Buffs End Road Skid, Edge Wildcats
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Freshman Candace Rucker hit two free throws with six seconds left to lift the University of Colorado to a 60-58 Big 12 Conference win over Kansas State University Wednesday night at Bramlage Coliseum.
Colorado (11-13, 5-7 Big 12) snaps an 11-game road losing streak and sweeps the regular season series against Kansas State (16-9, 4-8) for the first time since 2001.
The Buffs led 58-53 with just under one minute left when Kansas State freshman Ashley Sweat was fouled by sophomore forward Caley Dow and hit a pair of free throws. CU turned it over on the ensuing possession and KSU senior Claire Coggins drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing with 18 seconds remaining to tie the game at 58-58.
Colorado broke the Kansas State press and pushed the ball up the floor, bypassing the opportunity for a timeout. The Buffs ended up having Rucker and junior Jackie McFarland 2-on-1 heading towards the bucket. Rucker was fouled by Sweat under the basket sending the first-year guard to the line. Rucker, who entered the game hitting 7-of-8 from the line in the closing two minutes of games, coolly hit both to put CU up 60-58.
Rucker tied a career-high with seven points, netting 5-of-7 from the free-throw line.
With no timeouts remaining, KSU guard Shalee Lehning was forced to drive the length of the floor in an attempt to tie. Her running lay up bounced off the back iron at the buzzer.
McFarland had a game-high 18 points and nine rebounds, missing a double-double by one digit for the fifth time this season. She grabbed the game's first rebound and in the process became just the seventh player in team history to register 1,200 points and 700 rebounds.
Junior guard Susie Powers had nine points and six rebounds, hitting 4-of-8 from the field. Redshirt freshman Bianca Smith had seven points including 4-of-5 from the free throw line, two of which gave CU its five point lead at 58-53 before KSU made its final run.
Sophomore Caley Dow had eight points off the bench on 4-of-6 from the field.
Colorado's guard rotation of Powers, Smith, Rucker, Hannah Skildum and Whitney Houston played solid defense on Kansas State's outside threats. Coggins, Lehning and Kimberly Dietz were a combined 10-of-33 from the field as the Wildcats were held to just 36 percent overall.
Sweat led KSU with 18 points while Coggins had 17.
Colorado continues Big 12 play with a game at Iowa State University on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 1 p.m. MST in Ames, Iowa.