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Buffs Ground Golden Eagles in Home Opener

Nov 19, 2021

BOULDER — Colorado's Mya Hollingshed put in 11 of her game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Buffaloes put away Marquette 69-53 on Friday night at the CU Events Center. 

The win for the Buffaloes pushes the team to 3-0 on the young season. It's CU's fourth 3-0 start under head coach JR Payne. The win also extends Colorado's home-opener winning streak to 14 straight, improving to 46-2 all-time. 

"I was proud of our effort [tonight]," Payne said following the contest. "I thought we executed the game plan down the stretch. We wanted to be disruptive, and we were. We wanted to rebound, and we did. We wanted to get out in transition, and we did that as well."

Hollingshed capped the night with her 17th career double-double, leading the team with 10 rebounds. Her 22 points pushed her past Britt Hartshorn (1988-92) and Alexis Robinson (2015-19) into 18th all-time on CU's scoring list with 1,286 career points. Junior Jaylyn Sherrod scored a season-high 17 points and handed out her 200th career assist (two tonight). 

CU finished 28-of-64 (43.8 percent) from the field, fueled by 50 percent efforts in both the second (58.0) and fourth (50.0) quarters. CU outscored MU 21-12 in the final 10 minutes, totaling its highest-scoring quarter of the season.

Marquette (3-1) had three players in double figures led by Jordan King's 16 points. Liza Karlen and Lauren Van Kleunen each finished with 11. The Golden Eagles finished with a 40-34 advantage over the Buffs on the glass. 

"There's always lots of room to improve," Payne added. "We're proud of how we played and our effort and we're sure excited to be home and to be 3-0."

How it happened
Scoring came to a halt after the Buffs took a 33-25 lead at the half. Sherrod opened the third quarter converting on CU's opening shot to give CU its first double-digit lead, 35-25. They proceeded to go 0-for its next-9, but the Colorado defense was just as persistent, keeping Marquette to 0-for-6 in the same stretch. King broke MU's slump, hitting a 3 and Antionette Walker got the visitors within four, 39-34, forcing CU into a timeout. 

The Buffs regrouped and Hollingshed got a second-chance put back to go that started a 5-0 run, extending CU's lead to 44-35.

"We just had to get back to what we were doing," Hollingshed said. "We had to get stops and we had to rebound. That was really a big key tonight, rebounding and boxing out. They're [Marquette] No. 3 in the country [rebounding margin. I remember right after that timeout, I got that put back. I think that kind of initiated our offense and it kick-started our defense because we want to get stops. We know in the fourth quarter teams can get hot out of nowhere. We just had to lock in and do what we do."

Colorado took a slim seven-point lead, 48-41, into the fourth quarter and the Golden Eagles closed to within five in its first possession of the quarter. Hollingshed took it upon herself in the fourth, pushing back with a jumper to start a 7-0 that finished with CU in the driver's seat, 55-43.

"I think it was just the way we were responding [to Marquette]," Hollingshed added. "They kind of went on their run at the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth. We just wanted to push in transition and execute our offense. Those are shots I work on every day in practice. Those aren't shots I'm overthinking. They [the team] trusts me to take those shots and I was fully confident to take them. I think that's what kind of got into me." 

Marquette got back to within eight, 60-52, before the final horn. Colorado closed on a 9-1 run, capped off with a Frida Formann 3-pointer to give the Buffs the 16-point win.  

The Buffs and the Golden Eagles were evenly matched throughout the first 16 minutes of the first half. The two sides were tied at 15 after the first quarter and swapped leads a total of five times in the second quarter. 

Turning point
Coach Payne's timeout with 3:49 to play in the third put an end to Marquette's 6-0 run that got the Golden Eagles within four points, 39-35. The Buffs came out of the timeout with a 7-2 run, solidifying its hold on the lead. 

Colorado continues the homestand with four games in the upcoming week. The Buffs will host Samford on Monday night (6 p.m. MT) followed by Texas Southern on Tuesday (6 p.m.). The team will have a few days off from playing, before hosting the Rocky Mountain Hoops Classic, with a second pair of back-to-back games against Louisiana Tech (Nov. 27) and Wisconsin (Nov. 28). 

CU has its first 3-0 start since the 2019-20 season…CU improves to 2-1 all-time against Marquette…Sherrod's six steals were the most since six against Denver in 2020…Hollingshed's double-double was her first since posting 28 points and 12 rebounds at Washington State (Feb. 19, 2021)…It was also Hollingshed's 17th career 10+ rebound game and her 14th career 20+ point game...CU's 14 steals were the most since 14 against Washington (Feb. 21, 2021).