Buffs lost both regular-season meetings
The Colorado Buffaloes women’s basketball team, ranked No. 9 in the Big 12, will face Big 12 No. 8 Iowa State Cyclones Tuesday in Kansas City, Mo. to kick off the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship.
If the Buffaloes lose, NCAA and NIT berth chances are minimal at best.
The two previous meetings this season between the Buffs and Cyclones ended with the same result: Buffs’ loss. The first meeting, which was in Boulder, ended after two overtimes with 7-point Iowa State victory.
The Cyclones didn’t even need one overtime in the second meeting. On Jan. 30 in Iowa, the Cyclones defeated the Buffs 65-45.
Senior forward Jackie McFarland said she does not expect the same outcome as that most recent defeat.
“We are a different team now,” McFarland said. “We are ready for another shot at them.”
Iowa State ended its Big 12 regular season play with a loss to Nebraska in Lincoln. The Cyclones are the best 3-point shooting team in the Big 12 as far as percentage made and total shots made.
The Cyclones’ perimeter attack is led by sophomore guard Alison Lacey, who leads the Big 12 in accuracy hitting 41 percent of her 3′s and is second in production averaging 2.59 per game.
CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said the Buffs’ guards need to be ready to face the Cyclone’s offensively potent guards.
“We will have to be good defensively,” senior guard Susie Powers said. “Their guards are very talented.”
Iowa State is not just strong offensively. The Cyclones have given up the fewest points in the Big 12 this season.
The Buffs got 77 points against Iowa State on Jan. 13, which is 22 points above ISU’s current average points allowed. After being held to 45 points when they traveled to Iowa State, the Buffs will get a chance to rise back to their earlier success.
“When we left Ames, all I wanted was another chance against them,” McConnell-Miller said. “And now we have it, and we need to get ready. They’re a great team.”
Before the start of the Big 12 tournament, two Buffs earned recognition for their regular-season achievements.
McFarland was named to the 2008 All-Big 12 Conference first team for the second-straight season. She is the second Buff to earn back-to-back All-Big 12 first team honors. She averaged 17.8 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. She hit 55 percent of her shots from the floor and earned eight double-doubles.
Freshman forward Brittany Spears earned a Big 12 All-Rookie team selection with her 13.8 points per game and 7.6 rebounds a contest.
Both McFarland and Spears will have to be consistent on offense to manifest a win against the Cyclones.
If Colorado defeats the Cyclones, the Kansas State Wildcats await them in the second round of the conference tournament.
Colorado beat the Big 12 No. 1 Wildcats in their last meeting in Boulder.
The Buffaloes are 8-10 in Big 12 tournament play, and they have one Big 12 Championship title, in 1997 over Kansas State.
Colorado will begin tournament play at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Brent New at email@example.com.
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