Buffs Net 86-44 Win Over Regis
BOULDER – Five University of Colorado players scored in double-digits as the Buffaloes defeated Regis University 86-44 in an exhibition contest Sunday afternoon at the Coors Events/Conference Center.
It was a solid debut for CU newcomers. Freshman guard Alyssa Fressle led all players with 18 points while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out three assists. Sophomore guard Kelly Jo Mullaney, playing in her first collegiate game in nearly two years, had 16 points, hitting 5-of-6 from the field and 5-of-5 from the free throw line. Freshman forward Julie Seabrook came off the bench to score 10 points and led CU with eight rebounds.
"It felt great," Mullaney said." It was a good game to get under my belt. It's great to be out there after basically two years of sitting out."
Mullaney opened the game by hitting a baseline 3-pointer and the Buffaloes built a 16-3 lead out of gate, making five of their first six field goal attempts and all four 3-pointers taken. Two of the long balls came from Bianca Smith who finished with 11 points and a team-high four assists and the other from Brittany Spears who had 14 points, five rebounds and five steals.
Regis scored seven straight to cut the lead to 16-10, but Fressle drove the lane for her first points and sophomore Britney Blythe had a 3-pointer to put CU quickly back up 21-10.
CU missed 12 straight shots after the Blythe 3-pointer, but the Buffaloes defense kept Regis from getting any closer than 23-16 with 6:27 remaining in the first half. The Rangers committed 22 of their 34 turnovers in the first half and shot just 35 percent from the floor (7-of-20).
Colorado finished the first half strong, outscoring Regis 23-6 in the final 5:47 to take a 47-22 halftime lead.
"I thought it was a good start to the season," CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said. "Regis was a very good opponent, and they worked really hard. They challenged us on every single possession. As far as we are concerned, I think that the ball pressure was great on the defensive end, and caused 34 turnovers which was a good thing. We also got a lot of easy buckets in transition and this team likes to get out and run."
Mullaney scored six points in the first four minutes of the second half as the Buffaloes built their lead to 62-28. After a slow start, senior Kara Richards had six of her nine points in the second half, hitting all three field goals.
Fressle scored 13 of her 18 points in the second half and kept the pressure on the Rangers' backcourt.
"I had some jitters before the game but I think that is normal, Fressle said. "Like Kelly Jo said, it was good to get this one under our belt. Now I'm looking forward to the next game when it counts."
Colorado out-rebounded Regis 41-28 and had 16 steals. Regis shot just 32 percent for the game, while CU shot 49 percent, thanks in part to a 55 percent performance in the final 20 minutes when many looks were coming off transition layups.
"We also made very good decisions today," McConnell-Miller said. "Kelly Jo [Mullaney] did a great job leading the team. Of course, Alyssa [Fressle] ignited everything on the defensive end with her ball pressure. The pressure she gives us allows others to take chances for steals. As a whole, I am very pleased with the entire team. The chemistry today was some of the best we have had in the four years I have been here."
Colorado will officially open the 2008-09 regular season by hosting the University of Central Florida on Sunday, Nov. 16, at 2:30 p.m. at the Coors Events/Conference Center. The game time was pushed back from it's original 2 p.m. start by CU officials this weekend in order to place a little more time between the UCF game and a potential NCAA soccer game that would be played at 12 p.m. on Sunday at Prentup Field if the Buffaloes are selected as a tournament host on Monday.