Buffs Fall In Lincoln
LINCOLN, Neb. – Kelsey Griffin had a game-high 26 points to lead Nebraska to a 63-55 win over Colorado in Big 12 action Sunday afternoon at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
Griffin, who also had 10 rebounds, did most of her damage down low and on the line. The junior forward had eight field goals and was 10-of-15 from the line as the Huskers took advantage of constant CU foul trouble, translating that into 17 free throws compared to just five for Colorado.
Danielle Page, who had 13 points and six rebounds, joined Griffin to cause problems for the Buffaloes’ front line. McFarland had two early fouls and added a third late in the first half, but had a strong second period scoring nine points on 4-of-6 shooting. Kara Richards provided a strong effort off the bench with six points and two rebounds, but also was hampered with foul trouble, fouling out with just under 11 minutes left in the game.
Nebraska (19-10, 8-7) started the game on a 7-2 run, but the Buffaloes battled back. Spears stole the ball and went coast-to-coast for the layup and CU followed with back-to back jumpers from Aija Putnina and Susie Powers to close the lead to 9-8.
Shortly after, foul problems began to hinder the Buffaloes. McFarland picked up her second foul at the 14:25 mark of the first half and the Huskers held a 13-8 lead. A long Bianca Smith 3-pointer at 12:28 put CU within three points at 15-12, but 11 seconds later Richards picked up her second foul.
Nebraska took advantage, embarking on a 14-5 run. Kala Kuhlmann came off the bench and hit a pair of 3-pointers for the Huskers, and Griffin hit 5-of-6 from the line as Nebraska built its largest lead at 29-17 with 5:56 remaining.
The Buffaloes closed the gap by holding Nebraska scoreless over the final 3:07 of the period. CU outscored the Huskers 8-3 in the final 5:44 as Nebraska led 32-25 at halftime.
Nebraska built its lead back up to double-digits by starting the second half on a 7-3 run as the Huskers led 39-28. The Buffaloes were able to crawl back with help from its bench. Whitney Houston scored consecutive baskets off turnovers and scored on a layup and two free throws as CU cut the lead to six at 43-37.
Richards then picked up her fifth foul which led to another Nebraska run. Griffin and Page hit consecutive baskets on a 5-0 run that put Nebraska up 48-37.
Colorado battled back late in the second half. Houston, who scored all eight of her points off the bench in the second half, scored consecutive baskets again to cut the Nebraska lead to five at 56-51 with 2:40 remaining. However the Buffs couldn’t get any closer. Griffin answered Houston’s run with a field goal and the Huskers hit five free throws in the closing minutes to seal the win.
Colorado will play its final home game of the regular season, and honor seniors McFarland and Powers, against the University of Missouri on Wednesday, March 5, at 7 p.m. at the Coors Events Center. The game will be televised live on Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain.
Nebraska claims its seventh straight win over Colorado, the longest streak by the Huskers in series history. Colorado still leads the overall series 38-25
Colorado tied a season-low with just two 3-point field goals, but the pair was enough to tie the school single-season record for 3-pointers. The Buffs have 196, tying the output of the 2001-02 team.
Senior Jackie McFarland scored CU’s first two points of the game and in the process became the third player in team history to reach 1,800 points and now has 1,811. She had four rebounds to increase her career total to 990, just 10 shy of becoming the third player in team history with 1,000.
Freshman Brittany Spears had 14 points and 11 rebounds for her second consecutive double-double, third in five games and sixth of the season. She is averaging 14.8 points and 10.8 rebounds over the last five games.