounds as a sophomore for Georgetown Day in 2010-11, earning fourth team All-Met honors from the Washington Post.
Harris is a 5-8 guard from Oakland, Calif., who attends St. Joseph Notre Dame High school in Alameda. She averaged 23.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 2.7 assists as a junior, helping the Pilots to the North Coast Section championship. Harris was a CIF All-State Division V second team selection as well as a Bay Shore Athletic League second team pick.
Smith, a 6-0 wing from Sammamish, Wash., is getting ready for her senior season at Skyline High School. A do-it-all player for the Spartans, she averaged around seven points, five rebounds and just under two assists and steals per game as a junior. Smith is in her fourth varsity season with the Spartans and also has had a successful club career playing with the Tree of Hope program. ESPN.com's HoopGurlz has her as the top prospect in the state of Washington and the 20th ranked wing in the nation.
Watts, a 6-4 center from Fresno, Calif., will make her debut with Clovis West High School this winter after playing her first three years at rival Buchanan. She was the first commit of the 2013 class. Watts averaged nearly six points and just over six rebounds per game for Buchanan as a junior, contributing to the Bears' 18-9 record and a spot in the CIF Central Section Division I semifinals.
BUFFS IN OPENERS: With its win over Idaho, Colorado improved to 34-5 (.872) all-time in season openers and 37-2 (.949) in all-time home openers. The Buffs opened the season with a home game for the 27th time in 39 seasons, and moved to a perfect 27-0 in those instances.
BUFFS IN EXHIBITION: Colorado improved to a perfect 23-0 in exhibition games with its 87-38 win over Western State University Colorado. The Buffaloes have outscored their exhibition opponents by just over 31 points per game (86.0 to 54.7).
Colorado's 38 points allowed against WSCU were its fewest in an exhibition since the Buffaloes beat Colorado Mines 58-31 in 2007. The 49-point margin was the most in an exhibition since the Buffaloes defeated Spartak Moscow 115-55 in 2002.
The Buffaloes have played at least one exhibition game in all but one year (2009) since 1997. CU's exhibition games have featured a mix of NCAA II schools, foreign teams and traveling all-star teams.
BUFFS PICKED NINTH: Coming off its first 20-win season in eight years, Colorado was picked to finish ninth in the Pac-12 in 2013, according to the league's annual Preseason Coaches Poll and Media Poll.
In the Coaches Poll, 2012 NCAA Women's Final Four participant Stanford was picked to win the Pac-12, compiling the maximum amount of points (121) and first place votes (11) possible. 2012 Pac- 12 runner-up and NCAA participant California claimed the other first place vote and was second in the poll (109). UCLA was third with 100 points followed by USC (91), Arizona State and Oregon State (67), Utah (56), Washington (54), Colorado (49), Washington State (40), Oregon (20) and Arizona (18).
Colorado's ninth place preseason rating is its highest in the last nine years since Buffaloes were picked to finish seventh in the 2004-05 Big 12 Coaches Poll.
The Media Poll was nearly identical in order. Stanford was picked to win with 12 first place votes and 166 total. California was second with 155 points and two fi rst place votes. UCLA was third (136) followed by USC (123), Oregon State (106), Arizona State (100), Washington (80), Utah (72), Colorado (57), Washington State (47), Oregon (25) and Arizona (22).
MEDIA TABS JEFFERY: Along with picking the order of Pac-12 finish, the media selected a preseason All-Pac-12 team. Senior guard Chucky Jeffery was one of six individuals selected, along with California's Layshia Clarendon, Washington's Jazmine Davis, Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike, UCLA's Markel Walker and Arizona's Davellyn Whyte.
BUFFS EXPERIENCED FROM DEEP: While Colorado looks to achieve balance on its 2012-13 squad, there is no questioning its experience from shooting from the perimeter. The Buffaloes have four players with at least 50 career 3-point field goals, and all four rank among CU's career Top 20. Senior Meagan Malcolm-Peck tops current Buffs with 81 and ranks 12th on CU's all-time list. Junior Brittany Wilson is 14th all-time with 72. Lexy Kresl, who set CU's freshman record in 2011-12 is tied with Veronica Johns-Richardson (2001-05) for 15th with 65. Senior Chucky Jeffery rounds out the current Buffs at 18th with 52.
JEFFERY MOVING UP CAREER LADDERS: Junior guard Chucky Jeffery ranks among Colorado's all-time leaders in several categories. She is sixth in assists (358), ninth in steals (216), 12th in rebounds (667), 16th in blocks (57), 17th in fi eld-goals made (456), 18th in scoring (1,218), 3-point field goals made (50) and free-throws made (254).
HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 368-126 all-time record at the Coors Events Center (.745). The Buffaloes have won 10 or more games in a season at the CEC in 23 of the previous 34 years. The Buffaloes have enjoyed fi ve undefeated seasons (1980-83, 1992-94) at the CEC.
BUFFS ON TV: Colorado's regular season schedule will feature at least 11 regionally or nationally televised games in 2012-13. Colorado will play nine regular season games on the Pac-12 Networks, and a guaranteed one, and potentially more, during the Pac-12 Tournament, March 7-10, in Seattle.
A program-best six regular season games will be televised nationally while three more will be on one of the regional networks. CU's first Pac-12 Tournament game will also be televised nationally, as would any ensuing round through the championship game, which will air Sunday, March 10, on ESPN2.
CU will make its first television appearance on Dec. 11 at Denver on ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain. The Buffaloes make their Pac-12 Network debut on Friday, Jan. 4 against defending league champion Stanford; their fi rst of four straight televised games on the network. Colorado will have fi ve straight road games televised beginning with Utah on Jan. 13, through a Super Bowl Sunday matchup at USC on Feb. 3. CU's fi nal regular season televised game will be Feb. 8 at home against Oregon State.
Entering the 2012-13 season, CU has appeared on 99 regional or national telecasts over the previous 11 seasons.