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Turnovers Prove Costly for Buffs

Jan 22, 2021

Quotes | Box Score (PDF) | Boxscore

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Colorado women's basketball team got burned by costly turnovers on Friday, coming up just short against Arizona State. The Buffaloes had 25 total turnovers in the 51-47 loss to kick off the two-game swing through the desert.

The Buffs were held to just 26 points through the first three quarters and trailed by as much as 16 at the start of the fourth quarter. CU kicked it into gear in the final quarter, outscoring ASU 21-13, but could not dig completely out of the hole.

"To turn the ball over 25 times and still have a chance to tie the game at the end is actually pretty remarkable," head coach JR Payne remarked. "But turning the ball over 25 times as equally remarkable, just in the wrong way."

Senior Mya Hollingshed, the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week, highlighted the evening for the Buffs. She picked up her Pac-12 leading seventh double-double of the season, finishing with 14 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. Junior Aubrey Knight closed with nine points, five coming in the fourth quarter.

Colorado (6-7, 4-6 Pac-12) was without sophomore guard Jaylyn Sherrod. Starting in her place was junior Lesila Finau, who totaled six points and one assist. Freshman Frida Formann also shared duties at the point, finishing with seven points and season-high six assists.

Arizona State (8-3, 4-3 Pac-12) was paced by Taya Hanson and her 16 points. Jaddan Simmons also reached double figures, putting in 13 points.   

HOW IT HAPPENED: The Colorado offense had no problems in the early goings. Hollingshed won the opening tip and Peanut Tuitele got an easy basket seconds later. Formann hit a 3 on CU's next possession starting, 5-0. Hollingshed and Finau helped CU get out to a 9-5 lead, but that was the extent of the CU offense. The Buffs went on to give the ball up nine times in the first 10 minutes, handing the Sun Devils the early momentum. 

Arizona State used a 12-0 run to close the first quarter, going 4-for-4 shooting in the final 3:19. Hanson scored six of her eight first-quarter points in the closing run. 

The Sun Devil run continued to 14-0 at the start of the second, pushing the ASU lead to 19-9. Finau put an end to the run, getting to the basket to put the Buffs within eight, 19-11. 

Neither side had much to brag about on offense in the second quarter, finishing 6-4 in favor of CU. Colorado went 3-for-12 in the period while holding Arizona State to just 2-for-17 from the field. 

The Sun Devils took a 21-15 lead at the half but extended it to 30-15 early in the third quarter. The Buffs turned the ball over four times in the first two and half minutes of the third giving ASU five points off the mistakes. CU didn't reach 20 points in the contest until a Tayanna Jones jumper that cut the ASU lead to 32-21 with 2:31 on the clock. That basket started a 7-0 run for CU that narrowed the ASU lead to 32-26 with just over one minute to play in the quarter. The Sun Devils got a 3-pointer from Hanson that started a 5-0 run to end the period, putting ASU back up by 12, 38-26. 

"That was certainly not the way you want to start any quarter," Payne added. "Coming out of halftime we wanted to be really locked in and make the adjustments from the first half to the second half. We didn't do that the first few minutes."

Simmons and Eboni Walker scored the first two baskets for Arizona State to open the fourth quarter, giving ASU the 16-point advantage. That's when Hollingshed kicked into gear. 

The Houston, Texas, native scored eight of her 14 points in the final quarter. Her first jumper of the fourth helped start a 21-7 run for the Buffaloes. Knight scored five key points in the run and it was capped by a Jones three that cut the ASU lead down to 49-47 with just 64 seconds to play. 

Colorado coughed the ball up with 19 seconds to play and a shot to tie or take the lead. The Buffs had to foul the rest of the way, sending ASU to the free-throw line to ice the game with 10 seconds to go.   

TURNING POINT: The start of the third quarter could have been the tipping point either way for the Buffs. If CU gets on the board early, the game comes within three or four points. Instead, Arizona State took control thanks to the Colorado turnovers and made it a 15-point game. 

KEY STATISTICS: CU's 25 turnovers were the most this season and the most since its 28 at Xavier last season…CU's nine first-quarter turnovers were just two shy of the school record (11) set against Stanford (Jan. 25, 2019)…ASU scored 22 points off the 25 turnovers.

NOTES: Hollinsghed's 17 rebounds tie her for 10th most in a game, last done by Arielle Roberson against Stanford (3/7/14)…She now has 1,101 career points, passing De Celle Thomas (1,090) and Jasmina Ilic (1,093) for 28th all-time…Hollingshed now has 623 career-rebounds, passing Jamillah Lang (618) for 17th all-time at CU…Hollingshed has almost doubled her career-double-double total this season, starting with eight…she now has 15 career-double-doubles...The Buffs have now lost 13 straight to ASU…CU's 47 points is the lowest output of the season…It's also the fewest points scored since being held to 46 at Oregon last season (1/3/20)…CU is now 1-4 on the season in games decided by five points or less.   

 NEXT UP: Colorado travels down the road to Tucson to take on No. 10 Arizona. Tip is set for 1 p.m. MT on Sunday (Pac-12 Networks).