More than a week has passed since Louisville guard Shoni Schimmel burned the Colorado women's basketball team for 30 points in the Buffs' first loss of the season.
No. 12 CU returns to action Sunday afternoon at the Coors Events Center likely more than a little eager to get back on the winning side of the ledger after being forced to sit on the loss through the short Christmas break.
The Buffs inexplicably missed 13 free throws and gave up 21 offensive rebounds to Louisville and still had a chance to win. Those kinds of performances are difficult to swallow in the midst of the season with a game every few days. They're that much more sour with an extended time to stew.
Southern Utah comes to the Coors Events Center for the final non-conference game of the regular season for coach Linda Lappe's team. The Thunderbirds are 7-2 overall but haven't faced a ranked opponent yet this season.
The Buffs are likely longing for another opponent that demands their very best and they will get it in short order when Pac-12 play begins. The Buffs first four conference opponents are USC and UCLA on the road and No. 4 Stanford and No. 23 Cal at home.
But first the Buffs get back right by handling their business against the Thunderbirds who could pose some challenges, particularly in the post where a pair of 6-foot-1 forwards -- Carli Moreland and Lori Parkinson -- are combining to average 23 points and 15 rebounds.
It's a homecoming for Moreland, who starred at Legacy High School in Broomfield four years ago. She will be eager to do as much damage as possible in this one. Moreland ranks eighth in career rebounds and fifth in career blocked shots at Southern Utah.
The Buffs were outrebounded for the first time this season at Louisville, but they have generally dominated in that area this season, outrebounding opponents by more than 10 per game.
Lappe has built her program around a focus on rebounding a defense and she no doubt has her team fixated on those topics again as they try to start another winning streak with conference play on the horizon.
Junior forward Jen Reese is coming off her second career double-double at Louisville. She grabbed 14 rebounds in the game matching her career best and establishing a new season high for one player on the CU roster. She also scored 14 points, continuing a strong run.
Reese is performing at an all-conference level over her last six games averaging 15.8 points and 7.7 rebounds in that span. She has also suffered a concussion and a broken nose in separate collisions in that span. Her ability to still play at such high level demonstrates the kind of toughness the Buffs will need to compete with Stanford and the other California schools for top billing in the Pac-12.
Sophomore forward Arielle Roberson has been every bit as good as Reese and more consistent over the first 10 games. Roberson is the Buffs' leading scorer and rebounder and should be a difficult matchup for the Thunderbirds because of her athleticism.
SUNDAY: The No. 12 Colorado Buffaloes (9-1) host unranked Southern Utah (7-2) in a 2 p.m. game at Coors Events Center
BROADCAST: Radio -- KKZN (760 AM), with Mark Johnson on play-by-play and Carol Callan providing color commentary. Online -- http://pac-12.com/videos/university-colorado
STORYLINES: CU had its 33-game winning streak in regular season non-conference games snapped in its last game before Christmas at No. 7 Louisville. ... The Buffs have averaged 84 points and 48 percent shooting in six home games this season. ... The Buffs have six players scoring at least seven points per game and four averaging double figures. ... Junior point guard Lexy Kresl leads the Pac-12 in free throw accuracy, making 91.2 percent of her attempts. ... Southern Utah has been good defensively. The Thunderbirds are allowing opponents to average 67 points and 38 percent shooting. ... Southern Utah's leading scorer Carli Moreland, a senior forward, is a product of Legacy High School in Broomfield.
KEY STAT: Rebounding has been a key ingredient in the success of both teams. Southern Utah enjoys a plus-8 advantage over its opponents and CU leads the Pac-12 in rebounding margin at plus 10.7
COACHES: Linda Lappe is 73-38 in her fourth season at CU and 123-74 in her seventh season as a head coach. JR Payne is 51-77 in her fifth season at Southern Utah.
PROBABLE STARTERS: Colorado -- G Lexy Kresl, 5-11, Jr. (11.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.9 apg); G Brittany Wilson, 5-7, Sr., (10.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.0 apg); G Jasmine Sborov, 6-0, Jr. (8.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.5 apg); F Arielle Roberson, 6-2, So. (13.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg); C Rachel Hargis, 6-4, Sr. (5.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg). Southern Utah -- G Andrea Jones, 5-5, Sr. (9.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 4.3 apg); G Maylinn Smith, 5-9, Sr. (4.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg); F Marissa Robbins, 5-11, Sr. (7.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg); F Carli Moreland, 6-1, Sr. (11.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg); F Lori Parkinson, 6-0, So. (11.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg).
SERIES: CU leads 2-0 with both games being played in Boulder. The last time these programs faced each other, the Buffs won 88-36 in 2009.
UP NEXT: CU begins Pac-12 Conference play on the road at USC Friday night at 9 p.m. MDT.