(CU Independent illustration/Adam Milner)
It takes two to tango, but quite a bit more to play basketball.
The CU women’s basketball team found this out the hard way when they fell to the Kansas Jayhawks 68-58.
CU falls to 9-6 overall (0-2 Big 12), and KU moves to 14-2 (1-1 Big 12).
Sophomore guard Chucky Jeffery and senior forward Brittany Spears carried the team, each picking up double-doubles.
Jeffery raked in 23 points, ten rebounds and six steals. Spears also came in with ten rebounds and 16 points.
With her six field goals, Spears passed Tracy Tripp for fourth place on CU’s all-time list.
While two players brought in 39 of the team’s 58 points, the bench only added five, compared to the KU bench putting up 22.
“We can’t have two players show up,” said Linda Lappe, the team’s head coach. “We’ve got to have all nine every single game.”
Jeffery said that when the players became selfish in the second half, they fell apart.
“We only have nine of us,” Jeffery said. “Everybody has to be here on every game. Everybody has to be mentally ready. When things go wrong, we have to mentally uplift each other no matter what’s going on. We just have to be positive with each other, because that’s the only way that we’re all going to come back together.”
Despite playing together well for the majority of the game, the Buffs fell apart in the last eight minutes.
Colorado was up by as much as seven points with 12:50 left in the first half. While KU gained a 6-point lead with 5:31 remaining before the break, CU narrowed the margin to just one, going into the locker room trailing 32-31.
CU stayed even with the Jayhawks in the beginning of the second half, and even lead by three points in two different instances. However, Kansas came together in a way that Colorado couldn’t in the latter part of the game.
“I’m very disappointed with how that ended,” Lappe said. “I thought we played very well for about 32 minutes, and then had a stretch there where things kind of fell apart for us, and we weren’t able to regain our composure.”
Jeffery said she thought that too many back-to-back mistakes made the players frustrated, causing them to lose their focus during the remainder of the game.
“We can’t have mental lapses,” Jeffery said. “We have to stay together as a team. When things go bad, we can’t break apart, because then we’re just going to keep going down.”
Junior forward Julie Seabrook finished the game with six points. She said she knew that the team really fell apart when they lost their communication and stopped playing together.
“We can’t be individuals,” Seabrook said. “We have to play together.”
Even though the team had a lengthy post-game talk, Lappe said she wants her team to remember what’s really important as they face the challenge of Big 12 play.
“Players have got to realize that their teammates love them, that our coaching staff loves them, that we all believe in them, and if they start to do that, then we’ll be pretty good,” Lappe said. “If we keep going our separate ways when things get tough – and I think a lot of it is just reverting back to some old habits – but if that stuff keeps happening, then we’re not going to be very successful. I think they know that. Maybe that was the best lesson out of that game. They know they can’t do it individually and they can’t do it on their own.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Marlee Horn at Marlee.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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