CU Downs Pepperdine For 10th Straight
BOULDER - Jackie McFarland had 19 points and eight rebounds to help No. 23 Colorado win its 10th straight, 65-53 over Pepperdine on Friday night at the Coors Events Conference Center.
Bianca Smith added 18 points and Brittany Spears had 16 for Colorado (11-2) which is off to its best start since beginning the 2003-04 season 12-1. The Buffaloes begin their Big 12 Conference season on Wednesday at Missouri.
"I think right now we've come in and played strong," McFarland said on CU's 11-2 start. "I couldn't be happier. This is what I came to Colorado for; the tradition of winning. I can't keep a smile off of my face."
Daphanie Kennedy led Pepperdine (5-8) with 15 points. The Waves have lost six in a row, all on the road. The Waves open West Coast Conference play Jan. 10 at Gonzaga.
Trailing by 15 at the break, Kennedy hit a short jumper to get Pepperdine within 38-33 with 18:08 to play and then McFarland took over for Colorado.
McFarland muscled in four layups and Smith added a 3-pointer in a three-minute span for a 49-32 lead. Two free throws by Kennedy with 1:50 left got Pepperdine to within 61-53 with 1:50 left, before Smith's basket and two free throws put the game away for Colorado.
"All I can say is that this team has the characteristics of a top 25 team," CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said. "They show up everyday, practice hard and the seniors are leading this team. It's nice to have the recognition and I think they have earned that. This team isn't worried about getting higher in the rankings, they just keep the same mentality they've had all season."
Pepperdine led only once when Kennedy buried a 3-pointer 39 seconds into the game. The Waves then promptly missed their next 14 shots.
While the Waves struggled, Colorado went on a 19-1 run. McFarland scored seven of the points to put the Buffaloes ahead 19-4.
Miranda Ayim's basket with 7:53 remaining capped an 11-0 run, but Smith came off the bench to hit three 3-pointers in the last seven minutes as Colorado pulled away to a 36-22 halftime lead.
Susie Powers had a career high 10 assists for Colorado, the most by a Buff since Whitney Law's school record 15 on Nov. 18, 2005 against Cal State Fullerton.