It’s been 11 days since the University of Colorado women’s basketball team opened up its 2016-17 season. In that time, the team has won more than half of the games that it won all of last season.
The Buffs’ seem to be putting their horrid 7-win 2015-16 season in the rearview mirror. On the road on Tuesday, the Buffaloes cruised to a 76-59 victory over North Dakota State, outscoring the Bison in every quarter en route to their fourth straight win. The team sits at 4-0 on the year and is perfect at home and away from Boulder.
The Buffaloes were bolstered by a strong defensive performance. The team scored 27 points off of Bison turnovers. In addition, Colorado’s bench came to play. CU’s starters were aided by 30 points off the bench in Tuesday’s win.
Perhaps most eyebrow-raising were the results in the paint. Colorado dominated, scoring 46 points in the paint compared to NDSU’s six.
The Buffs and Bison played a pretty even first quarter of the game. Sophomore guard Alexis Robinson scored the first points for the Buffaloes, draining a shot from downtown 50 seconds into the game. From there, it was a teeter totter, with both teams exchanging baskets and the score remaining close.
At one point, with just under two minutes left in the first quarter, the Bison took a 14-9 lead, but the Buffs fought back and took a 15-14 lead after 10 minutes of play.
From the beginning of the second quarter, the Buffs took command of the contest. By halftime, it was 33-26 in favor of Colorado.
Sophomore guard Kennedy Leonard contributed 10 points in the first half, and finished with a team-high 17 points and five assists.
Fellow sophomore Ariana Freeman had a breakout game. The guard and Louisville transfer from Manassas, Virginia contributed 13 points in the win. Freeman made a layup about halfway through the third quarter to put the Buffaloes up 47-37. In the final 15 minutes of play, the Buffs’ started to slip away from North Dakota State. Colorado held the Bison to just one point in the final 3:19 of the third quarter.
A basket made by junior center Zoe Correal, about two minutes into the final quarter, put the Buffaloes up by 21. Although the Bison kept nibbling at their deficit, a win was far removed from their grasp. Correal finished with a double-double, scoring 10 points and snagging 10 rebounds in the win.
The Buffs outscored the Bison 21-17 in the final quarter, and won big, despite being outrebounded by NDSU 44-34. Colorado allowed just 48 shots to the Bison, compared to taking 70 of their own. On the day, Colorado converted nearly 46 percent of their 70 attempted shots.
The 4-0 Buffs take on St. Francis of New York this Friday at home, as part of the Omni Classic. Tipoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. (MST)
Contact CU Independent Head Sports Editor Justin Guerriero at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo.