Late Rally Falls Short As Buffs Fall To Washington State
BOULDER - A late rally wasn't enough for the Colorado Buffaloes women's basketball team, which fell to Washington State, 76-63, here Sunday at the CU Events Center.
After falling behind by 17 early in the fourth quarter, Colorado would get as close as seven points with under a minute left but could get no closer as Cougar sisters Charlotte and Krystal Leger-Walker combined for 41 points to help Washington State improve to 6-1 overall and 4-1 in the Pac-12. Colorado falls to 4-5 overall and 2-4 in the Pac-12 standings.
Jaylyn Sherrod led the way for Colorado with 17 points, Mya Hollingshed added 15 points and six rebounds, and Frida Formann added 14 points for the Buffs. Aubrey Knight hit double-figures with 10 rebounds to go with five points.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado got off to a quick start, leading the game 8-4 halfway through the first quarter after Sherrod hit a 3-pointer and then a fast-break layup on back-to-back possessions, but then the Cougars turned it on and outscored the Buffs 11-0 to close the quarter and lead 15-8. Washington State sisters Krystal and Charlisse Leger-Walker combined for the first nine points on that 11-0 run, each hitting a pair of buckets in the run.
WSU picked up where it left off in the first quarter to open the second quarter, pushing its lead to 20-9 early in the quarter and building up a 27-13 lead after another 7-0 run to force a Colorado timeout. The Buffs did end the quarter on a 5-0 run after Wazzu opened up its biggest lead of the half at 33-17 to pull within 11 at 33-22 at the break, highlighted by a Zuzanna Kulinska 3-pointer with less than 30 seconds left.
The two teams played an even third quarter, each scoring 19 points as the Cougars held on to their 11-point lead, 52-41. Neither team scored more than four straight points in the quarter as the lead fluctuated between nine and 14 points. Forman and Hollingshed each had five points in the quarter to lead the Buffs.
Washington State extended its lead to 17 early in the fourth quarter at 61-44, and then the Buffs seemingly woke up, going on a 13-4 run to bring the game back to single digits with 3:17 left. Sherrod grabbed a rebound and got a traditional 3-point play to bring the Buffs within seven at 70-63, but that was as close as the Buffs could get.
TURNING POINT: After Colorado took an early 8-4 lead, Washington State responded by scoring the last 11 points of the first quarter on a 13-0 run and never looked back, a late Colorado rally would stall when the Buffs closed the game to seven points with under a minute left.
KEY STAT: Washington State out-shot Colorado 54.1% (33-of-61) to 31.1% (19-of-31), but the Buffs stayed in the game at the free-throw line, hitting on 20-of-28 (71.4%) compared to 3-of-8 (37.5%) for WSU.
QUOTABLE: "They're a great ball-club. Charlisse Leger-Walker is one of the better amateur players in the world. Those that knew she was going to Washington State would not have picked them last." – JR Payne
NOTES: Colorado's eight first-quarter points were the fewest dating back to at UCLA last season (Feb. 28), also scoring eight… CU's 22 first-half points were the fewest since scoring 22 against USC in the Pac-12 Tournament last season…CU shot 71.4 percent (20-28) from the free-throw line, it's the second-best outing of the season (shot 76.5 percent against Utah)…WSU outscored CU 46-24 in the paint…CU's 19 FGM matches its lowest total of the season (at Oregon)…Knight's 10 boards was her second double-digit rebounding game of the season (14 at Denver)…Formann attempted 18 field goals, the most she's had this season…four different players hit a 3-pointer for the Buffs, a game after going just 1-for-13 against Washington.
UP NEXT: The Buffs will head to Los Angeles next week for a pair of games, first against UCLA Friday at 5 p.m. MT, followed by a game at UCS on Sunday at Noon. Both games will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.