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Buffs Bow Out In First Round

Mar 11, 2008

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -  Heather Ezell had 25 points, including a Big 12-record seven 3-pointers, to lead Iowa State to a 76-50 win over Colorado on Tuesday in the first round of the Big 12 women's tournament.

The eighth-seeded Cyclones, who have won a league-record 19 tournament games, advance to play top-seeded Kansas State on Wednesday.

Ezell had 16 points, including four 3-pointers, in the first half, all during the final eight minutes, to turn a 19-16 Cyclones lead into a 39-28 advantage at the break. She finished 9-for-16 from the field, including 7-for-11 from behind the 3-point line to tie Rene Hanebutt's single-game tournament record. Texas Tech's Hanebutt set the 3-point record in 1999.

While Colorado committed 20 turnovers, Iowa State (19-11) had only five, breaking the tournament record of six set by Baylor in 2002. The Cyclones, who came in averaging 7.5 3-pointers per game, also tied the tournament record for 3-pointers with 14.

"I've got to give credit to Iowa State for coming out with energy, passion and desire," CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said. "I did not feel like our team came into this game with the same desire."

Iowa State led 60-46 midway through the second half and used a 16-0 run to take a 76-46 lead late in the game.

Jackie McFarland, the Big 12's third-leading scorer at 17.8 points per game, led the Buffaloes (16-14) with 21 points.

She and Aija Putnina combined for Colorado's first 14 points and had 23 of the Buffaloes' 28 points in the first half. But Putnina didn't score after that, and McFarland made just six of her points in the second half.

McFarland broke her own school single-season record for free throws made in the season by making 5-of-6 from the line. She has 163, passing her old mark of 161 set in 2006-07. With 1,857 career points, she is just one point behind Tera Bjorklund (2000-04) for second place on CU's all-time scoring list.

Colorado shot just 39 percent from the field.

The Buffaloes will have to wait until Monday, March 17, to see if their season will continue. CU hopes to be one of 48 teams invited to play in the Women's National Invitation Tourament. If the Buffs are invited, it would be their first postseason appearance since going to the NCAA Tournament in 2003-04. CU's only other WNIT postseason appearance came in 1999.

"When you look at the things we've done this season, I think it would be an honor (to be invited)," McFarland said. "I think we're looking forward to a chance to continue on and play and see what we can do there."

Brittany Spears had a team-best eight rebounds. Bianca Smith added nine points and three rebounds.

Kelsey Bolte had 19 points for the Cyclones, and Alison Lacey added 13 points and 10 assists.