Colorado Rebounds With Win Over Rice
BOULDER — Senior Jackie McFarland and sophomore Aija Putnina each tallied double-doubles as Colorado defeated Rice, 72-55, in the consolation game of the 21st Annual Coors Class Saturday night at the Coors Events/Conference Center.
Clemson won the Coors Classic with a 77-67 win over Siena in the championship game.
Putnina, making her first start since a game at Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 7, 2006, led the Buffaloes with a career-high 15 points to go along with 12 rebounds. It's her third career double-double, all three of which have come when she's in the starting lineup. Putnina also added three steals and two blocked shots.
"Being in the starting lineup gave me a lot of confidence," Putnina said. "I know that coach (McConnell-Miller) is counting on me and wants me to do a good job in there."
She has a way to go to catch McFarland's numbers, as the All-Big 12 forward registered career double-double No. 39 and her second-straight as she earned All-Tournament honors for the third time. McFarland had 12 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high seven assists. She's actually been closer to a triple-double has she had a school-record eight blocks to go along with a traditional points-rebound double-double in 2005 against South Dakota State.
Colorado shot an overall season-high 47 percent from the field and spread the wealth around as four players scored in double-digits and two others had seven or more. Senior Susie Powers, held scoreless for the first three games of the season, had 11 while freshman Brittany Spears had 10 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists.
"Last night our look was a result of our shots not going down, and we were also struggling on the defensive end," CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said. "But they were excited about this game and the tournament, and they went into this game with good energy. We knew that things were going to change and I thought they responded well from a very tough loss last night."
Colorado found itself down 13-4 right out of the gate. The Buffaloes, which shot just under 40 percent last night against Siena, made just 2-of-10 to start the game.
Colorado finally found its rhythm by embarking on a 13-0 run capped off by back-to-back 3-point field goals by McFarland and Spears to take a 17-13 lead with 9:18.
The good fortunes continued for the Buffaloes after their initial struggle. Colorado made 11-of-16 to close the half (69 percent) and at one point outscored the Owls 21-2 and led by as many 10 in the first 20 minutes.
Colorado pulled away quickly, beginning the second half on an 8-2 run to take a 47-33 lead and never let the advantage dip below 11.
Rice was led by guard Kadie Riverin who had 14 points, four rebounds and three assists en route to All-Tournament team honors.
21st Annual Coors Classic
Friday, Nov. 23
Clemson 62, Rice 59
Siena 83, Colorado 74
Saturday, Nov. 24
Colorado 72, Rice 55
Clemson 77, Siena 67
April Parker, 6-2, So., F/C, Clemson -- MVP
Morganne Campbell, 5-8, So., G, Clemson
Laura Menty, 6-1, Sr., F, Siena
Jackie McFarland, 6-3, Sr., F, Colorado
Kadie Riverin, 5-9, Sr., G, Rice