CU Can't Close Out Cats
BOULDER - For the second straight game, Colorado played toe-to-toe with a perennial Big 12 power, but in the end just couldn't find a way to close the deal.
CU sophomore Yari Escalera scored a game-high 18 points and Caley Dow recorded her second double-double in three games, but Kansas State held on for a 67-62 Big 12 win Wednesday evening at the Coors Events/Conference Center.
The Buffaloes (7-16, 2-9 Big 12) led by one at halftime, but quickly fell behind by eight in the first five minutes of the second half. Dow, a perfect 6-of-6 from the field in the game, scored on back-to-back layups and Escalera hit one of her career-high four 3-point field goals to spark a 9-0 run that put CU in the lead at 40-39.
Dow finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds and has recorded 30 rebounds over the last three games. She had 11 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Kansas on Feb. 1. Escalera, just one off her career-high of 19 points, tied a personal-best by hitting 6-of-13 from the field.
Tied at 53 wit 7:23 remaining, Marlies Gipson hit a 10-footer for Kansas State and Shalee Lehning hit a 3-pointer to put the Wildcats up by five with 3:10 left. Escalera answered with a 3-pointer of her own to cut the lead to 60-58.
Kansas State (17-5, 7-4 Big 12) made just 13-of-25 from the free-throw line, and some key misses kept the Buffaloes in the game in the final minutes. After Escalera's 3-pointer, Gipson was fouled on the other end, but missed the front end of the one-and-one opportunity. In fact, the Wildcats made just 1-of-4 free-throw attempts in an 11 second span with under a minute left.
Colorado could not take advantage though, making just one of its last six field-goal attempts. A Jackie McFarland layup cut the KSU lead to 64-62 with 0:25 left on the clock. The Buffaloes regained possession with a chance to tie, but an Escalera jumper with 15 seconds fell wide. Lehning corralled the rebound and hit her last two free-throws to ice the game.
Lehning scored all nine of her points in the last 3:10 of the contest and led Kansas State with 10 rebounds. Boulder native Kimberly Dietz led the Wildcats on the scoreboard with 12 points on four 3-point field goals.
Colorado will travel to face Texas Tech on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 6 p.m. MST in Lubbock, Texas.