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Hollingshed's Offensive Effort Not Enough for Buffs

Jan 30, 2022

BOULDER – The visiting Utah Utes spoiled Colorado's homecoming on Sunday. The Buffaloes returned to the CU Events Center for the first time in four games, finishing on the short end of a 78-67 effort. 

CU's fifth-year senior Mya Hollingshed powered the Buffs' offense on the day. The Houston, Texas, native, accounted for a season-high 28 points. Hollingshed went 10-of her-14 shots and matched her season-high with four 3-pointers. Sophomore Frida Formann was the only other CU scorer in double figures with 12 points. 

Colorado drops to 14-5 on the season and 3-5 in Pac-12 play. Utah moves to 11-7 overall and 2-4 in the conference.  

A big reason Colorado came up short was the battle on the glass. Utah outrebounded the Buffs 43-20, getting 19 offensive boards. CU's 20 rebounds were the fewest the team has had this season. 

"There aren't too many times I could say I'm disappointed, but I'm I am disappointed today," head coach JR Payne said after the loss. "We're better than that. We did some good things certainly. I always say, you can watch the film and we're going to see some good things, but we didn't play well enough to beat Utah today. That's the bottom line. Our energy wasn't where it needed to be. Our rebounding certainly was an indicator of the outcome."

The Buffs shot 14-for-40 (35.0%) outside of Hollingshed's numbers, going 24-for-54 (44.4%) on the day. Utah held the slight edge going 47.3%. The Utes hit nine 3-pointers on the day and a combined 16 in the back-to-back games. 

"67 points and 44% FG is is good," Payne continued. "You can beat a lot of teams like that. But getting outrebounded by 23 and giving up 20 offensive rebounds is not going to equate. We've been good defensively all year and I think we're going to see that there were some good defensive possessions. But if you don't finish the play with a rebound, now you've got to guard for 30 more seconds and that's very hard to sustain for 40 minutes." 

Utah, playing without senior guard Dru Glyten, leaned heavily on its bench on Sunday. Dasia Young (15), Peyton McFarland (13) and Brynna Maxwell (13) combined for 41 of the Utes' 44 bench points. Ines Vieira was the lone starter for the Utes in double figures, finishing with 12.  

How It Happened: Colorado trailed by eight in the early goings, thanks to Utah's back-to-back 3's to open the day. CU got 3's of its own from Hollingshed and Tayanna Jones to get within two points, 12-10, midway through the period. 

The Utes responded with a 9-0 run, pushing its lead to 19-10. A Hollingshed layup brought the run to a close, but only momentarily. Utah would finish the quarter with the final three points to take a 22-12 advantage. 

"It's [Utah's scoring runs] very frustrating," Formann noted. "But that's also what Utah is really good at. I think to beat them as we said, you have to just control the things that you know you do like rebounding, like defending being solid. I think today was just all in our effort and our details. When we don't have those down. You can't really go on a run and live off just making two 3's in a row. " 

Hollingshed went to work in the second quarter, scoring 13 of CU's 19 points. She opened the quarter with CU's first eight points, cutting the Utah lead to 27-20. 

Utah pushed back to and grew the lead to double digits, 31-20, but then the Buffs got rolling. CU finished the quarter 5-for-7 shooting and used an 11-0 run to tie the game at 31 with just under two minutes to play in the half. Young hit the third of her five 3's to break the tie and helped Utah to take a 34-31 lead at the break. 

"All of them [Utah] can shoot," Formann explained. "I think our defense just kind of collapsed sometimes and left her [Young] way too open because they took advantage of our rotations. They're just really good at finding the open man and our rotations just weren't good enough on that."

A Hollingshed jumper opened the third quarter for the Buffs, getting the home team back within one to start the second half. Utah quickly got back up by six, 40-33, and kept CU chasing the lead the remainder of the afternoon. 

Utah outscored Colorado 26-19 in the third quarter and shot 69.2% (9-13) in the quarter. The Utes used four 3's in the frame to build a 10-point 60-50 lead going to the fourth quarter. 

The Buffs got within eight points at the start of the fourth quarter, 60-52, but that was as close as they would get. The Utes went 8-for-10 from the free-throw line in the final quarter and grew their lead to 13 by the final whistle. 

"They came here to win and we didn't," Hollingshed added. "That is what kind of changed my mindset. There were a lot of things that we were able to control that we didn't control. It wasn't about Utah, it was all about us."

Turning Point: The Buffs trailed 62-54 with eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter when Jenna Johnson went to the free-throw line. She made her first and missed the second, but the rebound went back to Utah Johnson got sent to the line again for free throws, hitting the first and missing the second. Colorado was unable to get the rebound and Maxwell handed it off to Peyton McFarland under the basket to give Utah a 66-54 lead. 

Up Next: The Buffs remain at home to complete the three-game home stand next week. CU will host Washington State (Feb. 4) and Washington (Feb. 6). 

Notes: Utah evened the all-time series to 20-20… Sunday was the first time this season CU has not led at any point in a game…Utah's bench outscored CU's starters 44-43…Utah's 26 third-quarter points were the most allowed by an opponent (UCLA's 4th quarter)…CU's rebound total marked the fewest by a Colorado team since 20 against Missouri (Feb. 7, 1990)…The -23 rebounding margin is the largest for CU since Jan. 30, 2020, against Oregon State (-23)...CU forced 20 Utah turnovers, the 12th time this season a CU opponent has had 20 or more...Hollingshed's 28 points out her over 1,500 for her career (1,515).