Colorado Defeats Kansas 77-71 for Season Sweep
LAWERENCE Kan. ? The Colorado Buffaloes made their free throws down the stretch and held off Kansas, 77-71, to win its second Big 12 game of the season here Wednesday snapping a 12 game road losing streak.
Colorado (7-14, 2-7 Big 12) was led by senior Whitney Law who had 21 points while playing all but 36 seconds of the game and freshman Caley Dow, who recorded her first career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, a career high. Three other Buffs, Jackie McFarland (16), Yari Escalera (14) and Hannah Skildum (11), scored in double digits making the first time five women have reached that mark in the same game since December 8, 2004 against CSU.
For the game, Colorado shot a season-high 61.9 percent from the field. They went 16-19 on free throws in the second half. The last time the Buffs had won on the road was last season when they beat Missouri 56-51 in Columbia, Mo. The second victory in Big 12 play equals the total Colorado had last season.
Kansas (13-6, 2-6 Big 12) fought back from a 12 point half time deficit behind the efforts of Kaylee Brown who contributed a career-high 24 points. The Jawhawks got to within three points with just 28 seconds left in the game but were forced to foul the Buffs and Colorado took advantage hitting 7 of their last 8 free throw attempts to seal the game.
Free throws were not the only reason Colorado came up with the victory in the end. McFarland came up with and offensive rebound on the only miss from the charity stripe to end the game. Dow was also key as in the last two minutes she had a steal, four points, two rebounds and a block.
“Caley (Dow) was a presence down low whether she was scoring with her back to the basket, rebounding or finding open players on the outside,” said Colorado coach Kathy McConnell-Miller, who picked up her first career Big 12 road victory.
Colorado came out smoking in the first half as they shot 16-24 (67 percent) from the field including 5-7 (71 percent) from 3-point range and 3-4 from the charity strip. Guard Whitney Law made her first six shots and did not miss until there were just 44 seconds remaining in the half.
“In the first half we were on fire,” McConnell-Miller said, “Our feet were set and we were taking good shots.”
The game was tied at 10 apiece at the 16:08 mark before Colorado went a 10-2 run over the next four minutes. Kansas pulled within two points at 20-18 but Colorado finished the half on a 20-8 run to lead by 12, 40-28, at the break. CU’s backcourt combination of Law (14) and Yari Escalera (11) scored 25 points in the first half.
Kansas came out of the lockerroom and used a high pressure defense to force Colorado into three turnovers and two missed shots to begin the second half. The Jayhawks whittled the lead down to just four points at the 14:04 mark of the second half. The Buffaloes, adjusting to the increased pressure went on a 15-5 run capped by a Skildum jumper.
The see-saw nature of the game then continued as Kansas went on a 10-0 run to get right back in it and set up the close finish.
Colorado will be back on the hard court on Saturday when they host the Texas Longhorns at the Coors Events Center in a noon tip off. The game will be preceded by a celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day.