Freshmen Shine In CU's 80-60 Win Over Nevada
BOULDER — Colorado freshmen Aija Putnina and Whitney Houston each scored 12 points and Jackie McFarland notched her fourth double-double of the season as the Buffaloes defeated Nevada 80-60, Friday at the Coors Events/Conference Center, in the first day of the 20th Annual Coors Classic.
Houston and Putnina made their first career starts Friday night, the first time two freshmen have started in the same game for the Buffs since Kara Richards and Yari Escalera started the final game of the 2004-05 season. Putnina recorded a double-double, registering career highs with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Houston scored 12 points on 5-of-7 from the field to go along with three steals.
McFarland had a game-high 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for her fourth double-double in five games this season, and the 23rd of her career, giving her sole possession of third place on CU's all-time list. Jasmina Ilic rounds out CU's double-digit scorers as the senior forward pitched in 14 points with five rebounds and three steals.
The first half was played fairly even, mostly due to glaring negatives for both teams that cancelled each other out.
Nevada made just four of its first 20 shots and ended the half shooing 26.3 percent from the field (10-of-38). The Wolfpack had substantially more field goal attempts than the Buffaloes (38 to 22) because for the second straight game Colorado had problems with turnovers, committing 20 in the first 20 minutes.
Trailing by one at 15-14, Colorado finally got its offense into gear. The Buffaloes scored nine straight to take a 23-15 lead with 4:15 left in the half. Nevada inched back to within four at 27-23, but Susie Powers hit a 3-pointer with just three seconds remaining in the half to give CU a 30-23 lead into the locker room.
Colorado (3-2) opened up a 20-point lead mid-way through the second half thanks to hot shooting and a dominating performance on the boards. The Buffaloes hit 17-of-30 in the second half (56.7 percent) while holding Nevada to just 34.4 percent (11-of-32). Colorado out-rebounded the Wolfpack 31-9 in the second half and its 56 rebounds are the most since the Buffs had 56 against Cal State Fullerton in the 2005-06 season opener.
McFarland was solid in the second half, recording 14 of her points and seven of her rebounds in the final 20 minutes. The top field-goal shooter in the Big 12 so far this year, McFarland hit 6-of-8 from the field and 6-of-9 from the charity stripe.
Cherlanda Franklin led Nevada (3-1) with 10 points.
Colorado was without starting center Kara Richards Friday night and will be for the next 4-to-6 weeks as it was diagnosed late Thursday night that she has a fracture to the fourth metatarsal in her left foot. The injury is to the same foot, but not the same bone that forced her to miss the entire 2005-06 season. Her injury last season was a Jones Fracture, a fracture of the fifth metatarsal.
Colorado hosts the University of Charlotte in the final game of the Coors Classic on Saturday, Nov. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the Coors Events/Conference Center. Nevada will play the University of Wyoming at 5 p.m.
Wyoming 77, Charlotte 55
Justyna Podziemska had a game-high 20 points and Megan McGuffey had 19 off the bench as Wyoming pulled away in the second half to down Charlotte in the first game of the Coors Classic.
Podziemska also had nine rebounds, three assists and three steals while drilling 6-of-12 from the floor. McGuffey had her second-straight good game off the bench as she scored 14 in Tuesday's night's win over Colorado in Laramie.
Wyoming (4-1) led 32-30 at halftime and opened the second half on a 9-2 run. Podziemska scored 13 of her points in the second half as the Cowgirls shot 61.5 percent (16-of-26) in the final 20 minutes. Hanna Zavecz added 16 points and four assists for the Cowgirls.
Courtney Williams and Sabrina Gregory led Charlotte (3-2) with 10 points each.