It was only an exhibition, but the Colorado women’s basketball team showed regular-season form in a dominant 90-57 win over Colorado State-Pueblo at home Saturday night.
Colorado jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never looked back, stretching that lead to 27 by halftime. The Buffaloes were led in scoring by sophomore center Bri Watts, who posted 14 points in her first career game for CU.
“It was just like being back in high school, being able to play,” Watts said. “I finally got to be on the court with my teammates.”
Watts is a sophomore, but didn’t appear in any games in her freshman season, admitting that her first year was “a little rocky.” In addition to her 14 points, she also had nine rebounds in her first career start.
“You’ve got to give her a lot of credit,” Colorado head coach Linda Lappe said of Watts. “She put in the extra work, she works hard at conditioning, she’s really taken on a lot of challenges that have been thrown her way.”
Also appearing in their first games for Colorado were freshman guard Brecca Thomas, freshman forward Alina Hartmann and freshman center Zoe Correal. All three freshmen scored their first points for Colorado and Thomas led the group with 10.
“Our exhibition game is very much like a dress rehearsal in that there’s a lot of things that we have to learn,” Lappe said “Really the purpose is to feel really confident and comfortable when we hit the floor next Saturday against North Dakota.”
Colorado had an impressive offensive performance, with seven players scoring at least eight points in the contest. The Buffaloes’ 90 points is only four fewer than last season’s high of 94 points in a win over South Alabama during the Omni Hotels Classic.
The exhibition marks Colorado’s first game without sophomore forward Arielle Roberson, who is out for the season after tearing her ACL in her left knee in preseason workouts.
Notably absent from the starting lineup was senior forward Jen Reese, who started 18 games for Colorado last season. Reese had a rough first half off the bench, only making one shot on seven attempts, and finished the game with eight points.
Colorado State-Pueblo was led in scoring by senior center Katie Nehf, who had 24 points and nine rebounds. Nehf, a native of Broomfield, is their only returning starter. CSU-Pueblo play in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in Division II of the NCAA.
“I really liked her as a high school player and it was kind of fun to see how she’s progressed through her career,” Lappe said of Nehf. “She’s a dynamite player, she scored well on the low block and it was tough for us to guard her.”
Colorado starts their regular season next Saturday, Nov. 15, at home against North Dakota in the first round of the Preseason Women’s NIT tournament.
Contact CUIndependent Staff Writer Sam Routhier at Samuel.email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @samrouthier.