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Buffs Set for New Year's Day Showdown

Dec 31, 2020

Game Notes

BOULDER – So long to 2020. Hello, 2021.

The Colorado women's basketball team kicks off the New Year with a 3 p.m. MT matchup against the Washington Huskies on Friday. The game will the first New Year's Day home game for the Buffaloes and just the third in program history. 

CU (3-4, 1-3 Pac-12) had one last chance to get a W in 2020 against Arizona State before the Christmas break. Unfortunately, the game was postponed about 90 minutes before the scheduled start. The postponement meant the Buffs had to spend the break with thoughts of their 62-59 loss to No. 6 Arizona still in the back of their minds. 

"I know for myself and the coaches we're all still extremely disappointed in the Arizona game," head coach JR Payne explained. "We thought we played well and we certainly had our chances to win that ballgame. That still stings a little bit. That's why the Arizona State game would have been nice just to get that sort of salty taste out of your mouth."

Colorado led Arizona for almost 33 minutes in its upset bid on Dec. 18. The Wildcats outscored CU 20-8 in the fourth quarter to complete its comeback. The Buffaloes did not do themselves any favors from the free-throw line, shooting just 3-for-12 in the final quarter. 

"We played really well the last couple of games," Payne continued. We are doing a great job of executing offensively. Defensively, we're defending better in the last couple of games than we have all year. I think we feel good about who we are and how we're playing. It's just been a minute since we played. Hopefully, we'll have good practices and then continue that good feeling into Friday."

Friday will be the eighth game of the season and it seems like Payne and her staff has settled into a firm starting rotation. The Buffs have used just three starting lineups this season, with the combination of Jaylyn SherrodFrida Formann, Aubrey KnightMya Hollingshed and Peanut Tuitele getting the call over the last two games. Out of the Buffs' starts, three players (Hollingshed, Sherrod, Formann) are averaging over 10 points per game. Hollingshed is enjoying the best numbers of her career, almost averaging a double-double on the season (14.3 ppg/9.1 rpg).

As a team, Colorado has allowed 63.6 points per game. That number ranks eighth in the conference but has been on the decline. CU allowed under the average the last two games, holding Utah to just 50 points and Arizona to 62. Defensively, CU has posted numbers that put itself at the top of the nation, despite missing out on one game. Colorado still ranks 33rd in the NCAA with 35 blocks and is 32nd in the nation with 72 steals. Individually, Sherrod is 19th in the NCAA with a Pac-12 leading 20 steals, while Hollingshed is averaging almost two blocks (1.86) per game.

"I think we're defending as a team, much better than we have in a long time," Payne acknowledged. "The last couple games we've defended very well. Shots are being contested. We're rebounding really well, all those types of things."

Washington (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12) similar to Colorado, had its previous game against Oregon State postponed. The Huskies' lone Pac-12 win game on its trip to California, defeating the Golden Bears 80-53. The Huskies have two players responsible for a bulk of its scoring this season. Tameiya Sadler (14.4 ppg) and Quay Miller (10.6 ppg) have led UW in the early goings. 

Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m. MT. The game will be available on the Colorado Live Stream ( It is also available on the TuneIn app and the Colorado Radio Network (