It's been so long since the Colorado women's basketball team went on the road that it's easy to forget the Buffs are riding a nice little road win streak.
"Compared to previous years, we're really excited about how we've been doing on the road and hopefully we can continue to do that," senior Julie Seabrook said.
Tonight, the Buffs open the two-game University of Texas-San Antonio Holiday Classic with a game against Texas-Pan American. CU will also face Creighton on Wednesday.
"We're really looking forward to it because back-to-back games is kind of like a tournament situation and that's always good to practice," Seabrook said.
While these are neutral site games and not true road tests, CU (9-0) will be traveling for the first time in a month. Its last road game was Nov. 20 at Colorado State, and it has left the state only once this season -- on Nov. 16 at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Dating back to last season, the Buffs have won five straight on the road -- their longest road win streak since the 2003-04 season. They are 5-1 overall in their last six games away from Boulder.
"We've been at least tested a little bit (on the road this season)," CU assistant coach Jennie Baranczyk said. "Now going to this tournament, it's great because you're getting two quality opponents on a neutral floor."
Creighton figures to be one of the toughest tests CU has had to this point. Although the Bluejays are just 5-4, their losses have come to teams with a combined record of 32-5. They've also already played teams from the Big 12, Big Ten, Big East and Atlantic Coast Conference.
"They've been battle tested," said Baranczyk, who has handled the scouting for Creighton. "Nothing really scares them."
Of course, first the Buffs need to beat Texas-Pan American. The Broncs (4-9) recently lost to another undefeated team, Oklahoma State, by 39 points, but the Buffs aren't marking down a win just yet.
"Both games down there will be definitely tough and we have to make sure we don't overlook Pan American, and just get ready and prepare in the next couple of days," CU head coach Linda Lappe said.
Normally, the Buffs like to take one opponent at a time. This week's schedule challenges that a bit. Following Saturday's win against Weber State, the Buffs had just two days to prepare for two new teams.
"We've go to really focus on Pan American, but at the same time we don't have a day to prepare for Creighton," Lappe said. "We basically (had) two days to prepare for both teams."
Baranczyk said Pan American likes to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim, so the Buffs will need to stay composed.
Creighton has the ability to beat teams in a variety of ways, including 3-point shooting, driving to the rim and dishing to post players.
Regardless of which team the Buffs are facing, however, they know it's important to keep doing what they've done best all year. The defense has allowed just 52.3 points per game, and they've out-rebounded teams by an average of 11.4 boards per game.
"Defense has carried us this entire season; defense and rebounding," Baranczyk said. "Those are two things we've got to make sure we're on our 'A' game. Through our defense and through our rebounding, we've created our offense. Those are the things that people are going to start to take away a little bit, but the things we need to continue to do to continue to win games."
With five straight games coming up on the road, the Buffs know it's important to keep playing well.
"We're really excited to get out there and see how we react and how we play (away from Coors Events Center)," Seabrook said. "It's a hostile environment, but we need to practice that.
"When we come together and we just focus on us, we're successful."
TODAY: The Colorado Buffaloes (9-0) meet the Texas-Pan American Broncs (4-9) in a 4 p.m. game at the Convocation Center in San Antonio.
BROADCAST: KKZN (760 AM) with Mike Rice doing play-by-play and Carol Callan providing color commentary.
STORYLINES: This is the first of two games at the UT-San Antonio Holiday Classic for the Buffs. ... This is not a true road game, but the Buffs are 5-1 in their last six games away from Boulder. ... The Buffs are two wins away from a perfect regular-season non-conference schedule. They've done that only once before (1992-93, 12-0). ... CU is scoring 71.7 points per game, while UTPA is averaging just 55.5. ... The Buffs are shooting .460 from the floor this season, while the Broncs are at .353. ... CU ranks No. 1 in the Pac-12 in scoring defense, allowing just 52.3 points per game. ... CU has five players averaging between seven and 18 points per game. ... CU junior Chucky Jeffery is shooting 63 percent (37-of-59) from the floor in the past four games. She has posted 23.3 points per game in that time. ... CU freshman forward Arielle Roberson (back) is out for the year, but will make the trip to her hometown. ... CU sophomore Rachel Hargis (Robinson, Tex.) and freshman Jasmine Sborov (Round Rock, Tex.) are also returning to their home state.
KEY STAT: Colorado had lost 17 straight games in the state of Texas, dating back to Jan. 7, 2004, until winning at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Nov. 16. The Buffs have not won two straight in Texas since the 2001-02 season.
COACHES: Linda Lappe is 27-16 in her second season at CU and 77-52 overall. Denny Downing is 29-45 in his third year at UTPA and 208-220 overall.
PROBABLE STARTERS: Colorado -- G Chucky Jeffery, 5-10, Jr., 18.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 4.7 apg; G Lexy Kresl, 5-11, Fr., 11.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg; F Meagan Malcolm-Peck, 6-2, Jr., 6.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.6 apg; F Julie Seabrook, 6-3, Sr., 7.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg; C Rachel Hargis, 6-4, So., 5.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg. UTPA -- G Bianca Torre, 5-5, Jr., 9.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.8 apg; G Franchesca Simon, 5-8, Jr., 3.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg; G LeQuita Garner, 5-8, So., 11.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.9 apg; F Adanna Opara, 6-0, Sr., 8.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg; 1.8 bpg; F Donna Jackson, 5-11, Sr., 8.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.0 spg.
SERIES: This is the first meeting between CU and UTPA.
UP NEXT: Colorado wraps up the non-conference portion of its schedule against Creighton on Wednesday in San Antonio.