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Buffs Complete Road Sweep

Feb 21, 2021

Box Score (PDF) | Boxscore

SEATTLE — Weekend sweeps in the Pac-12 don't come easy, especially when on the road. The Colorado women's basketball team fought off a late Washington charge, to pick up its first weekend sweep in eight years, leaving Alaska Airlines Arena with a 55-50 win. 

"It was tough down the stretch," head coach JR Payne admitted. "It's even harder when you only have 24 hours to prepare for them [Washington]. In hindsight, maybe we should have taken more time earlier in the week to try and prepare for them but regardless, we held on down the stretch which I'm sure thankful for."

The win moves Colorado to over .500 (10-9) for the first time since being 2-1 to start the season. Sunday's victory also draws the Buffaloes to even in the Pac-12, with an 8-8 record. 

Freshman Frida Formann was a key piece to the Buffs' success. Formman, who went scoreless the previous game at Washington State, responded with 17 points to lead CU. She finished 5-for-10 from the field and hit a pair of crucial free throws in the final seconds to propel the Buffs. Formann also led the team with her six rebounds. 

Senior Mya Hollingshed was the only other Buff to reach double figures. She closed the game with 12 points on just 3-of-10 shooting. Hollingshed finished 6-for-8 from the free-throw line, all coming inside the game's final 1:47. 

Colorado didn't allow the Huskies to score more than nine points in each of the first three quarters and led by as much as 17 in the fourth quarter. UW battled back to within two points in the final three minutes, but Colorado dug deep and never gave in. 

"I thought our defense really helped us down the stretch," Payne explained. "I mean we were really struggling to score there in the fourth quarter."

Washington (6-12, 3-12 Pac-12) had three players score in double digits. Tameiya Sadler led UW with 17 on 6-of-9 shooting. Haley Van Dyke and Darcy Rees finished with 16 and 14, respectively. 

HOW IT HAPPENED: The Buffs started the game making their first three shots, jumping out to a 6-2 lead. CU's hot hand cooled off quickly, as Colorado went 0-for its next-5 from the floor. Fortunately for the Buffs, Washington's offense was stuck in first gear. The Huskies started the day 1-for-6 and finished 4-for-12 in the quarter. 

A Hollingshed steal and score got CU back on track, extending the lead to 8-4. Formann closed the quarter with her first 3-pointer of the day, giving CU a 13-9 lead.

Defense was the name of the game in the second quarter. Neither team made more than four field goals in the second. Colorado went 4-for-12, slightly edging UW's 3-for-14 effort. The biggest offensive push came of back-to-back 3's from Finau and Forman to open up an eight-point lead for the Buffs, 19-11. 

Neither team shot any free-throws until the 4:33 mark of the second quarter. Washington made its first two to get within six, 19-13. A Charlotte Whittaker jumper at the other end gave Colorado back an eight-point lead, 21-13, and Formann hit CU's first free throws to give Colorado its first double-digit lead of the afternoon, 23-13. Aubrey Knight's putback in the final seconds sent CU into the break with a 25-18 advantage. 

Colorado came out firing in the third quarter, starting with a 7-0 run to extend its lead to 32-18. Junior Peanut Tuitele scored five points in the run, forcing Washington to regroup with a timeout. 

The Huskies got a basket by Rees out of the stoppage, but the CU offense continued to push. Formann notched five straight points and Whittaker put in another two points, pushing the run to 14-4 and CU's lead to 39-22. The Buffs shot 6-for-9 in the quarter and took a 39-26 lead into the fourth. 

The Huskies cut the CU lead to 11, 39-28, on the opening possession of the quarter, but CU got back-to-back 3's from sophomore Zuzanna Kulinska to regain the 17-point advantage, 45-28.

"What a blessing to have people that can come in and impact the game," Payne said about the CU bench. "It's funny because we came about 20 minutes earlier than we normally do because we didn't get to shootaround today. Zuza and Frida were the first ones on the court and they were shooting lights out in warmups. I think Zuza hit seven 3's in-a-row at one point. I'm my head I was like, 'OK if we are struggling to score let's get Zuza in the game,' and just see if she can knock down one of those shots, and boy she hit two big ones."

From that point on it was survival mode for the Buffs. Washington put together a 17-2 run, cutting the Colorado lead to 47-45 with 2:14 to play. CU didn't hit a field goal in the final 6:33 of the game, getting its final eight points from the free-throw line. 

TURNING POINT: Colorado struggled to get to the hoop during the Washington run in the fourth quarter. CU attempted just one field goal in the run, turning the ball over four times. Hollingshed had a chance to build on CU's five-point lead (47-42), but missed a pair of free throws with 2:43 to go. Washington got a 3-pointer from Sadler off the missed free-throws, bringing the Huskies within two points, 47-45, with 2:14 to play. Hollingshed got sent to the line three more times in the final 1:47 and make all six attempts and Formann hit a pair from the line to keep the Huskies out of reach. 

KEY STATISTICS: Turnovers were aplenty with both teams combining from 43 on the day. CU turned the ball over 23 times but outscored Washington 22-18 off of turnovers. 

NOTES: The road sweep was CU's first since taking two on the Oregon trip Mar. 1-3, 2013…CU is now 3-6 on the road this season…the Buffs have won four consecutive Pac-12 games for the first since 2012-13…Sunday was just the third time CU has had 20+ turnovers this season, previously against Washington and Arizona State…Hollingshed moved Jen Reese (1,200) for 22nd on CU's scoring list now with 1,207 career points…Formann has now scored in double figures 12 times this season.

NEXT UP: As it stands, the Buffs will close the regular season at Utah next Sunday (Feb. 28).