Seabrook Steps Up For Buffs
BOULDER -- Freshman Julie Seabrook had a big night off the bench, recording career highs with 12 points and 13 rebounds to lift Colorado to a 73-57 victory over Idaho State Tuesday night at the Coors Events/Conference Center.
Seabrook, replacing senior Kara Richards who fell into early foul trouble, recorded her first double-double in a season-best 27 minutes.
With the win, Colorado (6-4) records its first three-game winning streak of the season while moving to two games above .500 for the first time since opening the season with two wins.
Seabrook's double-double off the bench was key, but it was a team effort that led the Buffs to victory.
Four other Buffaloes also scored in double digits—the first time Colorado has had five players score in double digits this season. Sophomore Brittany Spears and Richards each tallied a team-high 14 points, Richards doing so in only 15 minutes of floor time. Spears also recorded her third double-double this season grabbing 13 rebounds. Junior Bianca Smith contributed 12 points, nine of which came from behind the 3-point line. Freshman Alyssa Fressle added 11 points of her own.
"I am happy with the balanced scoring," CU coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said. "Most important was the rebounding, assist-to-turnover ratio, and balanced scoring – all were positives for us."
The Buffaloes started and ended the game strong, never allowing the Bengals to take the lead in the game, but the Bengals gave the Buffs a scare early in the second half when they cut the Buffs' lead to only five.
Colorado showed Idaho State (3-10) that it meant business early with a layup from Richards only 15 seconds into the game. A 7-0 run gave Colorado a 19-8 lead at the 13:21 mark. Smith dished out back-to-back treys and Richards added two consecutive buckets from the paint as the Buffs began to pull away.
Richards, who scored more than half of the Buffs' first 19 points, recorded her second foul at the 9:56 mark, and that's when it was Seabrook's turn to step up and take over for Richards under the basket.
"I was happy to come in and fill Kara's shoes and step-up," said Seabrook, a North Vancouver, B.C., native.
It didn't take much time for Seabrook to make her presence known. Not long after fellow freshman Fressle put up three layups in a row, Seabrook kept the freshmen frenzy going by sinking two free throws and putting up a layup of her own. After yet another 3-pointer by Smith, Seabrook grabbed a rebound off a Fressle miss and scored on the put back to put the Buffs up 34-21 with 4:09 left in the first.
Colorado entered the second half with a 13-point cushion (39-26), but the Buffaloes soon saw their lead dwindle as the Bengals started out the second half just as quick as the Buffs had started out the first with a layup by Idaho State junior Oana Iacovita 17 seconds in.
Over the next 3:47, the Bengals went on a 6-0 run as the Buffs shot 0-for-7 from the field during that span. The Bengals seemed to have the momentum as they came within just five points of the Buffs' lead, but fouls would hurt Idaho State as Colorado recorded 17 of its 34 second-half points off of free throws. Colorado shot 17-for-28 from the line in the second.
Those 17 free throws proved key in helping Colorado regain a steady lead, as the Buffs finished the game with a 16-point advantage.
Three players led Idaho State by scoring in double digits. Freshman Sheila Adams and Colorado native, senior Cara Lambert, both came off the bench to contribute 25 combined points. Adams scored a career-high 15 points, including three baskets from behind the arc. Senior Michelle Grohs added another 13 points for the Bengals.
Colorado's victory over Idaho State marks the team's final nonconference home game of 2008. The Buffs will ring in 2009 and close out the nonconference portion of their schedule with a trip to the Rainbow Classic in sunny Honolulu, Hawaii. Colorado will take on Pepperdine on Saturday Jan. 3 at 6 p.m. MST and then face host Hawaii on Sunday Jan. 4 at 8 p.m. MST.