The CU women’s basketball team led by as much as 35 points during its rout of CU-Colorado Springs in its first exhibition game Friday night.
CU allowed only four points in the first 14 minutes of the game, blocked 13 shots and stole the ball 17 times in its 80-45 victory.
“I was pretty pleased with our veteran group and the way some of the newcomers had come along with them,” CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said.
All 14 eligible players on the Buffs roster played in the game, including four players who made their first start in a CU uniform.
“I wanted to play everybody,” McConnell-Miller said. “An exhibition to me is an opportunity to get your team prepared.”
Because there were so many changes in players throughout the game, the coach admitted there were some mistakes.
“Clearly there were some lapses and some things that we weren’t particularly happy with,” McConnell-Miller said, adding that the overall performance was quite impressive.
The Buffs led 40-16 at halftime, but they came out sloppy in the second half, committing two turnovers and five team fouls in the first minute and a half.
“I thought their expectations had changed a little bit, and I didn’t think they were as hungry, and that concerned me,” McConnell-Miller said.
She quickly called a timeout, and the team continued the dominating play from the first half.
Freshman Aija Putnina was tied for first on the team among newcomers with eight points and earned praises from the coach.
“She’s probably our most versatile player,” McConnell-Miller said. “She plays well with whoever’s on the floor. . She is going to be a key to our offense; there’s no doubt that that was established in the first week of practice. She’s done a really nice job.”
Sophomore center Kara Richards, who missed all of last season with an injury, started for the Buffs and is expected to be a good complement to Jackie McFarland, who led the team in scoring last year.
“I think it helped a lot to sit out last year, to watch Jackie play,” Richards said. “It felt good to go against someone besides Jackie in practice.”