Buffs Score Handful of Pac-12 Honors
LAS VEGAS – Three Colorado women's basketball players picked up five Pac-12 postseason honors to kick off Pac-12 Tournament week on Tuesday.
Quay Miller was voted the conference's Sixth Player of the Year and All-Pac-12 honorable mention by the league coaches, while Mya Hollingshed earned her second consecutive All-Pac-12 honor and Kindyll Wetta was named to the All-Defensive and All-Freshman teams.
"It means a lot for anyone to be recognized with any type of All-Conference award in the Pac-12," head coach JR Payne noted. "It's a big deal in the Pac-12 because the conference is so strong and the talent is so deep. I think it's a really big deal for any recognition. To have multiple people recognized is even better. It speaks to the amount of hard work that every player has poured in [this year]."
Miller, a transfer from Washington, had no problem fitting into the Buffs' rotation in her first season at CU. She has appeared in all 27 games this season, averaging 20.4 minutes per game off the bench. Miller scored 20 points twice this season and scored in double-figures 15 times. Her lone double-double came in CU's Pac-12 opening win over USC, totaling 13 points and 10 rebounds. Miller has scored a career-best 304 points this season and is averaging 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. She's also eighth in the Pac-12, shooting 51.8 percent this season.
Hollingshed, in her fifth season at CU, is the only player in the Pac-12 to lead her team in points (14.4), rebounds (7.2) and 3-point% (38.8). She is currently fourth in the conference in total points (388) and eighth in points per game. Hollingshed is tied for second in the Pac-12 with eight double-doubles this season and moved into sixth in CU history with 24 in her career. She has scored in double-digits in all but five games this season, including the last 11. She has career-highs in 3-point field goals (45), assists (55) and blocks (27) this year and has led the Buffs in rebounding 19 times this season.
Wetta becomes the first Pac-12 player to earn both All-Defensive and All-Freshman honors in the same season since Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike in 2010-11. Her 57 steals are second in the Pac-12 and the 11th most by a freshman in the NCAA this season. They are also the most by a CU freshman since Chucky Jeffery's 58 in 2009-10. Wetta is third in the conference with 2.11 steals per game and has averaged 2.1 in Pac-12 play. She set the CU record for steals in a quarter with six in the second quarter at Arizona State. Wetta finished the game with a season-high eight steals, ranking tied for 14th most in the NCAA this season. She's got an assist/turnover ratio of 2.2 with 78 assists to 36 turnovers.
Buffs Open Pac-12 Tournament Against Washington
The fifth-seeded Buffaloes will match up with 12th seeded Washington in the first game of the Pac-12 Tournament on Wednesday.
Colorado (20-7, 9-7 Pac-12) secured its first 20-win season since the 2012-13 season with its 60-45 win over Oregon State to close out the regular season. The fifth seed for the Buffs is the second-highest seed CU has held in the Pac-12 Tournament.
The Buffs hopes their luck in Vegas turns around. CU is 0-3 in the tournament since it moved to Sin City. Colorado's last Pac-12 Tournament win came in the last tournament that was held in Seattle in 2018.
The game is a rematch of sorts from last season's tournament, where the Huskies, led by current CU players Miller and Tameiya Sadler upset the Buffs in the first round.
Both teams have different looks to them this season, but the loss to UW in Las Vegas last year has been the burning inspiration for the Buffs' entire 2021-22 season.
"This year's team is a really different team as far as the number of seniors and veterans [we have]," Payne explained. "What we went through last year, without even talking about it [this season] has had an impact on everything we've done this year. Last year's loss weighed so heavy on everyone and the impact of that loss was felt so strongly by everyone that it's impacted our entire season – in a good way. It's kept us focused. It's kept us together knowing that the smallest amount of slippage can end up costing you. I think as a group, we're just focused on doing our job. We talked about this being a business trip. It's a fun business trip but we have a job to do. We're really dialed into that."
The Buffs held Washington to an opponent season-low of 43 points in the lone meeting between the two schools in Boulder earlier this season. The Huskies made just 15 baskets the entire afternoon and turned the ball over 21 times in the 23-point decision. Hollingshed had her way offensively, posting 20 points and converting four shots from behind the arc. Miller enjoyed her day against her former team, totaling 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting.
Washington (7-15, 2-12 Pac-12) has improved as the season has gone on. The Huskies have won two of their last three and took No. 2 Stanford to the wire in the regular-season finale. Nancy Mulkey was Washington's lone Pac-12 All-Conference selection, earning honorable mention with 10.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game.
"I think anytime you have a new coaching staff and new players, you continue to get better and better as the season goes on," Payne explained. "I think they're in a really good rhythm. They're shooting the ball really well right now."
Tammy Blackburn and Ann Schatz will call the game on the Pac-12 Network at 1 p.m. MT. Cory Lopez and CU Hall of Famer Shelley Sheetz will be on the Colorado Radio Network and 630 KHOW locally, starting with pregame coverage at 12:30 p.m.