Buffs Ready to Bounce Back
BOULDER – The COVID carousel forced the Colorado women's basketball team to wait a full week before being able to back into the fold, following Sunday's postponement at Arizona.
As Tom Petty famously sang, "the waiting is the hardest part."
"We really want to play again," head coach JR Payne reiterated. "We felt like when we watched the film that there were so many things that we did poorly that we can control. If we could just run that back, we would do better and make the right decisions. We're excited to get a chance to do that on Friday."
Friday will be the first opportunity for the Buffaloes to get back on track, hosting Oregon State at 6 p.m. MT.
The last time fans saw the Buffs in action was their 51-47 loss at Arizona State. The game was not how Colorado wanted to follow up its historical upset of No. 1 Stanford. CU stumbled out of the gate with nine turnovers in the first quarter and 25 in all. Despite CU's mistakes, the team was able to erase a 16-point deficit and fight back to within two points in the final minute.
The Buffs had hoped to erase that game from memory with a quick turnaround against Arizona the following Sunday. COVID protocols dictated differently, putting the Buffs in almost an identical situation to earlier in the season also against the Arizona schools.
CU's first COVID shuffle of the season came after its three-point loss, 62-59, to Arizona. Colorado eagerly wanted to get back the court to showcase its adjustments the following game against ASU. Then news broke about an hour before the game that the contest would be postponed.
"We were so mad about the Arizona game," Payne recalled of the situation. "We desperately wanted to that game [ASU] to give us another opportunity to get on the court. I kind of felt the same way [last weekend]. We had breakfast at Arizona on Saturday, and we had such a great practice that day. It was super competitive. It was a very spirited practice. I think we really wanted to be able to take that type of energy and focus to Arizona. We were anxious to get back on the floor. It's nice to have a few days of practice and preparation, but we're ready to play."
Colorado (6-7, 4-6 Pac-12) now looks to put all that work and preparation into Friday night's game against Oregon State. The Buffs have not beaten the Beavers in its last nine attempts, but this is a different OSU team coming to Boulder.
OSU (4-5, 2-5 Pac-12) has been hit by the COVID shuffle this season as well. The Beavers have played just three games since Dec. 19 and just nine on the season. Oregon State started the season nationally ranked but has since fallen out of the rankings for the first time in recent memory.
"We had two more days of practice this week and we're going to continue to have great preparation," Payne added. "When we played at Oregon State the first time, we didn't think we played very well. They are a good team and they're really playing well right now."
Friday's game will be streamed on the Colorado Live Stream (CUBuffs.com/WatchWBB). Fans can also listen on the Colorado Radio Network (AM 630) and CUBuffs.com/listen.
CU will close out the month of January with No. 11/12 Oregon on Sunday. The contest against the Ducks will be on the Pac-12 Network at Noon MT.
Stanford Time Change
Colorado's Feb. 5, game at Stanford has been changed to a 7 p.m. MT tip. The game was originally scheduled for an 8 p.m. MT start, but was moved up to accommodate the Pac-12 Network.