Smith's 26 Paces Buffs Over Texas
BOULDER — Sophomore Bianca Smith scored a career-high 26 points and tied several long-ball records as Colorado broke a six-game losing streak by defeating Texas 67-52 in Big 12 Conference action Saturday night at the Coors Events/Conference Center.
Colorado, which snapped an eight-game skid against Texas, moves to 14-11 overall and 3-9 in Big 12 play. Texas drops to 16-9, 4-7 in the Big 12.
Smith connected on a school-record tying seven 3-pointers and hit all five of her free-throw attempts as she passed her previous career high of 22 set earlier this year against Vanderbilt. She also tied school marks for 3-pointers made and attempted in one half hitting 5-of-9 in the first 20 minutes.
Colorado led 38-31 early in the second half, but Texas responded with an 8-0 run. Ashley Lindsey scored a layup in transition and Carla Cortijo converted a 3-point play to give the Longhorns their only lead of the game at 39-38 with 13:22 remaining.
Sophomore Aija Putnina gave the lead back to the Buffs at 40-39 on a jumper from the foul-line area, and then on the next possession Smith hit her sixth 3-pointer of the night, was fouled by Crystal Boyd, and completed the 4-point play to put CU up 44-39.
Erneisha Bailey scored for Texas on the other end, but Kara Richards answered for CU on a put-back and Smith then hit her record-tying 3-pointer to give the Buffs a 49-41 advantage.
From that point on, Colorado survived on rebounds and free throws. Both teams were cold in the second half shooting an identical 7-of-29 from the field (24 percent). The Buffaloes nearly doubled up the Longhorns on the boards in the second half (32-17) and made 17-of-19 foul shots including their last 13 in the final three minutes.
Colorado hit 22-of-29 free throws overall and held a 50-29 advantage on the boards led by three Buffs in double-digits. Putnina led the way with a career-high tying 15 rebounds, six on the offensive end, to go along with 14 points. Senior Jackie McFarland notched her 44th career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Brittany Spears pulled down 12 rebounds for the second-straight game.
Texas pressured the Buffaloes enough to cause 10 first-half turnovers and allow the Longhorns to respond to several CU runs. Smith hit two early 3-pointers and junior Caley Dow put back a Smith miss as the Buffaloes took a 14-8 lead at the 10:44 mark of the first half. But Texas responded with a 10-4 run to tie the game at 18.
Smith had three 3-pointers in the final six minutes of the half to give the Buffaloes a 34-29 lead at the break.
Brittainey Raven led the Longhorns with 16 points. Cortijo had 12 and Lindsey pitched in 11.
Colorado will take its Big 12 bye this week and will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 23, as the Buffaloes host first-place and No. 17 Kansas State at 7 p.m. at the Coors Events Center.