The Colorado Buffaloes women’s basketball team is keeping the ball rolling to maintain their strong start to the 2009-10 season.
The Buffs decisively beat the Denver Pioneers 84-57 Wednesday in front of 1,847 at the Coors Events Center to move their record to 5-1.
Early in the first half, CU set the tone with two quick three-point baskets. Defensively, the team kept the Pioneers in single digits by limiting DU to a few field goals.
After a timeout, DU crept from behind with the help of 12 made free throws in the first half. However, the close score didn’t last for long.
Free throws by freshman guard Chucky Jeffery and senior center Courtney Dunn helped pushed CU’s lead to 31-26. Later, Bianca Smith sank a three-pointer in the last seconds of the first half to give the Buffs a 10-point lead heading into the locker room.
CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said the team regrouped during halftime, which helped them to the large victory margin.
“I thought in the first half, our post defense left a lot to be desired,” McConnell-Miller said. “We allowed a lot of penetration that left our bigs exposed, but I thought we came out in the second half with a lot of energy.”
In the second half, the Pioneers didn’t stand a chance.
The Buffs came out strong and held DU to three points in the first four minutes.
DU errors such as turnovers and airballs helped propel CU. They continued to score after some moderate fumbling from both teams thanks to a lack of Pioneers’ defense.
With less than five minutes left in the game, the Buffs led 78-51. Even after a hard face-plant by junior forward Brittany Spears, the team didn’t lose their momentum and finished the game with a resounding 27-point win.
In the postgame press conference, McConnell-Miller emphasized how injuries, concussions and car accidents can’t hold her team back. Spears seemed relatively unfazed by her fall despite stitches and an ice pack pressed to her mouth.
“I still look good though,” Spears said with a fat lip.
Some players in particular stood out. Dunn finished with 16 points and six rebounds while Jeffery had 12.
McConnell-Miller lauded Dunn’s enthusiasm for getting into the game, and her work ethic on dedicating herself to practice and not settling for three-pointers, thus becoming more of an interior player.
McConnell-Miller also said she enjoys Jeffery’s instincts for the game and knew from the time of her recruitment that she would be a star player.
“I’m just here to raise her game and take her game to another level,” she said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Marlee Horn at Marlee.email@example.com.