Colorado Defense Strong In 59-50 Win Over Kansas
BOULDER – Kara Richards scored 13 points and Colorado had its best defensive performance of the season statistically in a 59-50 Big 12 Conference win over Kansas, Saturday night at the Coors Events/Conference Center in the Buffaloes' final home game of the season.
Colorado (12-15, 6-9) remains in a three-way tie for seventh place in the Big 12 standings with Texas and Texas Tech. Missouri could join the threesome with a win at Oklahoma on Sunday. With just Tuesday's game at Nebraska remaining, Colorado could still be anywhere from a No. 7 to a No. 10 seed for the 2007 Big 12 Championship which begins Tuesday, March 6, in Oklahoma City.
The Buffaloes defense held Kansas (9-19, 3-12) to just 29.5 percent from the field (18-of-61), the lowest mark for an opponent since South Dakota State hit just 23.2 percent (16-of-69) on Dec. 28, 2005. CU also allowed its fewest first-half points (18) and total points in a game this season.
Richards, hot off her 22-point, 10-rebound performance against No. 14 Baylor on Wednesday, had 13 points and nine rebounds against the Jayhawks on 6-of-8 from the floor. She had eight first-half points as the Buffaloes built a 12-point halftime lead.
Kansas trailed by just two at 13-11 when Shaquina Mosley hit a 3-pointer with 9 minutes, 22 seconds remaining in the first half. From there Colorado closed the half on a 17-7 run, and held Kansas to just one field goal in the final 5:15 of the period.
Colorado led by as much as 14 early in the second half (34-20) when Kansas gradually chipped away at the lead. The Buffaloes committed 13 second-half turnovers and hit just 47 percent from the free-throw line (14-of-27).
CU led 42-30 with 11:21 remaining in the game, when the Jayhawks made their biggest run. Danielle McCray and Kelly Kohn hit consecutive 3-point field goals to cap an 11-3 Kansas run as the Buffs lead was cut to 45-41 with 7:56 to play.
The Buffaloes led 48-43 when the game's physical play set the tone for the rest of the game. CU freshman forward Aija Putnina, who had eight points and tied a career-high with 14 rebounds, was fouled by Mosley, but Putnina was charged with a technical foul after swinging her elbow back towards the Kansas senior. Mosley made both attempts to cut the lead to 48-45. Putnina missed her one-and-one attempt on the other end and after Kansas controlled the rebound, Mosley hit a short jumper in the lane to make it a one-point game (48-47) with 3:31 remaining.
Kansas again cut the lead to four as Putnina found herself in a similar predicament. After McCray missed a 3-pointer, Putnina corralled the rebound. Mosley locked her arms around Putnina, drawing a foul, but Putnina was again called with a technical foul for swinging her elbows backwards, this time hitting Mosley on the head and sending her to the floor. Putnina was ejected due to the second technical foul, and Mosley left the game as well and did not return. McCray hit the free throws for Mosley, and Hannah Skildum hit 1-of-2 for Putnina.
Kohn's free throw with 51 seconds left pulled KU to within four, but CU's Bianca Smith hit four straight foul shots with under a minute to ice the game.
Ilic had 12 points in her last game at the Coors Events Center. Houston added eight points for the Buffaloes. McCray scored a game-high 20 points and had six rebounds for the Jayhawks.