CU women's hoops preview
TODAY: The No. 21 Colorado Buffaloes (11-4, 1-3) Washington State (10-6, 4-0) in an 8 p.m. game Beasley Coliseum.
BROADCAST: TV -No television. Game can be seen via Pac-12's video player at http://pac-12.com/videos/washington-state-university. Radio -- KKZN (760 AM), with Mike Rice on play-by-play and Carol Callan providing color commentary.
STORYLINES: The Buffs are trying to end their first losing streak of the season after dropping a pair of home games last week to Cal and Stanford. CU has lost four of its past six. ...CU forward Jamee Swan is coming off the best outing of her career. She scored 20 points with 13 rebounds, both career highs, against Stanford. ...Jen Reese scored in double figures in eight consecutive games played earlier this season, but has been held to single-digit point totals in three of the past four. ... The Cougars rank next to last in the conference in scoring defense allowing 74 points a game. ...WSU guard Tia Presley is the Pac-12's fourth leading scorer.
KEY STAT: Washington State is 2-1 against ranked opponents this season, beating Nebraska and Arizona State and losing to Gonzaga.
COACHES: Linda Lappe is 75-41 in her fourth season at CU and 125-77 as a head coach. June Daugherty is 66-135 in her seventh season at Washington State and 380-349 in her 25th season as a head coach.
PROBABLE STARTERS: Colorado - G Lexy Kresl, 5-11, Jr. (9.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.6 apg); G Brittany Wilson, 5-7, Sr., (10.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.8 apg); G Haley Smith, 6-0, Fr. (1.3 ppg, 0.9 rpg, 0.6 apg); F Arielle Roberson, 6-2, So. (13.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg); F Jamee Swan, 6-2, So. (5.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg). WSU - G Dawnyelle Awa, 5-9, So. (4.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg); G Tia Presley, 5-9, Jr. (19.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg); G Lia Galdeira, 5-11, So. (18.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.5 apg); F Sage Romberg, 6-1, Sr. (9.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg); F Shalie Dheensaw, 6-4, Jr. (7.4 ppg, 8.0 rpg).
SERIES: This is just the fifth meeting. CU leads 3-1. The Cougars only win in the series came in Pullman in 1998.
UP NEXT: The Buffs play at Washington at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
It might seem odd for a college basketball team to be feeling as good about itself as it has all season with a two-game losing streak and after losing four of its past six outings, but it's where the Colorado women's team claims to be.
The Buffs departed the Coors Events Center after a late afternoon practice Thursday for a weekend road trip to Washington State and Washington.
Coach Linda Lappe's 21st-ranked team lost consecutive games for the first time all season last week at home against fellow top-25 Pac-12 powers Cal and Stanford. CU should have won the Cal game. It surrendered a nine-point lead in the final minutes and it had its opportunities against Stanford as well.
The Buffs scored 77 points against Stanford. It was the best offensive outing of the season by any Stanford opponent. That combined with CU's comeback attempt against the Cardinal allowed the Buffs to emerge from a disappointing two-game stretch with a positive outlook.
"I think we're pretty confident overall," CU's leading scorer Arielle Roberson said. "I don't think our confidence is shaken much at all. We played two really good games, but just didn't put the whole 40 minutes together. I think we've learned a lot since then and we can bounce back."
Roberson said the Buffs learned some things about themselves and what they are capable of as a team this season. Now they have to apply the lessons going forward and their first opportunity comes Friday night (8 p.m., no television) against a Washington State team that is 4-0 in Pac-12 play and tied atop the conference with the two teams CU just lost to.
The Cougars are led by the Lia and Tia Show. Guard Tia Presley leads the Cougars in scoring and is fourth in the conference at 19.9 points a game. Fellow guard Lia Galdeira isn't far behind at 18.7 points a game.
Lappe said her players must be prepared to play tough one-on-one defense in both games this weekend and continue to play the kind of ball-sharing offense that allowed them to have such success against Stanford. Lappe wants her team to have at least 10 possessions a game in which her players make six passes before a shot.
"We felt like offensively in the Stanford game there were a lot of things that clicked," Lappe said. "We've never scored that many points against Stanford. We've never been that successful offensively against Stanford.
"Now it's a matter of being more consistent. That's been probably one of the things we've had to focus on a lot so far."