Late Free Throws Give Northern Arizona One Point Win Over Buffs
GUAYNABO, P.R. - Colorado's Anna Nedovic scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, but a pair of late free throws in overtime by Sandra Viksrtye gave Northern Arizona an 84-83 win over the Buffaloes in the first round of the San Juan Shootout on Monday night at the Mario Morales Coliseum.
CU falls to 3-5 overall and will play the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez on Tuesday at 6 p.m. MST. NAU improves to 6-3. Tomorrow's game against UPR-Mayaguez will air live on KVCU 1190 AM.
The Buffaloes led 83-80 with 1:39 remaining in overtime, but NAU cut the lead to one at 83-82 as Natalie Metz hit 2-of-4 free throws in span of :54. CU's Jasmina Ilic missed a jumper with :26 left, giving NAU the last shot. Metz had two shots in the final 11 seconds, missed both, but the Lumberjacks got both offensive rebounds. Viksrtye's last second attempt was no good giving CU an apparent win, but a foul was called on Buffs' guard Lauren Lubin as time expired.
After some confusion about the time, :00.4 was put back on the clock, Viksrtye, playing in her first game with NAU after transferring from Oklahoma State after the 2004 fall semester, hit both foul shots to give the Lumberjacks the lead. CU was unable to get off a final shot.
Ilic got the Buffaloes into overtime, hitting a turn around jumper on the right block with :05.9 left in regulation to tie the game at 76. Ilic, who had 16 points in the game, scored six points in the final two minutes, allowing the Buffaloes to erase a late NAU five-point lead.
Viksrtye had 16 points off the bench for NAU, hitting 6-of-10 from the field and all six free-throw attempts. NAU was led by Alyssa Wahl's 23 points and 10 rebounds while Megan Porter pitched in 20.
Foul trouble hurt the Buffaloes. Sophomore Jackie McFarland, who entered the tournament as the nation's second leading scorer at 23.7 points per game, had three fouls early in the first half and fouled out with more than nine minutes remaining in the game, totaling just four points and three rebounds.
With McFarland in foul trouble and Ilic hitting just one of her first nine shots from the field, it was Nedovic, Lubin, freshman Hannah Skildum, and senior Whitney Law that kept CU in the game. The Buffs trailed by nine early, but an 18-7 run gave CU a 22-20 lead it held through halftime.
Skildum, whose career-best entering the game was four points, had eight in the first half hitting 4-of-5 from the field and grabbing four rebounds. Nedovic, whose previous career-high was 23 achieved against Loyola Marymount last season, hit 11-of-15 from the field and scored 13 of her points in the second half. Law finished with 14 points and six rebounds while Lubin had 11 points, including a clutch 3-point field goal that helped CU get to overtime.