THE GAME: No. 20 (AP)/23 (USA Today Sports/Coaches) ranked University of Colorado begins a four-game swing through the state of California with the No. 7 (AP & USAT) ranked University of California Golden Bears on Friday, Jan. 25, at 9 p.m. MST at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley.
BROADCAST: Friday's game will be televised nationally on the Pac-12 Network. Krista Blunk will handle play-by-play duties with Mary Murphy providing the color commentary. Friday's game 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.
OPENING TIP: California and Colorado rank 1-2 in the Pac-12 and 3-4 in NCAA Division I in rebounding margin. The Bears are at +11.9 while CU is right behind at +11.7. This game also pits the league's best scoring offense in Cal (72.2 ppg) against the best scoring defense in Colorado (52.4 ppg)
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 15-2 overall, its best start since the 2003-04 NCAA Tournament team began its season 18-2. The Buffaloes are 4-2 in Pac-12 play and in a four-way tie for third place, and just one game out of first. CU has won four straight, its best string in conference action since that 2004 Big 12 Conference season. Colorado swept the Arizona schools at home last weekend, holding Arizona State and Arizona to a combined 79 points (39.2 ppg) and 24 percent from the field (26-of-107). The Buffaloes scored 79 points in their win over Arizona alone.
Colorado averages just under 69 points per game on 43 percent shooting from the field. The Buffaloes scored in bunches during the nonconference schedule hitting 80 points three times. Defensively, CU allows just over 52 points and has held opponents to 34 percent shooting for the year.
Colorado leads the Pac-12 in both scoring defense and rebounding defense (31.6 rpg). The Buffaloes rank in the top five in 17 of 21 statistical categories, including second in scoring margin (+16.2) and assists (14.2 apg) and third in assist-to-turnover ratio (0.9), field-goal percentage and field-goal percentage defense.
Redshirt freshman forward Arielle Roberson leads Colorado and ranks 12th in the Pac-12 in scoring at 13.6 points per game. A three-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, Roberson also ranks second on the team in rebounding (5.8 rpg) and third in field-goal percentage (.474). Roberson averaged 9.5 points and 8.5 rebounds over the weekend, including a career-best 11 rebounds in the win over Arizona State. Roberson ranks 12th in offensive rebounds (2.8 orpg), 14th in field-goal percentage and 20th in rebounding on the Pac-12 leaderboard.
All-Pac-12 guard Chucky Jeffery leads the team in assists (4.3 apg), rebounds (8.4 rpg) and steals (2.5 spg) and is second in scoring, just behind Roberson at 13.5 points an outing. Jeffery averaged 15 points, 10.5 rebounds and four assists last weekend. She recorded her fourth double-double of the season, and 24th of her career, with 19 points and a team season-high 16 rebounds against Arizona State. Jeffery ranks second in the Pac-12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5), and is also fourth in assists, fifth in overall rebounding and defensive rebounds (6.3), sixth in steals, ninth in free-throw percentage (.737) and 13th in scoring.
Junior guard Brittany Wilson ranks second on the team in steals (1.4 spg) and assists (2.5 apg) while coming in at fourth in scoring at 7.9 points per contest. She dished out nine assists over the Arizona weekend while scoring seven points in both games. Wilson is also second on the team in 3-pointers made (17) and has hit 78 percent from the free-throw line. Wilson ranks 15th in 3-point percentage (.321) on the Pac-12 leaderboard.
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 is third on the team in scoring (8.9 ppg) and rebounding (5.2 rpg) while hitting 46.3 percent from the field. Reese has scored in double-figures in eight of the last 14 contests including a game-high 11 in the road win at Utah.
Junior center Rachel Hargis is the only Buffalo to start all 17 games. A career 33 percent shooter entering the season, Hargis has made the most of her opportunity hitting 51 percent this season. She leads CU in blocked shots with 21, knocking away five in the last three games alone. She ranks 13th in the Pac-12 in blocks at 1.2 per outing.
Sophomore Lexy Kresl tops Colorado in 3-pointers with 21 and is averaging 6.1 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. The Paridise Valley, Ariz., native had a solid weekend against her home state, averaging 9.5 points on 54 percent shooting (7-of-13). She also had a season-high seven rebounds against Arizona.
Colorado's balance has served them well through the first half of the season. Aside from Roberson and Jeffery averaging in double figures, six others average between four and nine points per game. In the win over Arizona, nine different Buffaloes scored between six and 12 points.
ABOUT THE GOLDEN BEARS: No. 7 (AP & USAT) ranked California is 15-2 overall and tied with Stanford for first place in the Pac-12 at 5-1. Cal and Stanford split their season series, with each team winning on the other's home floor. The Golden Bears are the Pac-12's top scoring team at 72.2 points per game and also rank second in field-goal accuracy at 43 percent.
California features an attack with three players scoring in double-figures, led by senior guard Layshia Clarendon who tops the Bears in scoring at 14.6 points per game while hitting 41 percent from the floor.
Junior forward Gennifer Brandon leads Cal and ranks third in the Pac-12 in rebounding at 11.4 per game. She has nine double-doubles, and is actually averaging one for the season, coming in at 12.6 points per outing. Sophomore guard Brittany Boyd is second in scoring at 13.4 points while averaging 4.4 assists per contest. Senior center Talia Caldwell tops the Pac-12 in shooting at 62 percent while averaging 8.8 points an outing.
Lindsay Gottlieb is in her second season as the head coach at California with a record of 40-12. She is 96-51 in her fifth season as a collegiate head coach.
THE SERIES: This will be the 10th meeting between Colorado and California with the Buffaloes holding a 5-4 series lead. Cal has won the last four, and all four with Colorado being a member of the Pac-12, including a 53-49 win in Boulder on Jan. 6. Colorado has won two of three all-time meetings in Berkeley, but the Bears nabbed the last one, a 64-43 decision on Feb. 25, 2012.
Linda Lappe is 1-4 against California as a head coach. Lindsay Gottlieb is 4-0 against Colorado as a head coach.
MORE ON THE DEFENSE: Colorado leads the Pac-12 in scoring defense through six conference games at 48.2 points per outing. CU has held its last three (Utah, Arizona State & Arizona) to 43 points or less, the first time the Buffaloes have three straight opponents at 43 or under in conference play since 1980-81. It is also the eighth time in school history the Buffs have held their opponents under 50 in three consecutive outings.
Since the second half of the home game against Utah (Jan. 8), the Buffs have held their opponents to a 26.4 field goal percentage (51-of-193), spanning a total of seven halves, or 140 minutes.
Colorado allowed just 36 points to Arizona, the fewest in a conference game since a 70-35 win at Kansas on Jan. 16, 2002. Arizona State was held to 17 points on 4-of-30 from the field in the second half of the Jan. 18 game. The four field goals were one shy of a school record (3 vs. Texas State 12/1/10 and Kansas State 3/7/92). The 13.3 percent allowed was just a fraction off the all-time opponent low for a half, 13.0 (3-of-23) vs. Kansas State on 3/7/92).
Colorado has allowed just four teams in the 60's all season and has held eight straight opponents under the 60-point mark. That run ties for the longest in team history.
Colorado has yet to allow 70 points in a game this year. This is the longest the Buffaloes have gone into any one season without allowing 70. The previous best was the 2011-12 team, that didn't allow 70 until game No. 13, a 75-67 loss at Washington.
NATIONALLY RANKED: The University of Colorado moved up two spots to No. 23 in the USA Today Sports Women's Basketball Coaches poll released on Tuesday.
Colorado, 15-2 overall and 4-2 in the Pac-12 Conference, received a season-high 113 points, up from 67 last week when the Buffaloes reentered the poll for the second time this season at No. 25. Colorado's No. 23 spot is its highest in the coaches' poll since coming in at No. 16 in the March 15, 2004 poll.
On Monday the Buffaloes moved up one spot to No. 20, tied with Oklahoma, in the Associated Press Women's Basketball Top 25 poll. The Buffaloes have resided in the AP poll for the last six weeks, reaching as high as No. 20 twice; this week and on Dec. 31. CU's six week run in the AP poll is its longest since appearing in all 19 polls of the 2003-04 season. The 279 points received this week in the AP poll is a season high for the Buffaloes.
The Buffaloes have a long history of rankings in the AP poll, dating back to the 1980-81 season. This week's ranking marks the 164th time Colorado has appeared in the AP poll, trailing only Stanford, USC and UCLA among Pac-12 schools. This week's ranking marks the 154th time Colorado has appeared in the coaches' poll dating back to the 1988-89 campaign.
LAPPE AND COLORADO IN THE POLLS: Head coach Linda Lappe joined some elite company when the Buffaloes received their first AP ranking in five years. She is only one of eight NCAA Division I women's head coaches to have played for an AP ranked team, and then return to lead that same program into the AP poll. Overall she is the 31st person to play for and coach an AP ranked program.
The Buffaloes were ranked for 29 weeks during Lappe's playing career (1998-03) including 27 straight from Jan. 22, 2001 through the end of her junior year (March 11, 2002). CU's highest AP ranking during that span was No. 10, on March 4, 2002.
SUCCESS ON THE ROAD: Colorado is 4-0 away from Boulder this season and is 13-7 in its last 20 true road contests since the tail end of the 2010-11 campaign. Prior to the start of this run, The Buffaloes had just five wins in their previous 37 road games dating back to the 2008 Big 12 Conference schedule.
The Buffaloes are averaging 71.5 points on 45 percent shooting in those four road contests. CU has also held its opponent to 55.8 points per game and enjoys a +12.8 rebound margin.
Colorado held Utah to 43 points in Salt Lake City on Jan. 13, its fewest allowed in a true road game since a 45-42 win at Pacific on Dec. 18, 2004
Colorado scored an overall season-high 83 points at Denver, the most in a true road contest since scoring 83 in a 3-point loss at Colorado State on Nov. 30, 2005. CU's 10-point halftime lead was its largest on the road since leading Colorado State 38-22 on Nov. 20, 2011
Colorado's win at Illinois was its first road win against a major conference opponent in a nonconference regular season game since defeating No. 20/17 ranked Vanderbilt, 62-51, on Dec. 9, 2007. The Buffaloes trailed by six at halftime against the Illini, allowing Colorado to claim its largest halftime deficit overcome to win on the road since defeating Missouri 80-79 in overtime on Feb. 23, 2010 after trailing by seven at the break (43-36).
Colorado's 23-point win at UMKC, was its biggest on the road since an 82-47 win at Colorado State on Dec. 1, 2007.
AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Colorado picked up its 14th all-time win over a top-10 ranked opponent with its 70-66 win over No. 8 Louisville on Dec. 14. The win marked the Buffaloes' first over a top-10 opponent since defeating No. 5 Stanford in the 2002 NCAA Sweet 16. It was the first top-10 win as an unranked team since knocking off No. 7 Texas Tech 63-49 on Jan. 11, 1997.
The win snapped a three-game slide against ranked teams and, at 1-2 on the season, the Buffaloes are 3-7 against ranked opponents under Linda Lappe. CU is 62-144 all-time against ranked opponents, including a 38-47 mark at home.
The Buffaloes played just two games against ranked teams in 2011-12, both against Stanford. Colorado is on track to at least triple that number this year as Pac-12 rivals California, UCLA and Stanford have solid footing in both polls.
Colorado's last six ranked opponents dating back to 2010-11 have all resided in the top 10 and that number will stretch to eight with California (No. 7) and Stanford (No. 6) on the schedule this weekend, by far the longest streak for CU. The five regular season games where the opponent is ranked in the top 10 in both polls, will be a first for the Buffaloes in one season. CU played five regular season top 10 games in 2001-02, but two of those games included a team being ranked 10 or better in only one poll. Including postseason, the 2001-02 team played eight top 10 teams, five of which were top 10 in both polls.
BENCH PRODUCTION: Colorado is getting good production from its bench to the tune of 22.6 points (33 percent) and 20.2 rebounds (47 percent) per game. Sophomore forward Jen Reese has headed the bench effort averaging 8.9 points and 5.2 rebounds, ranking third on the team in both categories.
Colorado scored a season-high 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 on 9-of-12 from the field in her lone game off the bench this season. 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.
MORE ON THE BOARDS: Colorado ranked fourth in NCAA Division I in rebounding margin at +11.7 through games of Jan. 20. The Buffaloes have either tied or led the rebounding battle in 15 of 17 games this season, coming up on the short end for the first time in the Stanford loss. The Buffaloes have enjoyed double-digit margins in 10 games.
The Buffaloes grabbed a season-high 59 rebounds in the win over Colorado State, their most since also recording 59 against Bowling Green on Nov. 23, 2001. CU had 24 offensive rebounds, nearly matching Colorado State's overall total (26). Colorado's 24 offensive rebounds were its most since it had 24 at Iowa State on Feb. 18, 1996.
Colorado's +33 advantage against the Rams tied for the ninth largest single-game margin in team history, most recently achieved against San Francisco on Nov. 30, 2011 (53-20).
Colorado had 50 rebounds against Denver, hitting the 50 mark for the second straight game for the first time since grabbing 50 against UC Irvine and 52 against Illinois-Chicago in the first two games of the 2009-10 season.
CU's 109 rebounds over a two-game span are its most since hitting the same number during the 2001 Coors Classic (59 vs. Bowling Green, 50 vs. Houston). The Buffaloes 46 offensive rebounds during that stretch are their most since grabbing 48 in back-to-back games in December 1994 (25 vs. Montana State, 23 vs. Notre Dame).
BIG WIN: The 43-point win over Arizona was CU's largest in a Pac-12 game, smashing the old mark of 14 set just two days earlier against Arizona State (57-43). It was the eighth largest margin of victory in a conference game in CU history (all conferences) and the largest since an 83-38 win over Iowa State on Feb. 19, 1995.
Largest Margins of Victory, Conference Game, CU History
82 CU 129, Northern Arizona 47 - Jan. 21, 1980 (Intermountain)
63 CU 103, Utah State 40 - Jan. 29, 1981 (Intermountain)
61 CU 116, Idaho State 55 - Feb. 13, 1982 (Intermountain)
57 CU 94, Idaho State 42 - Jan. 31, 1981 (Intermountain)
52 CU 94 Idaho State 42 - Feb. 23, 1980 (Intermountain)
50 CU 79, Iowa State 29 - Feb. 19, 1993 (Big 8)
45 CU 83, Iowa State 38 - Feb. 19, 1995 (Big 8)
43 CU 79, Arizona 36 - Jan. 20, 2013 (Pac-12)
Colorado's 28-point lead at halftime (43-15) is its largest lead at the break against a Pac-12 opponent and the most in a conference game since Colorado led Kansas 42-14 at halftime on Feb. 5, 2003.
BUFFS EXPERIENCED FROM DEEP: While Colorado looks to continue an inside-outside 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 and junior Brittany Wilson top the Buffaloes' effort with 87 each, tying for 11th on CU's all-time list. Lexy Kresl, who set CU's single-season freshman record in 2011-12 at 63 is 13th with 84. Senior Chucky Jeffery rounds out the current Buffs at 17th with 60.
JEFFERY MOVING UP CAREER LADDERS: Senior guard Chucky Jeffery became the sixth player to reach 800 rebounds in the Arizona win and in the process became the first Buffalo to reach 1,400 points, 800 rebounds and 400 assists.
She is fourth in career steals with 256, needing 28 to catch Bridget Turner (1985-89) for third. Jeffery is currently fifth in career assists with 426, needing 17 to catch Tracy Tripp (1985-89) for the fourth spot.
On CU's career charts Jeffery also ranks sixth in rebounds (801), 13th in field-goals made (539), 14th in free-throws made (296), 16th in blocks (61) and 17th in 3-point field goals (60).
In other miscellaneous categories Jeffery is also fifth in double-doubles (24), is sixth in double-figure rebounding games (26) and 10th in double-figure scoring games (78).
HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 378-128 all-time record at the Coors Events Center (.747). The Buffaloes have won 10 or more games in a season at the CEC in 24 of 35 years. The Buffaloes have enjoyed five 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 made its first television appearance on Dec. 11 at Denver on ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain. The Buffaloes made their Pac-12 Network on Jan. 4 against defending league champion Stanford; their first of four straight televised games on the network. Colorado will have five straight road games televised beginning with Utah on Jan. 13, through a Super Bowl Sunday matchup at USC on Feb. 3. CU's final 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.