Colorado Grabs First Big 12 Win, 74-65 Over Kansas
BOULDER - Jackie McFarland and Jasmina Ilic each had 18 points and hot second half shooting propelled Colorado to its first Big 12 Conference win in the Kathy McConnell-Miller era with a 74-65 decision over Kansas on Tuesday evening at the Coors Events Conference Center.
Colorado improves to 6-9 overall, snapping a three-game losing skid and moves to 1-2 in league play. Kansas falls to 12-2 overall, 1-2 in the Big 12.
After shooting just 38.3 percent in its first two Big 12 games, Colorado hit a season-high 65.2 percent in the second half against KU. Ilic scored 11 of her points in the second half and erased some shooting woes of her own. The junior forward began the game 2-of-7 from the field but hit 4-of-6 in the final 20 minutes.
Leading by one (40-39) with 14:47 remaining in the game, Colorado went on a 13-0 run over a 4:09 span that saw the Buffaloes hit five straight field goals and 6-of-7 overall. Ilic led off the run with a 3-point field goal ? answering KU's Erica Hallman who had just cut the lead to one with a 3-pointer of her own ? and ended with a lay up with 10:38 left that gave CU a 53-39 lead.
"We have been that intense at times this season, just not for the whole 40 minutes." McConnell-Miller said. "Tonight we did. We fought through any fatigue and I credit that to preparation. I think the preparation (for tonight's game) was the best we have had all season."
Kansas was able to cut a 15-point CU lead to six in the final minutes of the game thanks to its 3-point shooting and below average free-throw shooting by Colorado. The Jayhawks made a CU opponent season-high 11 3-pointers, five each from Hallman and guard Kaylee Brown. Colorado, which entered the game leading the Big 12 in free-throw percentage at 75.6 percent, hit just 16-of-28 for a season low 57.1 percent.
Brown's final 3-pointer made the score 68-62 with 1:22 left, but Kansas would not get any closer. Sophomore guard Yari Escalera, who entered the game ranking second in the Big 12 in free-throw percentage at 90.7 percent, hit 4-of-6 in the final minute ice the win.
Overall, Kansas made 47.8 percent from beyond the arc (11-of-23), but did not do too much inside. Colorado owned 38-29 rebounding edge and held Kansas to just two free-throw attempts. The Jayhawks missed both attempts, marking the first time in CU history an opponent went scoreless from the foul line.
Law had 11 points for the Buffaloes and Dow pitched in nine points and six rebounds off the bench. Freshman guard Hannah Skildum, making her first career start in place of the injured Lauren Lubin, had five points and four rebounds in a solid 25 minutes.
"After all this hard work that we've been putting in, this win means a lot to our team," Law said. "KU has some good wins under their belt, so hopefully this proves to some people that we can play with the teams in the Big 12."
Brown led all players with 19 points while Hallman had 17 for Kansas.
Colorado will continue Big 12 action on Saturday, Jan. 14, as the Buffaloes travel to play Kansas State in Manhattan. Tip off is set for 6 p.m. MST.