Buffs Edge Cornhuskers 64-61
LINCOLN, Neb. - Brittany Spears' record setting career aside, she just wants to keep playing. Wednesday night CU's second all-time leading scorer came up big to ensure that happens.
Spears scored five of her team-high 20 points in the final minute and Julie Seabrook provided the go-ahead bucket as Colorado edged Nebraska 64-61 at the Devaney Center in the final Big 12 Conference game between the two long-time rivals.
"I'm so happy for our players for getting this win," head coach Linda Lappe said. "We told them at the end of the game that we're the hottest team in the Big 12."
Trailing Nebraska by two, Spears hit a baseline 3-pointer to give Colorado a 60-59 lead with 44 seconds remaining. Nebraska's Lindsey Moore, who scored 17 of her game-high 23 points in the second half, answered with a score in the paint to put the Cornhuskers back up by one.
With Nebraska up by one, Lappe took a chance and did not call a time out to formulate a plan with her team. Instead she "gave [her] team the chance to go ahead and attack."
"Basically both teams were pushing to ball," Chucky Jeffery said. "[After the Nebraska bucket,] coach looked at me and said 'go.'"
Colorado retook the lead 62-61 on a Seabrook layup off a wrap around dish by Jeffery with 15 seconds left.
"We work on that a lot between me and her-the little handoffs inside since she's always driving to the basket," Seabrook said.
Colorado's defense forced a Harleen Sidhu miss and Spears corralled the rebound with 3.7 seconds left. She calmly sank both free throws to put CU up 64-61. Moore's desperation 3-pointer missed the rim and the Buffaloes emerged with their third straight win, second straight on the road.
"I like where our team at right now," Lappe said. "I like where we are mentally right now and I like where our team is physically. We want to keep playing more basketball."
The win improved the Buffs record to 15-13 overall securing a .500 record and a potential WNIT invitation.
Colorado will return home to host No. 3/3 Baylor on Saturday, March 5, at 2 p.m. at the Coors Events Center.