Despite a frantic last few minutes, the Buffs made their winning streak 10-0 by defeating No. 8 University of Louisville on Friday at the Coors Events Center.
For much of the game, the Cardinals executed a full-court press. The Buffs seemed at ease, easily breaking the press without any problems. Their composure was eminent, that is, until the Cardinals put together a 10-0 scoring run in the final minutes that added tremendous pressure to the gam
The Buffs held on and pulled out a 70-66 victory. The win is the Buffs’ first over a Top-10 team since 2002, when they beat No.5 Stanford.
Four Colorado players hit double-digits Saturday night, including senior guard Chucky Jeffery with 22, freshman forward Arielle Roberson with 13, junior guard Brittany Wilson with 11, and sophomore forward Jen Reese with 11.
As a team, the Buffs posted nine blocks, seven of which belonged to junior center Rachel Hargis. Hargis has just earned a new career high in blocks.
The Cardinals, whose record now stands at 9-2, were led in scoring by Antonita Slaughter, while their leading scorer so far this season, Shoni Schimmel, posted just four points.
Brittany Wilson’s persistent pressure on Schimmel prevented her from scoring a single basket the entire first half.
There were only two lead changes throughout the entire game. The Buffs scored the first basket of the game and then trailed for almost 10 minutes, but they were never more than five points behind. At the 10:24 mark, the Buffs went on an 11-0 run with threes by Jeffery and sophomore guard Lexy Kresl, and five points by Roberson. It was enough to give Colorado its first lead since the start of the game at 23-18.
The Buffs finished the half strong with a six point lead, 36-30.
Entering the second half, the Buffs had a quiet lead for nearly five minutes, staying ahead of the Cardinals by no more than four.
It was at the 4:46 mark that the Buffs began pulling away hard, with points added by Jeffery, Reese, Kresyl, Wilson and Roberson. With 2:02 left in the game, the Buffs had built up their largest lead of the night at 13 points (64-51).
Then, things took a turn for the worse. Louisville found a new level of intensity and went on to score 10 unanswered points. This brought the score to 64-61 with just under a minute of play remaining.
After Wilson and Jeffery were fouled, they stepped to the line and drained both of their free throws, narrowing the Buffs’ lead to 68-61. Slaughter then hit a big three for the Cardinals, and seconds later scored another two points to close the margin to just one (68-66).
Wilson stepped up to the line with 12 seconds left in play and unfortunately missed both free throws. However, a hustled play by Reese allowed the Buffs to add two more points to the board and clinch the victory at 70-66.
The game drew a season-high crowd of 3,408, and the student section rushed the floor at the buzzer.
The next game for the undefeated Buffs is next Saturday, Dec. 22 at 1:30 p.m against Utah Valley University at the Coors Events Center.[nggallery id=141]
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jessica Malknecht at Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org.