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Sadler, Jones Make Huge Plays To Put Away Utes In Overtime

Jan 28, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY, UtahTameiya Sadler hit a driving layup with 16 seconds left in overtime and Tayanna Jones then got a steal and hit two free throws as the Colorado Buffaloes outlasted the Utah Utes, 66-62, to end a four-game slide and pick up a crucial Pac-12 road win here Friday night. 

The Buffs were down five entering the fourth quarter and had chances to wrap up the game in regulation, but a 3-pointer by Dasia Young with just seven seconds left pushed the game into overtime, the Buffs third overtime game in their last four outings. The Buffs then outscored the Utes 8-4 in the extra period to get the win.

The Buffs improve to 14-4 overall and 3-4 in league play while the Utes fall to 10-7 overall and 1-3 in Pac-12 play. The two will meet again in Boulder Sunday at Noon on Pac-12 Networks. 

"It's exciting to see both Tameiya and Tayanna step up," Coach JR Payne said. "I love that Coach T (Toriano Towns) had the ultimate faith in Tayanna at the end of the game to make a stop, she not only did that, she got a steal, then she had the wherewithal to hit two free throws. Not many people can come in at the end and do that after not playing much."

"For Tameiya, I'm proud of how she's embracing her new role," Payne continued. "We know she's capable, it was hard to get her back in the flow after not practicing for 10 days. We asked her to be aggressive and score, and she clearly did that and make some big plays." 

Sadler provided a spark all game long and finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. Mya Hollingshed and Peanut Tuitele led the Buffs with 16 points apiece. Tuitele was a perfect 7-of-7 shooting and added five rebounds and Hollingshed added 11 rebounds and two blocks while fighting foul trouble. 

Jaylyn Sherrod scored most of her seven points in the final minute of regulation and she added two assists and two rebounds. 

How It Happened: The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair and with it tied 4-4, a CU 9-0 run was immediately countered by a Utah 10-0 run. The Buffs then scored the final two buckets of the quarter to lead 17-14 after the first quarter. 

The Buffs 9-0 run included two traditional three-point plays by Hollingshed and Kindyll Wetta followed by a 3-pointer from Tuitele. Tuitele had five points in the first quarter and Hollingshed added five rebounds. 

A quick Frida Formann 3-pointer to open the second quarter gave the Buffs a 20-14 lead but then CU would only score one bucket the next eight minutes as Utah went on a 15-2 run to take a 29-22 lead. Tuitele hit a layup and Hollingshed a 3-pointer and free throw somewhat stopped the bleeding and cut the Utes lead down to 33-28 at halftime. 

The third quarter was again back and forth and after it was all said and done both teams scored 12 points and the Utes led 45-40 at the end. After the Utes led 38-30, Hollingshed and Quay Miller scored the next six points in the game to cut the lead to two points. Utah then responded with a 7-2 run before two Sadler free throws made it 45-40 in the quarter's final minute. 

The Buffs came out firing in the fourth quarter and after Tuitele and Hollingshed hit 3-pointers, the Buffs quickly tied the game at 46-46 with 6:54 left in the game. The Buffs then took a four-point lead at 52-48 off back-to-back Tuitele layups. Sherrod then took over late, and with the Buffs down 53-52, she scored five straight points to give the Buffs a 57-53 lead with just 30 seconds left. But Utah hit two free throws with 27 seconds left and after Formann went 1-of-2 from the line, Utah hit a 3-pointer with seven seconds left to tie the game at 58-58 and force overtime. 

Sadler opened the overtime scoring less than a minute in to give the Buffs a 60-58 advantage, and Utah responded with a layup of their own to tie it up at 60-60. After Utah hit 1-of-2 from the line, Hollingshed hit a layup after a nifty move to put the Buffs up 62-61 with 1:18 left. Utah tied the game at 62-62 on another 1-of-2 trip to the line. Sadler hit her second OT bucket with just 16 seconds left then Jones made the defensive play of the game, poking the ball out near mid-court and getting fouled. She hit both her free throws and that's where the game ended at 66-62. 

Turning Point: A back-and-forth game throughout, the turning point didn't come until the final 16 seconds of the game. Sadler's layup with 16 seconds followed by Jones' steal and two free throws to ice the game were significant. Jones played just three minutes but came up with the biggest defensive play of the game for the Buffs at the right time. 

Key Statistic: Utah leads the Pac-12 averaging 81.3 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from behind the arc. Even with an extra five minutes, the Buffs held the Utes 19 points under their average while the Utes shot just 33.3 percent from the field and 25.9 percent from behind the arc. 

Notes: Colorado held Utah to a season-low 62 points…CU improves to 20-19 all-time against Utah and 6-11 on the road…Colorado is now 1-2 in overtime this season…It was CU's first overtime win since defeating No. 1 Stanford (Jan. 17, 2021)...CU has now forced 20+ turnovers 11 times this season…The Buffs had a season-low 14 points off the bench…Hollingshed is just the seventh player in CU history to have 1,000 career points and 800 career rebounds…She now has 22 career double-doubles (six this season)...Sadler had a CU high 13 points and seven rebounds…Hollingshed moved into a tie for sixth all-time playing her 128th career game…Tuitele's 16 points were a season-high (prev. 14 vs LA Tech). 

Up Next: A quick 39-hour turnaround between games as the two teams travel from Salt Lake City to Boulder for a Noon tipoff Sunday at the CU Events Center. The Buffs return home after a four-game road stretch, including three overtime contests. 

Quotes
JR Payne
"It's definitely it's so hard to lose, and lose those close games. In so many ways you're in control of your destiny and we shoot ourselves in the foot and it's heartbreaking and mentally exhausting. As soon as we went into OT, I told the team third times a charm, this is our game." 

"I think the challenge in facing a team twice in a row is quickly identifying what we did well, what we didn't do well, what changes we need to make, what changes we anticipate them making. We're so excited to play at home. To play four straight on the road, three of them going to overtime, think of the resiliency it takes for a team." 

Peanut Tuitele
"After that four-game stretch, I'm glad we pulled this one out. I think it's big in general, these last four losses we've had it tough, we could easily have given in and wilted, but we showed resilience." 

"I walked in the locker room after the game and the energy was ecstatic, that's the energy we've been missing. It's been a tough four-game stretch, I'm proud we did this. 

"You have to have a short-term memory, we'll go back to the film, see what we did well and didn't do well, and trust the coach's game plan for Sunday. I feel like we haven't been in the CU Events Center in a minute, it'll be good to get back in front of Buff Nation, get things going."