THE GAME: The University of Colorado will travel to face the University of New Mexico on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 1 p.m. at The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M.
BROADCAST: Saturday’s game will air live on KKZN AM 760. Mike Rice will handle play-by-play duties and will be joined by Carol Callan of USA Basketball with the color commentary. A live audio stream of the game will also be available through CUBuffs.com.
OPENING TIP: Colorado is averaging 86.5 points over the last two games. The Buffaloes’ 90 points against Iowa on Wednesday were their most since defeating Grambling State 92-43 on Dec. 30, 2009.
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: No. 16 (AP)/20 (USAT) Colorado improved to 3-0 overall with a 90-87 win over Iowa on Nov. 20. The Buffaloes have started 3-0 or better the last three seasons, in fact are in the midst of a 27-game winning streak in regular season nonconference games.
Colorado is averaging 78.7 points per game while hitting 42 percent from the field and a Pac-12 Conference-best 74 percent from the foul line. The Buffaloes are distributing the ball well, averaging 18.3 assists per outing, ranking second among league counterparts in the early portion of the season.
The Buffaloes’ defense has limited opposing offenses to 59.7 points despite giving up 87 to Iowa which snapped a 34-game string of allowing less than 70. Colorado is holding opponents to 35 percent shooting from the field, including a frigid 18 percent from beyond the arc. Colorado has enjoyed a plus-13 rebound advantage and are forcing nearly 18 turnovers per game.
Colorado has nine players pitching in at least four points per game and seven that are pulling at least three rebounds per contest. Senior guard Brittany Wilson leads the Buffaloes in scoring at 12.7 points per game after establishing a career high with 26 points in the win over Iowa. It was the fifth 20-point game in Wilson’s career as she also set personal bests from the line hitting on 10-of-14 from the charity stripe. She made her first start of the season against Iowa, after coming off the bench in the previous two games.
Junior guard Jasmine Sborov has sprinted out to a great start averaging 11.0 points on 52 percent shooting (11-of-21). She has scored in double-digits in all three games, including a career-high 13 points in the season opening win over Colorado State. She came into this season with just three double-figure scoring games over the first 62 games of her career.
Reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Arielle Roberson leads Colorado in rebounding at 7.3 per game while pitching in 10.7 points per contest. She dished out a career-best and team season-high six assists in the win over Iowa to go along with 17 points and nine rebounds.
Junior guard Lexy Kresl has been running a solid point for the Buffaloes averaging 8.3 points and 3.7 assists per game. She logged a career-best nine rebounds in the win over Colorado State, and against Alcorn State she became the 11th player in team history to reach 100 career 3-point field-goals made.
Freshman guard Lauren Huggins has provided a nice scoring punch off the bench. Huggins is shooting a scorching 47 percent from downtown, hitting 9 of her first 19 to start the season. She is second in the Pac-12 in 3-pointers made per game and seventh in percentage.
Senior center Rachel Hargis is second on the team in rebounding at 5.3 per game while pitching in 4.0 points per game on 50 percent shooting (3-of-6). Junior forward Jen Reese is averaging 9.0 points and 4.7 rebounds and is coming off a nice 10-point performance off the bench against the Hawkeyes. She has started 7-of-8 from the free-throw line including a perfect 4-of-4 against Iowa.
Freshman forward Zoe Beard-Fails is off to a nice collegiate start, providing depth to the front court. Beard-Fails is averaging 5.0 points and 2.7 rebounds, hitting 5 of her first 8 shots (.625). Senior guard Ashley Wilson continues to provide a steady presence averaging 4.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game.
ABOUT THE LOBOS: New Mexico, 1-2 overall, will be looking to snap a two game slide. The Lobos won their season opener 69-65 against Loyola Marymount but have lost back-to-back tough games at Texas Tech (64-56) and at home against Texas (67-52). New Mexico averages 59 points per game while shooting 34 percent from the field and 59 percent from the foul line. UNM is pulling down 44 rebounds per game, holding a slight advantage over its opponents (+0.7).
Junior guard Antiesha Brown paces the Lobos at 19.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. She is hitting 51 percent from the field and has also dished out 2.7 assists per contest. Junior center Ebony Walker is averaging 10.3 points and 5.7 rebounds off the bench for the Lobos. Sophomore guard Bryce Owens leads New Mexico at 3.0 assists per game while also scoring 7.3 per outing.
Yvonne Sanchez is in her third year as head coach at New Mexico with an overall record of 29-36.
THE SERIES: This will be the 14th meeting between Colorado and New Mexico, and only the third in the last 21 years. Colorado holds a 7-6 series lead after claiming an 84-39 win over the Lobos on Dec. 29, 2012 in Boulder. New Mexico won the first six meetings between 1975-79 as the programs competed together in the Intermountain Conference (AIAW). The Buffaloes have won the last seven, including the last meeting at The Pit, a 78-63 decision on Nov. 11, 2001. The series is an even 3-3 in Albuquerque.
Linda Lappe is 1-0 against New Mexico as a head coach. Yvonne Sanchez is 0-1 against Colorado as a head coach.
CONNECTIONS: New Mexico assistant coach Anthony Turner is a 1999 graduate of Colorado and served as a male practice player and manager for then head coach Ceal Barry. LaTonya Watson was also on that staff and Linda Lappe was a player during Turner’s time in Boulder. Lappe also played against New Mexico assistant Edwina Brown who was an All-American at Texas from 1996-2000. Lobos’ assistant Joseph Anders was the interim head coach at Arizona State for the 2011-12 season, leading the Sun Devils to a pair of wins over the Buffaloes.
ROAD WARRIORS: Colorado has won 19 of its last 29 true road contests. 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. Overall the Buffaloes are 23-13 away from Boulder dating back to the tail end of the 2010-11 season.
BIG WIN STREAKS: With the win over Iowa, Colorado extended its streak of non-conference regular season wins to 27 games. The Buffaloes claimed perfect 11-0 nonconference marks in each of the last two seasons. Colorado won its final two non-league games in 2010-11, as the streak began with a 74-52 win over Colgate on Dec. 30, 2010.
Colorado’s two perfect non-conference seasons comprise of two of the top eight overall winning streaks in team history. The 2011-12 team actually began the season 12-0, including a win in its first ever Pac-12 Conference game, tying for the fifth-best streak in team history and the second longest to begin a season.
The Buffaloes’ 11-game streak to start the 2012-13 season ties for the eighth best overall. Throw in a 10-game streak at the end of the 2012-13 campaign, and the Buffaloes have registered three separate double-digit winning streaks in the last two seasons.
Colorado has 10 double-figure win streaks in its history. Head coach Linda Lappe has presided over three of those streaks, one behind her mentor Ceal Barry who coached the Buffaloes to four different double-figure win streaks over her 22 seasons on the bench.
NATIONALLY RANKED: Colorado moved up one spot to No. 16 in the second regular season Associated Press Women’s Basketball Top 25 Poll released on Monday.
Colorado received 316 points, up from 259 last week. Monday’s showing is Colorado’s highest ranking since coming in at No. 13 in the final March 8, 2004 poll.
The Buffaloes have been ranked in 17 consecutive AP polls, their longest run since appearing in all 19 polls of the 2003-04 season. Colorado has a long history of rankings in the AP poll, dating back to the 1980-81 season. This ranking marks the 175th time Colorado has appeared in the AP poll, trailing only Stanford, USC and UCLA among Pac-12 schools.
Despite gaining additional points, Colorado dropped one spot to No. 20 in the latest coaches poll released on Tuesday. The Buffaloes received 213 points, up from 190 in the previous poll, just a handful of points behind No. 17 California (238), No. 18 LSU (236) and No. 19 Michigan State (230).
For the first time since 2003, Colorado was ranked in both the Associated Press and USA Today Sports Coaches Top 25 Preseason polls, coming in at No. 19 in each.
Prior to the 2003-04 campaign the Buffaloes were ranked 20th in both polls. The preseason rankings were Colorado’s highest since debuting at No. 12 (AP) and No. 13 (Coaches) heading into the 2001-02 campaign.
Colorado was not ranked in the final 2012-13 Coaches poll, coming in as the first team listed in the receiving votes category. The Buffaloes appeared in 11 Coaches polls in 2012-13, reaching has high as No. 18 the week of March 4, 2013.
Colorado has three ranked teams on its schedule, all three of which were preseason No. 10 picks. Louisville is No. 3 in the coaches and No. 4 in the AP, Stanford is No. 6 in the AP and No. 5 in the coaches and California is ranked No. 17 in both polls. UCLA and Iowa are receiving votes in both polls.
WILSON CLIMBING CAREER CHARTS: Senior guard Brittany Wilson enters the weekend with 887 career points, needing 113 to become the 25th player in team history to reach 1,000.
She hit two 3-point field goals against Iowa, increasing her career total to 106 and leaving her three behind Alexis Felts (1994-98) for ninth place on CU’s all-time list. Wilson is just outside the career top 20 in steals. She has 130, needing two more to catch Raegan Scott (1993-97) for 20th.
The two have combined for 207 out of a possible 208 games played during their careers. Wilson has not missed a game in her career, playing in all 104 possible contests. Hargis has played in 103, missing only one contest, the 2013 NCAA Tournament game against Kansas, with a knee injury.
Barring any unforeseen setbacks, and with a modest postseason run, the two will be looking to catch Erin Scholz who set the school record at 132 games played from 1993-97. The duo will reach the top 20 in school history with 121 games played.
BUFFS ON TV: Colorado will be featured on the Pac-12 Networks 15 times during the 2013-14 regular season, a school record number for television appearances in one campaign.
Colorado’s appeared on a program-best 13 national and regional telecasts in 2012-13, a figure that also included three postseason contests. Entering this season, the Buffaloes have tipped off on 112 national or regional contests since the Fall of 2001.
Colorado made its 2013-14 Pac-12 Network debut by hosting Iowa on Nov. 20.
Fourteen of Colorado’s 18 conference games will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks, including eight of nine at home. All home games not televised on the Pac-12 Networks, will be available online through Colorado’s Pac-12.com video player. Pac-12 road games that are not televised will be available on the opponent’s Pac-12.com video player.
HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 384-129 all-time record at the Coors Events Center (.748), and finished this season with a record of 15-3. 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.