CU women's hoops preview

TODAY: The Colorado Buffaloes (14-11, 4-10) at No. 20 Arizona State Sun Devils (20-6, 9-5) in a 6:30 p.m. game at Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, Ariz.


TV — No television. The game is available through Arizona State's Pac-12 video player at: Radio — KKZN (760 AM), with Mike Rice on play-by-play and Carol Callan providing color

STORYLINES: Colorado lost two in a row last weekend at home against the Washington schools. ...The Buffs are 0-4 against ranked teams this season and 5-6 on the road, but just 2-5 in Pac-12 road games. ...Jamee Swan has averaged nearly a point per minute of playing time over the past three games. She averaged 17 points per game in those three contests. ...CU's second leading scorer Jen Reese ranks sixth in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage at 48.2 percent. ...Arizona State has lost three straight, all three of which were played on the road. ...

The Sun Devils are 12-1 at home this season.

KEY STAT: The Buffs have allowed at least 75 points to four consecutive opponents after allowing that many points to be scored against them just three times in the first 21 games this season.

COACHES: Linda Lappe is 78-48 in her fourth season at CU and 128-84 as a head coach. Charli Turner Thorne is 322-204 in her 17th season at ASU and 362-243 in her 19th year as a head coach.


Colorado — G Haley Smith, 6-0, Fr. (2.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.1 apg); G Brittany Wilson, 5-7, Sr., (10.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.2 apg); G, Ashley Wilson, 5-8, Sr. (6.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.8 apg); F Arielle Roberson, 6-2, So. (12.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg); F Jen Reese, 6-2, Jr. (12.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg). ASU — G Kate Hempen, 5-9, So. (7.7 ppg, 1.5 rpg,); G Deja Mann, 5-7, Sr. (11.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.4 apg); G Promise Amukamara, 5-8, Jr. (7.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg,); F Sophie Brunner, 6-1, Fr. (7.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg); F Kelsey Moos, 6-0, Fr. (7.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg).

SERIES: CU leads 11-3, but ASU has won three of five since the Buffs joined the Pac-12, including the first matchup this season in Boulder

UP NEXT: CU travels to Arizona for a 3 p.m. game Sunday.

In her press conference following another closely contested loss Sunday, Colorado coach Linda Lappe said she felt like she was experiencing déjà vu.

A look at the last two months for this season's team reveals why.

Since mid-December the Buffs have won five games. Three of those victories were in blowout fashion and just twice has Lappe's team dug deep and found a way to triumph in close games.

The 11 losses since mid-December paint an even more clear picture of why Lappe was experiencing something familiar following her team's latest setback. CU has put itself in position to win eight of those 11 games in the final 4 minutes but found a way to lose instead, dropping all the way to ninth place in the Pac-12 standings.

Four of those eight losses were one-possession games, including the loss to the Cougars on Sunday and a 68-66 loss at home last month to Arizona State.

"We're getting better in late-game situations," Lappe said. "I think you can look at the last two games and you can see us executing a lot better down the stretch. I really believe you have to take the positives out of it. We're staying in games with teams but we need to keep getting better."

The Buffs travel to ASU for a 6:30 p.m. game Friday night hoping to get a measure of revenge against the 20th-ranked Sun Devils, who simply executed better down the stretch in the first meeting this season. The Buffs are 0-4 this season against ranked opponents.

Lappe has been prodding her team to focus on winning games through defense and rebounding all season. It worked early in the year but the Buffs have been inconsistent in both areas since the start of conference play and it has showed in the results.

CU has struggled to get stops over the past two weeks. It has allowed each of its past four opponents to score at least 75 points. The Buffs have allowed at least 80 points in the past two games. It's the first time since the 2008 WNIT that CU has allowed consecutive opponents to score 80 or more.

The Buffs have been scoring the ball almost well enough to compensate for their defensive deficiencies, but not quite. CU is averaging 75 points a game in its past three outings.

The Buffs have staggered through their first 14 conference games managing assorted injuries and never completely falling apart. They're now hoping to finish the final four regular season games with a flourish and leave it all on the court at tournament time.

"We just have to finish down the stretch," forward Jen Reese said. "We just have to play defense, rebound and keep doing what we are doing on offense. Hopefully good things will come. We have to come together as a unit again and start getting better every day."

Contact Writer Kyle Ringo at or