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CU Knocks Off No. 21 Wyoming

Dec 5, 2007

BOULDER - Jackie McFarland scored 21 points, Brittany Spears matched her career high with 19 and Colorado upset No. 21 Wyoming 69-55 on Wednesday night at the Coors Events/Conference Center.

Colorado (5-2) snapped a 23-game losing streak against ranked opponents and ended a three-game series skid against the Cowgirls. CU's last win against a ranked opponent was a 69-59 win over then-No. 24 Baylor on Jan. 7, 2004. The Buffaloes were ranked 14th at the time. In ending that streak, the Buffs prevented Wyoming (6-1) from its first 7-0 start in nearly 30 years. Overall, CU has won four straight for the first time since winning five in a row in December of 2004.

Wyoming built a 14-7 lead as the Buffaloes made just three of their first 19 shots from the field. The Buffaloes then heated up as a pair of Bianca Smith 3-pointers and one by Spears capped off an 11-2 run to knot the game at 18-18. CU eventually held a 27-26 lead at the break.

Colorado opened it up early in the second half as Spears had eight points in a 10-0 run that gave CU a 50-38 lead with 10:54 remaining. Spears, who had 14 second-half points, capped the streak by hitting all three free throws after being fouled by Megan McGuffey on a 3-point attempt.

Wyoming responded to that surge with a 14-3 run that cut the Colorado lead to one at 53-52 with 5:11 left in the game. Smith answered for the Buffaloes with two consecutive 3-pointers that led to a 12-0 run, allowing CU to pull away.

McFarland had 15 points in the second half, including eight in the final 4 minutes. Smith ended with a season-high 16 points and also dished out three assists.

"I thought tonight's game came at a very pivotal time for us," CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said. "I thought that we were coming off our best performance of the year (against CSU). To host a nationally ranked Wyoming team with such experience, was very pivotal. With this game we could have gone either way and I thought the timing of the game was good. Wyoming is a great team."

Susie Powers had another solid game for Colorado finishing with a career high nine assists and tying a personal best seven rebounds. The Buffaloes, who had averaged more than 20 turnovers in their first six games, committed a season-low 13. The Buffaloes had 21 assists on their 23 baskets and have 20-plus assists in three straight games for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

"This was a huge gamefor us for a lot of different reasons," McFarland said. "Wyoming is just as much as an instate rival as Colorado State is. To play them for three years and have not (defeated) them, this is definitely the best win of my career. How this team plays when we have a ranked team in here, and to get a win is a sign that we are definitely moving up."

Colorado shot 61 percent in the second half and outscored Wyoming 42-29 in the final 20 minutes. Justyna Podziemska led the Cowgirls with 19 points, and Hanna Zavecz scored 16.

McFarland had 15 points in the second half, including eight in the final 4 minutes.

Wyoming was off to its best start since going 8-0 to open the 1978-79 season. Colorado also handed the Cowgirls their first loss that season, too, 81-66.