OT Run Allows Northern Iowa Coors Classic Win Over CU
BOULDER-Northern Iowa's Cassie Hager scored seven of her game-high 21 points in overtime to lead the Panthers to a 74-65 win over Colorado in the first round of the 19th annual Coors Classic Tournament late Friday night at the Coors Events Conference Center.
Northern Iowa improves to 1-1 overall and advances to Saturday's championship game against Illinois, a 62-43 winner over Utah State in the early game. Colorado, which dropped its first ever Coors Class first round game, falls to 1-2 and will host Utah State in Saturday's consolation round at 5 p.m.
CU sophomore guard Yari Escalera hit a pair of free throws with just five seconds remaining in regulation to tie the score at 58-58 and send it to the extra session. Escalera was CU's high scorer, finishing with a career-high tying 19 points.
The Buffaloes took a 60-58 lead one minute into overtime on a Caley Dow layup, and led 61-60 with three minutes remaining when the Panthers' 6-foo-7 center took over. Hager scored six straight points hitting two layups and a pair off free throws. To make matters even worse, the foul that sent Hager to the free-throw line during that stretch, was the fifth for sophomore forward Jackie McFarland who recorded her third-straight double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
"I think I expect us to be greater than we are performing right now," CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said. "The team thinks so too. We fought hard to get to overtime and then we just let them have it. We aren't deep enough to get into foul trouble like we did."
Hager added 10 rebounds and six blocked shots to her totals. Four UNI players scored in double digits with sophomore Kelly Lund joining Hager in the double-double category with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Colorado committed 30 fouls which resulted in 39 UNI trips to the foul line, hitting on 29. In comparison, CU, which had three more total field goals then the Panthers (24 to 21), made just 15-of-25 foul shots.
Junior Jasmina Ilic had nine points and six rebounds for Colorado while Dow finished with four points and six boards off the bench.