Texas Shuts Down Colorado
AUSTIN, Texas – A stifling Texas defense held Colorado to its lowest point total in team history as the No. 17 (AP)/16 (WBCA) ranked Longhorns shut down the Buffaloes 62-32 in a Big 12 Conference game Saturday night at the Frank Erwin Center.
Colorado (8-7, 0-3) committed 18 turnovers and shot just 28 percent from the field (13-of-47) as the Buffaloes dropped their third straight game, all against ranked teams and the last two of which have come on the road.
CU's 32 points surpassed the previous game low of 36, achieved on three occasions, most recently at Kansas State on Jan. 11, 2003. The Buffaloes scored just 12 first half points, the lowest first period output in team history and their second lowest one-half total on record.
Sophomore Brittany Spears had 11 points and 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season, but the Big 12's second leading scorer at 18 points per game was held to just two in the first half. Colorado made just 22 percent (5-of-23) from the field in the period and committed 12 turnovers which led to 14 Texas points.
It was a messy start for both teams. Texas (14-3, 2-1) had 10 turnovers of their own in the first 14 minutes while hitting 38 percent from the field (6-of-16). The Buffaloes trailed by just eight, at 16-8, when Alyssa Fressle made a basket with 6:30 remaining in the half. Fressle scored eight of Colorado's first half total and finished with a team game-high 12.
Texas guard Kathleen Nash then scored the game's next 10 points, which included back-to-back 3-pointers, as the Longhorns ended the first half on a 13-4 run.
Despite its first half troubles, Colorado didn't quit, opening the second half on a 10-2 run to cut the Texas lead back to single digits. The Buffaloes scored the first six, pounding the paint with layups by Kara Richards, Bianca Smith and Fressle. Ashley Lindsey gave Texas its first points at the 14:32 mark with a bucket down low, but the Buffs responded with a Spears jumper and two Fressle free throws as the Longhorns lead was down to 31-22 with 13:38 remaining.
Colorado would not get any closer though as Nash hit two more 3-pointers during a 15-6 run to give Texas a 17 point cushion. Spears tallied five quick points, including CU's only 3-pointer on 12 attempts, to make it a 14 point game with 9:12 remaining, but the Buffaloes missed 10 of their next 11 shots to close the game.
"There's no doubt that we play in the toughest conference in the country, and we've had the toughest stretch over the past three games," CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said. "Our objective right now as a team is to stay positive and to focus on the good that has been happening with this team. We had some really good stretches tonight, but you can't have (bad) stretches against a team like Texas that has the ability to take advantage and go on runs."
Erika Arriaran scored all 11 of her points in the final 9:34 of the game, including three 3-pointers as she helped Texas end the contest on an 18-2 run. Nash finished with a game-high 16 points to go with seven rebounds.
Richards pitched in seven points and five rebounds for Colorado.
Colorado returns home to host No. 3 Oklahoma on Wednesday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. at the Coors Events/Conference Center. The game will be televised live by FSN Rocky Mountain.