Buffs Down Mountaineers To Open 2020-21 Season
BOULDER—In many ways, simply playing a game is a win for everybody involved.
But at it pertains to the playing of a college basketball game, the Colorado women's basketball team did exactly what it needed to Wednesday night at the CU Events Center, defeating a solid Division II Western Colorado team 77-50 to win the program's 21st straight season opener.
Senior Mya Hollingshed led the way for the Buffs with 19 points and 11 rebounds, her ninth career double-double, as the Buffs defense was on lock-down in the first half, holding the Mountaineers to just 3-of-31 from the field in the first half, opening up a 39-15 lead at intermission.
As the truncated non-conference schedule is now one-third complete, the Buffs used a balanced effort that included freshman Frida Formann scoring 13 points in her college debut and sophomore Charlotte Whittaker also hitting double figures with 11 points, her eighth career such game. Peanut Tuitele and Annika Jank had nine and eight rebounds, respectively, while Lesila Finau had six boards and a game-high four steals.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Holingshed scored just 11 seconds into the young season to put the Buffs up 2-0, and after a 3-plus minute drought, Jaylyn Sherrod hit a put-back that put the Buffs up 4-2 and spurred an 8-0 run. WCU hit free throws to come within four at 10-6 but the Buffs ended the quarter on a 10-0 run to lead 20-6.
The second quarter was much of the same as the Buffs pushed the run to 14-0 and Formann hit a 3-pointer and layup and Aubrey Knight hit a layup on a quick 7-0 run that pushed the Buffs lead to 34-9. Holingshed hit a 3-pointer to close out the Buffs first-half scoring as the Buffs went to the locker room with a 39-15 lead. WCU shot just 3-of-31 in the first half, a CU record for an opponent low field goal percentage (.097).
In the third quarter, CU pushed its lead into the 30s, scoring the first seven points of the quarter to take a 46-15 lead before the Mountaineers hit a few shots through the middle part of the quarter. CU used another 9-0 run near the end of the quarter to push the lead to 36 at 62-26 before closing the quarter with a 64-30 advantage.
WCU opened up the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run before the Buffs countered with a 9-0 run of their own to make it 75-44 with just two minutes left. The Mountaineers hit two 3-pointers in the game's final 40 seconds for the final score of 77-50.
KEY MOMENT: Sherrod went the length of the court on back-to-back possessions with the game tied 2-2 just over three minutes into the game after a slow start and sparked an 8-0 run and the Buffs cruised from there, opening up a 20-6 first-quarter advantage en route to a 39-15 halftime lead.
NOTES: The Buffs have won 18 straight November games dating back to 2017 and the Buffs are now 26-1 in the 11th month under coach J.R. Payne … CU has now won 21 consecutive season openers and are 42-5 all-time in the opener … The Buffs improved to 13-3 on Nov. 25 in program history, including 10-3 at home … Under Payne, the Buffs improve to 41-26 at home … The Buffs held Western to just 1-of-17 from the field in the first quarter and 3-of-31 in the first half … WCU's .097 shooting percentage in the first half is the lowest for a CU opponent in program history, the old record was .100 (2-of-20) at Arizona on Feb. 23, 2014 … WCU was 1-of-25 at one point after missing 17 straight shots … WCU's three first-half field goals was one more than CU's opponent team record of two set at Arizona on Feb. 23, 2014 ... Holingshed's 19 points and 11 rebounds are her ninth career double-double and her points were efficient, as she hit on 5-of-8 from the field and was a perfect 8-of-8 from the line, while also hitting a 3-pointer ... Formann's first double-figure scoring game came on the strength of the freshman hitting 3-of-8 3-pointers and added two other buckets for a total of 13 points ... The Buffs out-shot the Mountaineers 40.5% to 25.4% ... All 11 players secured a rebound for the Buffs and 10-of-11 players scored while all 11 players played between 11 and 29 minutes.
NEXT UP: The Buffs return to the court Saturday in a home contest against Air Force, with tip-off set for 2 p.m. That will be the final non-conference home game of the shortened season. Pac-12 play then begins as the Buffs travel to Oregon to play the Ducks on Dec. 4 and Oregon State on Dec. 6.