Buffs Host Dixie State
BOULDER—This week for Colorado women's basketball has been relatively calm compared to its previous five games in 10 days. The Buffaloes host Dixie State for the first time in program history for their lone game of the weekend.
Friday's tip is set for 7 p.m. MT against the Trailblazers. The game is the sixth and final game of CU's opening homestand.
The Buffs went 7-0 in November, including a perfect 5-0 mark at the CU Events Center. Colorado's success in the opening month is nothing new in the JR Payne era. CU is nearly perfect in November, boasting a 34-1 record since Payne took the helm.
Colorado ran through its competition since returning to Boulder. The Buffs have outscored its opponents at home by an average of 21.6 points per game.
"I think we really just want to keep getting better," head coach JR Payne explained. "We have won games and that's fantastic, but every time we turn on the film we see areas that we really need to improve on to compete. We're really trying to focus on those things. Executing with more detail. Being disciplined in our defense finishes. Boxing out and finishing plays. Those types of things. We see a lot of holes that we still need to continue to better."
Defensively, the Buffs have been hard to beat. Colorado ranks 10th in the nation in scoring defense, keeping teams to a below 50-point scoring average (49.3). No. 7Arizona, the only other undefeated team in the Pac-12, leads the nation at 47.9.
"I don't think T [Toriano Towns] has coached our defense any differently," Payne added. "I don't think the language or the philosophies are any different. I just think we have more veterans that know what it's supposed to look like. I think anytime you can have some success in a certain area, it breeds confidence and then it can kind of take on a realm of its own. I think we're very confident defensively right now."
Dixie State (2-4) is a program that is very new to the Division I landscape. The Blazers made the jump to Western Athletic Conference last season from the DII ranks but played just three games before having its season called off on Jan. 5, due to COVID concerns.
This season the Trailblazers have had mixed results that include an 84-35 loss to the No. 9 Oregon. Junior Breaunna Gillen leads DSU with her 17.3 points per game. Dixie State leads the WAC with 213 3-point field goal attempts this season, a number that would rank 11th in the nation if the Blazers were eligible for national stat rankings.
"They take a lot of 3's," Payne added. "They have a bunch of kids that can really shoot the ball. They are also good in transition. They don't necessarily play with a traditional post player. There's not going to be a big 6-3 physical kid at the block, but that will challenge our post players to guard the perimeter and move our feet. We want to make sure we don't give up uncontested shots. Uncontested shots against these guys can go from three to six to nine very quickly."
Friday's game will be streamed online at CUBuffs.com/WatchWBB. Cory Lopez will be on the call across the Colorado Radio Network and the Varsity Network app. Pregame coverage starts at 6:30 p.m.