Buffs Win Seventh Straight
BOULDER — Three players scored in double-digits and a solid defensive effort propelled Colorado to its seventh-straight win with a 57-43 decision over Dartmouth Friday night at the Coors Events Center.
Colorado (8-2) has its best record to begin a season and longest winning streak since its 2003-04 NCAA Tournament team won nine-straight during a 12-2 start.
Freshman Brittany Spears had a game-high 13 points and senior Jackie McFarland recorded her 41st career double-double by netting 12 points and 11 rebounds. Junior Kara Richards had season-highs with 11 points and seven rebounds while hitting a perfect 5-of-5 from the field.
The Buffaloes won their second-straight game with defense. Colorado shot just 39 percent and equaled its lowest offensive output of the season, but the Buffs defense held its own holding the Big Green 23 percent shooting. Colorado blocked 13 Dartmouth shots, the second-highest single-game total in team history trailing only a 16-block effort against Sam Houston on Dec. 14, 2000. Spears and McFarland led the way with four blocks apiece.
CU, which gave up just 29 points against Texas Southern in its last game, held an opponent under 50 points for the fourth time this season.
Dartmouth started off on the right foot as Koren Schram’s third 3-point field goal of the first half gave the Big Green a 20-15 with 10 minutes left in the period.
Colorado started to come alive immediately after thanks to its bench. Sophomore Bianca Smith answered Schram just under a minute later with a 3-pointer of her own to begin a 20-4 Buffs run over the final 9:15 of the half. Richards had four of her seven first-half points during the run, but more importantly countered Dartmouth’s ability to crash the boards.
After Dartmouth held a 14-8 rebounding edge early, seven of which came on the offensive end, Richards 6-4 size allowed the Buffaloes to even out the rebounding total by halftime and would eventually claim a 43-40 edge for the game.
“I thought that Kara was the difference as far as limiting their offensive rebounds,” CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said. “More than anyone else, she put a body on people and didn’t rely on out-jumping them or athleticism. I thought she had the ability to score when she needed to. She had her best week of practice this week and we hoped she could translate that onto the court tonight and she was able to do that.”
Spears narrowly missed a double-double by corralling nine rebounds. Freshman Courtney Dunn had five.
Dartmouth scored the first five points of the second half to narrow the gap to six at 35-29, but Smith once again answered a Big Green run hitting a 3-point field goal. CU never allowed the lead to dip below seven after that, but cold shooting on both sides prevented either team from making any type of move. Colorado was 30 percent from the field in the second half while Dartmouth shot just 23 percent.
Schram and Kristen Craft each had 11 points to lead the Big Green.
Colorado returns to action on Friday, Dec. 28, as the Buffaloes host Southern Utah at the Coors Events Center at 7 p.m. The game will be televised live by Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain.