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Buffs Stay Undefeated with 67-51 win over Wisconsin

Nov 28, 2021

BOULDER – Fifth-year senior Mya Hollingshed notched her 19th career double-double, totaling 18 points and 10 rebounds in Colorado's 67-51 win over Wisconsin to close out the Rocky Mountain Hoops Classic. The win keeps the Buffs undefeated to start the season, moving to 7-0 for the first time since the 2019-20 season. 

"I am unbelievably proud of our team," head coach JR Payne said of the Buffs' fifth win in 10 days. "I thought we played hard. I'm going to turn on the film and see that we played our hearts out. We played hard. We talked. We were aggressive. We did everything we wanted to do."

Hollingshed (13.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and senior Peanut Tuitele (9.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg) were Colorado's All-Tournament selections, with Hollingshed getting the tournament's MVP honors.  

Senior Lesila Finau and junior Quay Miller also contributed double-figures on Sunday. Finau went 4-fo-7 from the field, including a key 3-pointer in the fourth quarter to finish with 10 points. Miller posted 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting to close out the day. 

"In the locker [pregame] I especially highlighted Sila [Finau]," Payne noted. "We just talked about her taking on the challenge of impacting the game on the glass and in different types of ways. I love the mature way that Sila responded. She was aggressive. She came out and was on the glass like crazy those first few possessions."

Wisconsin (2-5) was led by Sydney Hilliard's 12 points. Brooke Schramek (11) and Julie Pospisilova (10) also hit double-digits. Pospisilova (12.5 ppg) was Wisconsin's All-Tournament selection. 

Rounding out the All-Tournament team was Boise State's Elodie Lalotte and Louisianan Tech's Anna Larr Roberson and Salma Bates. 

The Buffs have now won its home tournament 22 times and hold a 52-11 record in the Classic. 

How it happened
The Buffs doubled up Wisconsin's efforts (18-9) in the first quarter, despite a below-average shooting performance. Wisconsin scored the first four points of the contest, but the Buffs went on to score the next eight points during a 16-2 run. The Buffs shot 7-for-7 from the free-throw line in the quarter, gaining a 16-6 lead with a pair from Tuitele. Hollingshed led the way for CU in the period, shooting 2-for-3 from the field with seven points.

The Buffs defense held strong, holding Wisconsin to 2-for-11 shooting after its 2-for-2 start to the day. The Badgers were just 4-for-11 in the quarter and 5-for-13 in the second. UW turned the ball over nine times in the first half, helping the Buffs outscore the Badgers 9-0 off turnovers. 

A Frida Formann 3 gave CU an 11-point lead early in the second and the Buffs lead stayed in double-digits for a majority of the frame. A Tayanna Jones 3-pointer started a 6-0 run that ended with a Tameiya Sadler free-throw that gave the Buffs their largest lead, 30-15. UW closed with the final five points to get back within 10 before the half. 

The Badgers made a run to start the third quarter, getting within five points (39-34) with 7:25 to go in the period. Hollingshed got Colorado back to a seven-point lead and started a 13-4 to the end of the quarter that put the Buffs up 52-38. 

The Buffs had their best shooting performance in the third, going 9-for-17 (52.9 percent) from the floor. Hollingshed, after going scoreless in the second quarter, bounced back going 3-for-3 in the period, totaling seven points. CU's defense kept Wisconsin quiet in the latter half of the quarter, limiting the Badgers to 1-for-4 shooting in the final four minutes. 

The Buffs offense weathered a 0-for-7 slump from the end of the third quarter to the midway point of the fourth. Wisconsin climbed back to within seven, 53-46, in that time, before Finau's second 3-pointer of the day sparked a CU run that would close out the contest. 

"I think that's just part of the veteran mindset that we have," Finau said. "We know how to handle these types of games."

Turning point
Finau's 3-pointer came with 5:21 to play in the game and pushed CU's lead back to 10, 56-49. The key shot helped the Buffs close the game won a 14-5 run, with two of the five Badger points coming from the free-throw line in the closing seconds. 

Finau's shot also helped spark the defense end of the floor with the Buffs shutting down Wisconsin in the final five minutes, limiting the visitors to 1-for-6. 

Upcoming
The Buffs are next in action on Friday, Dec. 3, hosting Dixie State at 7 p.m. MT.   

Notes
The Buffs improved to 7-0 for the third time under coach J.R. Payne … The Buffs improved to 34-1 in November and 52-29 at home in the Payne-era … Colorado posted a season-high 16 steals its most since 19 against Samford (Dec. 20, 2018) … 18 of Colorado's 37 rebounds came on the offensive glass, the most since 24 at Denver last season … CU's bench outscored Wisconsin 24-10 … It's the third time CU's bench has scored 20+ points this season … The Buffs enjoyed their best free-throw shooting day of the season (12-17, 70.6 percent) … Hollingshed's double-double ties her for 9th all-time with Britt Hartshorn … She also into 16th in career scoring (1344) ... Kindyll Wetta had five steals, becoming the first CU freshman with 5+ steals since Kennedy Leonard's seven at Utah (Feb. 4, 2016).