Boulder, Colo., lies at the footsteps of the Rocky Mountains. The whitecap mountain range when arriving in the town just south of Denver can be breathtaking. The Missouri women's basketball team experienced this view for the last time as a team in January. But senior Shakara Jones has a different memory of traveling to Boulder, the home of the University of Colorado.
"At the hotel at Boulder, they always have these cookies that everybody goes and gets," Jones said. "That would be my favorite memory from Boulder."
Colorado Buffaloes (13-13, 3-9 Big 12)
at Missouri Tigers (12-15, 4-9 Big 12)
WHEN: 4 p.m.
WHERE: Mizzou Arena
RADIO: KTGR/1580 AM, 100.5 FM
Missouri will face Colorado on Saturday for the last time in Big 12 Conference play at Mizzou Arena. The Tiger seniors have only defeated the Buffaloes one time in their career, 66-55 in the 2008-09 season. Their record is 1-6. With Colorado going to the Pacific 10 and Nebraska switching to the Big Ten, the Big 12 will be reduced to 10 schools next season.
"We've all said that the toughest conference in the country got tougher when they decided to leave," Missouri coach Robin Pingeton said. "I think it's going to create some more rivalries, being able to play teams twice during the season. It's going to be a battle. I don't know how else to put it."
Missouri blew a 27-23 halftime lead in Boulder earlier this season. They handed the Buffaloes a 58-48 win. 25 points from Missouri senior Brown and Jones, the Tigers' leading scorers, did not match the scoreline of Colorado's Brittany Spears, who registered a game-high 26 points.
Missouri senior Jasmyn Otote has one more chance to add to 15 total points scored against Colorado in her collegiate career. She can't forget a large poster of a former Buffalo men's player, who recently got traded to the New York Knicks.
"It's going to be different," Otote said. "Going to Boulder, as far as getting ready for the elevation, you have to do the oxygen concentrator, the breathing machine. And there's just a huge picture of Chauncey Billups on their wall there."
For junior BreAnna Brock, a native of San Antonio, the reconfiguration of the Big 12 will bring her family closer together. Missouri will face teams from the Big 12 South twice a year beginning next season.
"I think it's a better match up for one. You get a better opportunity to prove to yourself but also to the other teams twice," Brock said. "My parents only get to come basically to the Texas games with their busy schedules, especially with me being a senior."
Although Jones said she will miss the Boulder hotel's cookies the most, the picturesque Rocky Mountain view from the University of Colorado will stay with the Missouri forward.
"When we land and the mountains are always right there, I'm going to miss that. It looks like they're fake," Jones said. "It was always neat to fly into Boulder because it's different from Missouri or anywhere else."