Siena Shooting Scortches Buffs
BOULDER — Siena guard Melissa Manzer scored 31 points and the Saints hit a blistering 68 percent from the field in the second half to defeat Colorado 83-74 in the first round of the 2007 Coors Classic Friday night at the Coors Events/Conference Center.
The loss puts Colorado (1-2) in Saturday's consolation game against Rice (5-2) at 5 p.m. at the Coors Events Center. Siena (2-3) will play Clemson (3-3) in Saturday's championship at 7:30 p.m. Clemson held off Rice 62-59 in the opening game. It marks just the second first round loss for the Buffs in Coors Classic history and only their second ever loss in a home opener.
Manzer was 6-of-9 from 3-point range, setting a Coors Classic record for 3-pointers in a game. Overall she was 7-of-12 from the field and made 11-of-13 free throws. Forward Laura Menty had 25 points and was an equally impressive 11-of-13 from the field. Shondaya Burrell added 23 points on 7-of-12 from the floor.
Siena made 13-of-19 second half shots while Colorado was held to just 33 percent. Siena hit 57 percent for the entire game while the Buffs made just 40 percent.
Senior forward Jackie McFarland led Colorado with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Her 38th career double-double puts her in sole possession of second place on CU's career list. Freshman forward Brittany Spears notched her first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Sophomore Whitney Houston had 11 points and hit a career high three 3-point field goals. Junior Hannah Skildum also had 11 points off the bench, including a perfect 3-of-3 from 3-point range.
Siena led by just two at halftime but started the half on a 15-5 run. Colorado made just one of its first 14 second-half shots while the Saints went 7-for-11 (63.6 percent) in that same span.
The Saints held their advantage until the Buffaloes made run with 4:57 remaining in the game. Skildum hit a 3-pointer and Spears then stole the ball and went coast-to-coast for a layup on the other end to cut the Siena lead to 70-65 with 4:05 left. McFarland, who led CU with 16 second-half points, hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to three at 70-67. Menty answered on the other end with a layup, but Spears countered with a 3-pointer to trim the lead to 72-70 with 2:08 remaining.
But the Buffs couldn't get closer. Manzer scored seven straight points including a 25-foot 3-pointer that put the game out of reach in the closing seconds.
"I believe our team was prepared, they were excited to come home and play in front of our fans," CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said. "We had great intensity and excitement in the locker room and I think we were ready to play Siena, we just didn't play well. Siena played extremely well and hit big shots when they needed to."