Colorado Clips Golden Eagles
MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Colorado left its mark at the Al McGuire Center on Wednesday. The Buffaloes led from start to finish and held Marquette to its season-low in scoring in the 71-48 win to close out non-conference play.
Colorado (10-3, 0-1 Pac-12) was led by Quay Miller and her 17 points and seven rebounds. The Buffs' starting five accounted for 65 of the team's 71 points. Aaronette Vonleh contributed 16 points and six boards. Jaylyn Sherrod returned to the lineup with 15 points and eight assists, while Frida Formann scored 13 points.
The Buffs opened the game shooting 72.7% in the first quarter and saw little dropoff the rest of the day. Colorado hit 59.6% from the field (31-52).
"I was very happy with how we played today," head coach JR Payne explained. "I think that's the best basketball we've played in a while. I thought we executed the game plan offensively and defensively. We were able to do some different things with different lineups. I feel bad that we shrunk the bench as much as we did, but that group that was playing was playing well. I felt like we needed to stay with it.
"Excited to go into the break with a great win. I think Marquette is a really good basketball team. They're going to win a lot of games this year and it's good for us to know that we can beat a good team like this on the road."
Marquette (9-3) was led by Jordan King and her 10 points and seven rebounds.
How It Happened
Vonleh and Formann got the Buffs off to a 5-0 start, setting the tone early. Colorado hit 5-of-6 from the floor to start the day and got five early points from Formann in the team's 12-0 run. CU's defense held Marquette to a 0-for-9 shooting start and didn't let the Golden Eagles get on the scoreboard until the 3:19 mark of the quarter. Colorado outrebounded Marquette, 13-7, in the period with all 13 boards coming on the defensive end of the floor. Formann closed the quarter with her second 3, putting the Buffs in control 19-4.
"The start was so important," Payne added. "We talked throughout the last several days about wanting to be as disruptive as possible defensively and to really dictate what was happening on the floor. We must have said the words 'box out' 150 times in the last three days because these guys are so good on the glass. I thought we were phenomenal on the defensive glass."
Formann kept with the hot hand at the start of the second quarter, draining a 3-pointer to start a 7-0 start for the Buffs. CU's defense remained tough in the quarter, holding MU to 4-for-15 shooting and just nine points. Colorado's lead grew to 23 before halftime and the Buffs took a 35-13 advantage into the locker room.
The Buffs shot 69.2% in the third quarter and outscored Marquette, 21-14. CU saw its lead reach a game-high 29 points with back-to-back baskets from Tameiya Sadler. Miller scored the last five points in the quarter closing the frame with a commanding 56-27 advantage.
The Golden Eagles fought to the final whistle, outscoring CU 21-15 in the final quarter. Vonleh had six points in the fourth and 14 of CU's final 15 points came inside the paint.
CU's 12-0 run to open the afternoon really was the deciding factor. Marquette got within 10 twice in the first after the run but each time was answered with a CU basket. The Buffs' lead never dipped below double digits after reaching 10-0.
The team breaks for the holidays before the start of Pac-12 play. Colorado will resume practice next Wednesday and then head off to Washington State (Dec. 29) and Washington (Jan. 1).
Marquette's four points in the first quarter were the lowest-scoring quarter of the season for MU…MU's 13 first-half points were also the fewest of the season…Wednesday was the team's ninth win of 20+ this season…CU has held five of its last seven opponents to under 50 points…CU's first 47 points were from the starting 5…Sadler accounted for all six CU bench points…Wednesday was the third game this season Colorado has led from start to finish…Miller passed 500 career points as a Buff (515)…
Head coach JR Payne
On the starting five's production
"I think it started two days ago after our last game when we came back to practice. Three different upperclassmen spoke up in the circle. Jaylyn, Quay and Frida just talked about raised levels of effort, focus and intensity. It starts with those upperclassmen setting the tone and everyone else buying into that because it was pretty evident from the jump that we were going to play like that."
On moving into Pac-12 play
"I feel great because we've not seen what we're capable of doing. We've seen that we're capable of executing both sides of the floor against a really good team on their home court. We were able to handle our business and do our job."