Balanced Team Effort Leads Buffs Past Falcons
BOULDER – Colorado used a balanced attack to cruise past in-state rival Air Force, 88-46, on Saturday afternoon at the CU Events Center. The win improves the Buffaloes to 2-0 in the process. The Falcons are now 0-2 after falling to Denver (on Nov. 25) and Colorado to start the season.
Five Buffs scored in double-figures. Senior Mya Hollingshed led both teams with 17 points as she was 8-of-9 from the field after starting 7-for-7. Hollingshed's only miss was a 3-point attempt in the fourth quarter. She added 11 rebounds, three offense and eight defensive, which was also a game-high. This is the second time in as many games she has recorded a double-double.
Freshman Frida Formann was second on the team with 13 points, going 5-for-10 from the field and making 1-of-3 from the arc. Sophomore Jaylyn Sherrod scored 11 points while Aubrey Knight and Charlotte Whittaker each added 10.
Colorado's defense held the Falcons to less than 20 points in each quarter and in two of those, AFA had less than 10 points. The Buffs had 15 steals, two blocks and 17 defensive rebounds, while the Falcons committed 10 turnovers in the game.
Colorado shot 62.1% (36-58) from the field, while Air Force only converted on 25.0% (14-56). The Buffs' 62.1 shoot percentage was the best mark by a CU team since shooting 61.9 percent (26-42) at Kansas in 2006.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Air Force took an early 5-4 lead after Riley Snyder sank a 3-pointer a little over two minutes into the game, but Whittaker made her first layup of the day to put the Buffs back in charge less than 10 seconds later. Knight added to CU's score with a bucket less than a minute later, putting CU up by three.
CU held an 11-10 advantage with just under five minutes to play in the first quarter, but neither team would make it to the rim again until Peanut Tutitele would make the layup with 2:40 left in the frame. A Hollingshed jumper put the Buffs up by five with 2:01 to go, but the Falcons would close within two (20-18) before the clock expired.
Colorado jumped out in front with a 12-2 run to start the second quarter, pushing the score to 32-20. In that span, Hollingshed posted six points and four boards. The Falcons totaled an equal amount of points as they did turnovers (9) in the quarter and struggled from the field, finishing just 2-for-10. The Buffs kept the AFA offense off the board for a span of 3:05 and limited the Falcons to one field goal in the final 7:53 of the half.
The Buffs got out of the gate quick in the third quarter with back-to-back buckets by Tuitele and Hollingshed less than 40 seconds into the game, forcing AFA to spend a timeout. CU would push its 18-point lead to 23 with 5:22 remaining in the third (54-31), which would make the Falcons use another timeout. But the momentum was on CU's side. Out of the break, Sherrod finished a three-point play and closed with an 11-3 run to finish out the quarter, leading 66-34.
Colorado was able to keep up its consistent play, which included capitalizing on any mistake by the Falcons in the final quarter. After a missed basket by Air Force's Briana Autrey, Lesila Finau made the defensive rebound and ran the full length of the court with the rest of the team. A quick pass from her to Hollingshed converted another fast-break CU, putting the Buffs up 72-39 with 7:32 left to play. Colorado did not let up down the stretch and went on to finish the game 88-46.
KEY MOMENT: Colorado held Air Force to just nine points in the second quarter and only four of those came from the field. AFA scored its first basket at 7:53, a layup by Kaelin Immel. The Falcons would not score another field goal (although they would make a few free throws) for another 4:56 until Haley Jones would convert on a layup at 2:52. Of their nine points in the second quarter, five came off free throws while four came from the field.
KEY STAT: Hollingshed was a perfect 4-4 from the field in the second quarter for the Buffs as CU put together a 21-9 frame to push past the Falcons. In the first half, she was 5-5 from the field.
NOTES: Colorado has never lost to Air Force in the all-time series, leading 6-0. The Buffs are also 4-0 in games played at the CUEC… CU shot over 50 percent from the field in all four quarters (1st, 60.0/2nd, 64.3/3rd, 71.4, 53.3/4th)…CU's 71.4 third-quarter shooting percentage was the team's best since shooting 70.0 percent (7-10) at Utah on Dec. 29, 2019… …CU shot 60 percent or better in the first half, marking the first half of over 60 percent since going 13-21 (61.9) in the second half at Colorado State last season (Nov. 22, 2019)…CU also shot 62.1 percent in the second half. Hollingshed's double-double was the 10th of her career…CU's bench outscored AFA's 43-8…Colorado totaled 27 points off of AFA's 23 turnovers.
NEXT UP: Colorado will quickly turn its focus to Pac-12 Conference play as it will travel to Eugene, Ore., to take on the Oregon Ducks, on Dec. 4. The Buffs will stay on the road for another conference road contest against Oregon State on Dec. 6, in Corvallis, Ore.