THE GAMES: The University of Colorado hosts the 26th Annual Omni Hotels Classic Friday, Nov. 23, and Saturday, Nov. 24, at the Coors Events Center.
Friday, Nov. 23
San Diego State vs. Auburn, 5 p.m.
Texas A&M Corpus-Christi at Colorado 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 24
Consolation, 5 p.m.
Championship, 7:30 p.m.
BROADCAST: Colorado's games of the Omni Hotels Classic will be broadcast live on KKZN AM 760. Mike Rice will have the play-by-play with Carol Callan of USA Basketball providing the color commentary. A live video stream of Colorado's games will be available on the Pac-12 Digital platform at Pac-12.com. All CU women's basketball home games, and select road Pac-12 games, that are not televised will be available through Pac-12.com at this link: http://pac-12.com/live/cubuffs.aspx
OPENING TIP: After playing just two games in the first 12 days of the season the Buffaloes will play five games in the next 13 days and seven in the next 22 days.
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is off to a 2-0 start for the third time in the last four seasons. The Buffaloes have been especially good in the nonconference schedule under head coach Linda Lappe. Colorado has won its last 15 nonconference regular season contests and 22 of 26 dating back to the 2010-11 season.
Colorado's offense has played well, hitting the 70-point mark in both games. The Buffaloes are shooting 44 percent from the field and just under 30 percent from 3-point range. Part of Colorado's offensive success has come from sharing the ball. The Buffaloes have dished out 32 assists on 57 field goals this season. Colorado also has held a sizeable advantage in rebounds (plus-12 average) and has limited its opponents to 36 percent from the field.
Redshirt freshman forward Arielle Roberson is averaging 19.5 points on 64 percent shooting over her first two collegiate games. She is coming off an impressive 23-point performance at UMKC in just 19 minutes of play. Roberson scored 19 of those 23 points in the second half, hitting all seven attempts from the field and all five from the free-throw line. Overall she made 9-of-12 from the floor.
Junior guard Brittany Wilson is second in scoring at 12.5 points per game. She led the Buffaloes in the season-opening win over Idaho, with 18 points, including a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line. Wilson, who also hit both of her free throws against UMKC, has made 26 of her last 32 free throws (.813) dating back to last season.
Sophomore forward Jen Reese has made a successful return from an eye injury that kept her out of the final nine games of 2011-12. She leads CU with 13 rebounds through two games and is pitching in 9.0 points per contest. Reese has also hit 8-of-16 from the floor to begin the season.
Colorado has six players averaging between five and nine points over the first two games. Freshman forward Jamee Swan, made a splash against UMKC. After playing limited minutes in her collegiate debut, swan got the starting nod against the Kangaroos and responded with 14 points on 6-of-9 from the field.
Junior center Rachel Hargis joins Wilson as the only Buffs to start both games. Hargis is averaging 6.5 points on 50 percent shooting, but her striking number is six assists, which by total leads the Buffaloes through the first two games. She dished out a career-best four assists in the win at UMKC to go with eight points and two rebounds.
All-Pac-12 guard Chucky Jeffery made her season debut at UMKC, scoring five points while dishing out four assists and grabbing two rebounds.
The Buffaloes are enjoying their best depth in the Lappe era. Twelve different CU players have already hit the hardwood, with 11 of them having registered points.
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi comes to Boulder searching for its first win, after dropping its first four games of the season. The Islanders are coming off a 57-48 setback at home to Indiana on Nov. 19. Corpus Christi is averaging 52 points over its first four games, and has failed to reach 50 in the last two. The Islanders are shooting 35 percent from the field and 24 percent from downtown.
Freshman guard Janae Blount leads Corpus Christi at 11.5 points per game and has hit 46 percent from 3-point range. In fact, she has six (6-of-13) of the team's nine made field goals from downtown (9-of-37). Junior guard Ashley Darley is averaging 7.5 points and two steals while hitting 50 percent from the field. Senior guard Jessica Jammer leads the Islanders in rebounding at 6.3 per game and also contributes 6.5 points a contest. Jammer had a big game against Colorado last year, scoring a game-high 22 points in CU's 71-58 win in Corpus Christi.
Royce Chadwick is in his first season as Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's head coach after spending the previous 11 seasons at Marshall.
ABOUT THE TIGERS: Auburn is 3-1 overall, coming to Boulder off a pair of home wins over Alabama State (80-43) and Alabama A&M (93-44). The Tigers have hit the 70-point mark in all four games and are averaging 79 points while hitting 45 percent from the floor and 34 percent from long range. Auburn's lone loss came in its only true road game, an 85-71 setback to N.C. State in the Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational.
Sophomore guard Hasina Muhammad is one of three double-figure scorers for the Tigers, pacing the squad at 17 points per game. Junior guard/forward Tyrese Tanner is averaging 14.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Senior Blanche Alverson has a slight team-edge in rebounds at 6.5 per contest while chipping in 12.8 points an outing.
Terri Williams-Flournoy is in her first season as head coach at Auburn after eight years as the head coach at Georgetown.
ABOUT THE AZTECS: The defending Mountain West Conference champions, San Diego State is 2-1 on the young season. After dropping their season opener to Pac-12 foe UCLA, 66-52, the Aztecs have rebounded to record wins over UC Irvine (63-53) and Cal State Dominguez Hills (66-30). SDSU is scoring just over 60 points per game, but is limiting its opponents to under 50 per contest. The Aztecs shoot 39 percent from the floor and 24 percent from 3-point range.
Senior guard Courtney Clements is averaging 14.3 points and 2.3 steals to pace the Aztecs. Sophomore forward Erimma Amarikwa tops SDSU in rebounding at 8.3 an outing while also scoring 11.7 points per game on 50 percent from the field. Senior guard Chelsea Hopkis dishes out 6.0 assists per game while scoring just under 10 points per contest.
Beth Burns is in her 16th year as head coach of San Diego State entering the weekend with a record of 270-180.
THE SERIES: Colorado and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi meet for just the second time. The Buffaloes claimed a 71-58 decision in the only other meeting, last Nov. 16, in Corpus Christi. Colorado is a perfect 6-0 against Southland Conference teams.
Linda Lappe is 1-0 in her career against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Royce Chadwick is 0-3 against Colorado, with all three coming from 1993-97 while he was the head coach at Stephen F. Austin.
Colorado and Auburn have met just once, a 68-61 overtime Tigers win in the second round of the 1996 NCAA Tournament in Boulder. Colorado is 60-49 against current Southeastern Conference teams, noting the bulk of those coming against new league members and former Big 12 Conference rivals Missouri (42-27) and Texas A&M (10-9).
Linda Lappe has never faced Auburn and Tigers' coach Terri Williams-Flournoy has never met Colorado as a head coach.
Colorado and San Diego State have met twice, each team winning a game on its home floor. This would be the first match up since a 70-54 CU win in 1994 in what was then known as the Coors Classic. Colorado is 34-9 against current Mountain West teams and will meet three more in the coming weeks with home games scheduled against Wyoming (Nov. 28), Colorado State (Dec. 5) and New Mexico (Dec. 29).
Linda Lappe has never faced San Diego State. Beth Burns is 0-1 against Colorado as a head coach.
OMNI HOTELS CLASSIC: This is the 26th straight year Colorado has hosted an early season women's basketball tournament. For the first 22 years the tournament was known as the Coors Classic, and is in its fourth year of being called the Omni Hotels Classic. Colorado is 40-10 all-time in its home holiday classic and has won 15 of the 24 tournament titles contested. The Buffaloes won last season's classic by defeating Valparaiso and Wisconsin. No team champion was crowned at the 2006 Classic as the tournament switched to a true "Classic" format where Colorado and Wyoming played Nevada and Charlotte on consecutive nights, with the Buffaloes and Cowgirls winning both their games.
San Diego State makes its third Omni Classic apperance. The Aztecs took third place in the inaugural classic in 1987 and placed second to Colorado in 1994. Auburn and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi are tournament participants for the first time.
BURNS HOMECOMING: San Diego State head coach Beth Burns spent five years as an assistant at Colorado, and was part of Ceal Barry's first staff for the 1983-84 season.
BENCH PRODUCTION: Colorado scored 42 bench points in the win over UMKC. The bulk of those came from freshman forward Arielle Roberson who scored 23 points in 19 minutes off the bench on 9-of-12 from the field. Her 23 bench points are tied for the second most in the past 10 years and her nine field goals are the most. Only Bianca Smith, with 25 points off the bench against San Jose State on Dec. 22, 1999, had a bigger bench game in the last 10 years.
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 73. Lexy Kresl, who set CU's freshman record in 2011-12 is 15th with 66. Senior Chucky Jeffery rounds out the current Buffs at 18th with 53.
JEFFERY MOVING UP CAREER LADDERS: Junior guard Chucky Jeffery ranks among Colorado's all-time leaders in several categories. She is sixth in assists (362), ninth in steals (217), 12th in rebounds (669), 16th in blocks (57), 17th in field-goals made (458), 18th in scoring (1,223), 3-point field goals made (53) and free-throws made (254).
HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 367-126 all-time record at the Coors Events Center (.744). 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.
SUCCESS ON THE ROAD: CU's 9-point halftime lead at UMKC (36-27) was its largest on the road since leading Colorado State 38-22 on Nov. 20, 2011. Colorado's 78 points were its most in a road contest since scoring 80 in an overtime win at Missouri on Feb. 23, 2010. It was the most in regulation since an 87-78 loss at Minnesota on Nov. 22, 2009. The 23-point margin was CU's biggest on the road since an 82-47 win at Colorado State on Dec. 1, 2007.
Colorado is 10-7 in its last 17 true road games, including postseason, dating back to the end of the 2010-11 season.
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.