Richards' 22 Points Paces Buffaloes Over Dons
BOULDER - Kara Richards made the most of her return to the hard court.
The 6-foot-4 center, playing in her first official game since March 8, 2005, scored 22 points and grabbed six rebounds to help Colorado to a season-opening 62-56 win over San Francisco Friday night at the Coors Events Conference Center.
Richards, just two points off her career high, hit 8-of-10 from the floor and also had four assists. She was complimented by forward Jackie McFarland who had 17 points and 12 rebounds for her 20th career double-double. Richards missed the 2005-06 after breaking a bone in her foot three days before the season opener.
The Buffs (1-0) trailed 30-26 at intermission but rallied to break a 26-game losing streak when trailing at halftime and their first such win since beating Missouri 56-51 on Jan. 18, 2005. The Buffs trailed the Tigers 28-20 in that game. CU shot 71.4 percent in the second stanza (15-of-21) while holding USF to 39.3 percent in the same time frame (11-of-28).
Leading 51-49 with 5:10 remaining in the game, Colorado went on a 9-0 run to pull away. Freshman point guard Whitney Houston started the rally with a lay up and dished out assists on a 3-pointer from junior Susie Powers ? her first points in a CU uniform ? and a lay up by fellow Memphis native Candace Rucker. Richards finished off the run with her final field goal of the night on a pass from Rucker.
The Rucker-Houston duo combined for 10 points, five assists and three steals off the bench. The freshman played a large portion of the second half with starters Richards, McFarland and Powers.
"I was very pleased with the chemistry between the five of them, CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said. "There was a mutual respect on the floor among all of them. They moved the ball, they made the extra pass, and when they made the mistake, they pumped each other up, and it was exciting to see them."
Friday's game marked the return of Tanya Haave who spent four years as an assistant coach with the Buffaloes under Ceal Barry. Haave is in her first year as head coach of the Dons.
Colorado will host No. 15/16 Vanderbilt on Sunday, Nov. 12, at 1:30 p.m. at the Coors Events Conference Center.