After three straight losses by eight points or less, the University of Colorado women’s basketball team picked up a win Sunday afternoon at home against the University of Arizona Wildcats, 81-69.
Senior guard Lexy Kresl led all scorers with 20 points, and four different players scored in double digits for the Colorado team who never trailed in the second half, but did allow Arizona to come within five points in the final two minutes of the game.
“I liked that we did enough to win down the stretch, I thought our offense really clicked,” head coach Linda Lappe said after the game. “Defensively we struggled a little bit, things to definitely work on, but it’s always good to get that win.”
Colorado (10-11, 3-7 Pac-12) had lost eight of their previous ten games prior to Sunday’s contest, but found their scoring stride midway through the first half and started to pull ahead. By the period’s end, Colorado had amassed 41 points, and a 10-point lead over the Wildcats, behind Kresl and senior forward Jen Reese’s 13 points each. The Buffaloes went four-for-eight on 3-point field goals in the first half.
Heading into the second half, Colorado kept a comfortable lead on the Wildcats for the first fifteen minutes. As the game wound down and Arizona closed the gap within five points, the Wildcats started fouling to send Colorado to the free throw line. The Buffaloes took 16 free throw shots in the final four minutes of the game, and connected on 13 of those to secure their third Pac-12 conference victory of the season.
Reese, who has averaged 13.5 points per game this season, broke out in Sunday’s game and finished with 19 points.
“We wanted to win,” Reese said after the game. “And we’ve been playing pretty well together lately in practice and that showed against ASU on Friday night.”
Colorado lost to No.11 Arizona State on Friday in a close game, 68-60.
Kresl left the game late in the second half with an apparent ankle injury, but after the game, Lappe confirmed she was ok and could have returned to the game if needed. Sunday’s game marked Kresl’s seventh consecutive game with at least 10 points, setting a new career high for the senior guard’s back-to-back games with points totaling double figures. It was also the fourth game this season in which Kresl scored 20+ points.
“I thought she had a fantastic game, running our team from the point guard position and knocking down some shots in the first half, really setting the tempo for our team,” Lappe said of Kresl.
Junior forward Jamee Swan started for the Buffaloes after leaving last Friday’s loss to Arizona State with a left ankle injury. Swan, who had a double-double in that contest with 10 points and 11 rebounds, managed only four points and seven rebounds in Sundays game, and seemed affected by the injury.
Colorado heads to Los Angeles this Friday, where they’ll take on UCLA at the Pauley Pavilion at 8 p.m.
Contact CU Independent Assistant Sports Editor Sam Routhier at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @samrouthier.