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No. 22 Buffs Fall Short in Overtime

Jan 21, 2022

TEMPE, Ariz. – No. 22 Colorado suffered its second consecutive overtime loss on Friday. The Buffaloes took Arizona State to the extra frame but fell short, 57-52. 

The loss is CU's third in a row, after starting the season on a 13-0 run. Colorado now drops to 2-3 in the Pac-12 Conference. 

Arizona State, playing its first game since Dec. 30, improves to 9-5 on the season and 1-0 in conference play. 

"These are one-possession games against teams that have had a week and a half to prepare for us," head coach JR Payne said after the loss. "We are a really good team, but we are also playing really good teams. It's one free throw. It's one box out. Our team is disappointed, but we also know we are a really good basketball team and we're one possession away from being right there on the road."

Junior Quay Miller led Colorado with 12 points and eight rebounds. Junior Jaylyn Sherrod scored 11 on the night, going 5-for-8 from the free-throw line. Sophomore Frida Formann rounded out the Buffs' scoring with 10 points. 

CU freshman Kindyll Wetta was the individual highlight reel on the defensive side of the ball for the Buffs in the second quarter. She set a new CU individual record for steals in a quarter and a half, totaling six in just 5:22. 

"It's nice [helping on defense], but when you lose it doesn't really mean much," Wetta commented. "I know that when I go in, that's something I can do to contribute. I'm always going to work my butt off on defense."

The Buffs led by four in the third quarter but battled multiple scoring droughts throughout the evening. CU hit just 19-of-58 shots (32.8 percent) and went 10-for-21 at the free-throw line. CU went cold when it counted, unable to get a field goal to go in overtime until the final seconds. 

"I thought we got good looks [tonight]," Payne continued. "The looks that we got were downhill and aggressive. I'd have to watch the fill, but I don't remember a lot of contested jump shots. I thought we got good looks at the basket and got the free-throw line a lot. We're not shooting too well from the perimeter and we need to grow in that area."

ASU's Taya Hanson led all scorers with 17 points and the Sun Devils hit four of its six 3-pointers in the third quarter to push across the finish line.   

How it happened
ASU came out of the gate firing. The Sun Devils hit their first three shots to get up early on, 6-0. CU struggled, on the other hand, going 0-for-5 to start and turning the ball over three times in the first three minutes. 

Formann hit CU's first field goal, a 3-pointer, to get the Buffs started. But it proved to just be one of two field goals in the quarter. The Buff went just 2-for-13 in the period but won the rebounding battle 11-5 to keep within five points of ASU. 

Formann and Miller opened the second quarter with two consecutive makes for the Buffs to cut the ASU lead to 13-12. Arizona State answered with a 6-0 run to put the lead back to 19-12. A banked 3 from Taya Hanson gave ASU its second seven-point lead of the quarter, 22-15, before the Buffs came alive. 

Wetta and the Buffs dug in for the final four minutes of the half, going on an 8-0 run to take a 23-22 lead at the break. Wetta picked up five of her six steals in the final 2:33 of the quarter, helping set up all eight points in the run. 

Colorado got a 3-pointer from Mya Hollingshed to open the third quarter, get its largest lead of the night (26-22). The Sun Devils rattled off the next 11 points, getting 3's from Hanson and Mael Gilles to put ASU momentarily in the driver's seat.

Wetta and Miller scored six consecutive points in the final 3:16 of the quarter to get CU back within two points, 36-34. 

Colorado opened the fourth quarter unable to get a basket to fall. The Buffs went 0-for-10 from the field to start and saw ASU go on another 6-0 run to build the lead to 42-34. 

"Those [missed shots] are heartbreaking, but in the same breath you say, 'how are we even close?'" Payne added. "We must be doing something right. To miss 11 free throws and however many layups and still be in a one-possession game – I mean how's that even possible? That means we're pretty good at some other things." 

ASU's lead stood at eight, 44-36, with 3:14 left to play. A pair of free throws from Formann began CU's chargeback, sparking a 10-2 run that closed with a Peanut Tuitele layup to knot the game up at 46 and force the overtime. 

Both teams struggled to score from the field in the extra period, with free throws looming large. CU's defense didn't allow an ASU field goal in overtime, holding them to 0-for-2 from the field. At the same time, the Buffs opened 0-for-7 shooting and played from behind for the extent of the overtime. 

The Buffs went' 3-for-6 in the overtime and a Formann got a 3-pointer to fall on the last shot of the night to close. 

Turning Point
Colorado's drought to start the fourth quarter. The slump carried over from the end of the third quarter and finished at a 0-for-11 shooting streak. The ASU lead wasn't unsurmountable but the offensive just never got back in a steady rhythm. 

The Buffs travel down the road to No. 10 Arizona on Sunday (Noon MT, Pac-12 Networks).

CU's first three-game losing streak since Dec. 4-Dec. 8 2019…Colorado has now lost 14 in a row to Arizona State…CU's 47.6 FT% marks the third time the team has shot less than 50% this season…Colorado scored 31 points of ASU's 29 turnovers…ASU's 29 turnovers were the most by an opponent since Mississippi Valley State's 32 (Dec. 17, 2016)…Wetta closed with eight steals, becoming the first Buff to have eight or more since De Celle Thomas (9) against Iowa State (March 4, 1995)…Wetta's eight steals are tied for the 10th most in the nation this season…She now leads the team with 40 steals this season (2.5 per game)…Hollingshed hit two 3's to move past Lauren Huggins for 13th all-time at CU (135 3FGM).