The University of Colorado women’s basketball team is looking for a fresh start after a loss in their opening Big 12 play game.
Moving on from an 85-57 loss to the No. 7 Texas A&M team might seem like a difficult challenge, but the Buffaloes would like to look at the positives. Despite scoring just 17 points in the first half, Colorado came back to play evenly with the Aggies in the last 20 minutes.
“If anybody was paying attention to the game, we played A&M 40-40 in the second half,” sophomore guard Chucky Jeffery said. “They’re one of the best teams in the country, in our conference and we kept up with them in the second half. I just feel like if we come out with that mentality from the beginning and play a whole 40 minutes, then we’ll be a tough competitor.”
Playing 40 minutes is increasingly important as the team begins a home stand of Big 12 play. In order to have consistent intensity, players on the team said they need to come out with energy from the very first minute.
“It’s all mental,” Jeffery said. “At the beginning of the game sometimes we tend to feel out what the teams are going to do, but we just have to trust our game plan and stay focused.”
Head Coach Linda Lappe said she hopes her team can focus on the things that have been most important to getting wins: defense, consistency and momentum.
“Momentum during the game is extremely important,” Lappe said. “We have to use our defense to help our offense. Usually our defense kind of spurs our offensive play. It spurs our momentum and gets us going. We get a lot of energy out of playing defensive stops.”
The players agree, as they said that defense has been something their coaches have been harping on all along.
“I think our defense is pretty much going to surprise most of the teams that we play,” Jeffery said.
As good as their defense is, Lappe said the Buffs also need to be consistent as they play the very talented teams of the Big 12.
“As we move forward, the consistency just has to get better, and it will,” Lappe said. “We’ve seen spurts of great consistency, and we’ve seen spurts of not so good games and not so good consistency.”
Lappe has confidence in all her players and says that her freshmen have learned what they needed to from their first college games and have come back from break with a renewed energy and confidence.
“I think we have a lot of different players who step up each and every game,” Lappe said. “The obvious two are Chucky Jeffery and Brittany Spears. They do a lot of scoring for us, but we also have a lot of players who have been key role players for us.I think Meagan Malcolm-Peck has done a great job. She got a double-double again the other night. Britney Blythe has been one of our best defenders of the year so far. Brittany Wilson has been coming off the bench, and now she’s starting and providing some really good minutes for us, both in scoring and in defense.”
With a solid starting five, senior forward Brittany Spears could be starting to feel the pressure to perform at her best and lead in her final season. However, she says that doing something that she loves doesn’t bring on the nerves.
“I really don’t feel pressure,” Spears said. “I’m just playing basketball. It’s not like I’m going to a test or something like that. I’m just going to play basketball. It’s something I love to do. There’s really no pressure. I just need to be consistent and a positive influence, a leader.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Marlee Horn at Marlee.firstname.lastname@example.org.