Lady Buffs to Battle USC Prior to Homestand

The No. 14 University of Colorado women's basketball team will bring a four-game winning streak to the table as it returns to action for the first time in more than a week against USC Saturday evening in Los Angeles. Here is a game preview.

The Buffaloes have claimed victory in each of their last four, three within the friendly confines of the Coors Events Conference Center in Boulder, dating back to a 95-65 thumping of Idaho State in the first round of the 17th Annual Coors Classic on Nov. 28.

Senior center Tera Bjorklund connected on 11-of-17 from the floor, and posted a game high 26 points to go along with her 11 rebounds and second double-double of the year, as Colorado defeated previously unbeaten Washington 78-64 last Tuesday night in Boulder.

"We knew coming in that they play a 1-3-1 defense and we felt like going into it that we could go to Tera in the 1-3-1 and get her the ball inside and she could go at (Andrea) Lalum 1-on-1," head coach Ceal Barry said in a press conference after her team extended its loss-less streak to better than three weeks. "I felt like (Tera) had a good percentage tonight."

Kate Fagan added 19, and reserve Amber Metoyer 16 while posting her first double-double of the season after grabbing 12 boards as the Colorado defense held Giuliana Mendiola, last season's Pac-10 Player of the Year, to a relatively quiet 20-point night. The Huskies, now 5-1, had been off to their best start since the 1997-98 season.

"Overall, they never quit," Barry said of the Huskies. "They had a point guard who was hitting threes there at the end of the game."

CU will have to battle more than just a USC which has won two of its last three games Saturday night, as they will be without starting forward Veronica Johns-Richardson, who developed a stress fracture in her left foot during practice this past week.

Sophomore Amber Metoyer is the most likely candidate to take the flashy scorer's position in the starting lineup until she's able to play. Should the former Fairview High School standout take the incomparable VJ's place Saturday, it would mark her first collegiate start.

"That's going to be a problem," Barry said after a practice earlier this week. "There's just nothing you can do about it. We have players; it's just a matter of their experience isn't as good."

Barry does have players coming off the bench, four of them to be exact. Three have not played in any of CU's eight games so far this season.

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