CU women's hoops preview
TODAY: The Colorado Buffaloes (14-9, 4-8 Pac-12) host the Washington Huskies (13-10, 6-6) in a 6:30 p.m. game at Coors Events Center in Boulder.
Radio -- KKZN (760 AM), with Mike Rice on play-by-play and Kami Carmann providing color commentary. TV -- Pac-12 Network, with Anne Marie Anderson and Ros Gold-Onwude on the call.
STORYLINES: Colorado won at Oregon, 81-75, on Monday and is looking for back-to-back conference wins for the first time season. ... CU hasn't won consecutive games since it's 9-0 start to the season. ... Washington upset then-No. 3 Stanford, 87-82, on Sunday in Seattle. It was the Huskies' first win over a top-five team since 1990. ... CU is 9-3 at home this season, 2-3 in conference home games. ... The Huskies are 5-6 away from home this season and have won two in a row on the road. ... Washington won the first meeting with CU, 81-71, on Jan. 19 in Seattle. Freshman Kelsey Plum had a career-high 35 points for the Huskies. Arielle Roberson (20 points) and Brittany Wilson (16) led CU in scoring. ...
KEY STAT: The Buffs rank fourth in the Pac-12 in rebounding margin, at plus-6.0 per game. The Huskies rank ninth, at minus-2.3. In conference play, the Huskies have been out-rebounded by 5.1 boards per game.
COACHES: Linda Lappe is 78-46 in her fourth season at CU and 128-82 for her career. Mike Neighbors is 13-10 in his first season at Washington and for his career.
Colorado -- G Brittany Wilson, 5-7, Sr. (11.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.3 apg); G Ashley Wilson, 5-8, Sr. (6.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.8 apg); G Haley Smith, 6-0, Fr. (2.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.0 apg); F Arielle Roberson, 6-2, So. (13.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.0 apg); F Jen Reese, 6-2, Jr. (12.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg). Washington -- G Kelsey Plum, 5-9, Fr. (19.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.8 apg); Jazmine Davis, 5-7, Jr. (19.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.2 apg); G Mercedes Wetmore, 5-8, Sr. (6.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.3 apg); F Talia Walton, 6-2, So. (11.1 ppg, 8.3 rpg); F Aminah Williams, 6-0, Jr. (8.0 ppg, 10.8 rpg).
SERIES: CU leads the series 8-4, including 3-1 in Boulder. The teams are 2-2 against each other since CU joined the Pac-12.
UP NEXT: CU will host Washington State on Sunday at 1 p.m.
During her four seasons as the women's basketball head coach at Colorado, Linda Lappe has seen her team go through a few skids.
Nothing the Buffaloes went through the previous three years could match the disappointing streak they went through in January, though.
Once ranked No. 11 in the country, the Buffaloes (14-9, 4-8 Pac-12) went 2-7 in January.
Lappe has been encouraged by what her team has done since the calendar flipped to February, though. CU is 2-1 this month and hopes to add to the win column when it hosts Washington (13-10, 6-6) today at 6:30 p.m.
"Two out of the last three games, we were us," Lappe said. "We played defense, we were tough. What you want is for that to start to become consistent and that becomes how you end the season. It has to."
Losing Jasmine Sborov to a broken foot a month ago has been a crushing blow to the Buffs. The junior guard was enjoying her best season in Boulder and was a calming force on the court.
The Buffs also lost point guard Lexy Kresl for three games recently. She's back, but in a limited role. Now, they're without redshirt freshman Lauren Huggins, who has missed two games in a row with a lower leg injury.
In addition to the injuries, the Buffs have dealt with a conference that is much better than it was a year ago.
"The toughest teams that I've ever had always step up to that challenge," Lappe said of the adversity that has hit the Buffs. "That's where we really challenged our team. The conference is better; that means we have to be better."
CU has been better in recent games. In Monday's 81-75 win at Oregon, the Buffs dominated the boards and held Oregon to 32.9 percent shooting.
"We really went back to basics and focused on who we are, and that's a defensive team and a team that is tough on the boards," Lappe said. "Our team really rallied around those two things.
"We had somehow kind of lost (the team identity), so that was probably the best part of the day, is really just bearing down defensively."
Lappe said the coaching staff had to adjust its thinking during the rough January stretch.
"The more that you can just keep simple, the better," she said. "Sometimes coaches, we like to try to do too much."
Going forward, the Buffs are hoping to rely on their fundamentals and grind out as many wins as possible.
"We're in the mode now where we're willing to do whatever it takes to win games," Lappe said. "You've got to give our players a lot of credit for stepping up (against Oregon) and doing the work on the floor, playing together defensively."