In a Saturday matinee at the CU Events Center, the University of Colorado women’s basketball team flew past the Air Force Falcons, 88-46.
Coming off a comfortable win over Western Colorado on Wednesday night, the Buffs came out firing against the Falcons. Junior guard Aubrey Knight led with six first quarter points, aiding in a 20-18 lead entering the second quarter.
Senior Mya Hollingshed tallied her tenth career and second consecutive double-double, using her 6-foot-3 frame to bring down 11 rebounds and elicit several second chance opportunities for the Buffs. She shot 8-of-9 for the game and didn’t miss a shot until the fourth quarter on a failed three-point attempt.
Colorado led 41-27 at the half with lights-out shooting from Hollingshed, Knight and junior forward Peanut Tuitele. The trio accounted for 25 points, shooting 11-for-11 in the first half. The Buffs as a whole shot 62% heading into the break. CU finished the contest at 62% as well, their highest mark since Feb. 1, 2006 at Kansas.
“I just think that we were really confident with our shots and made the right decisions,” Knight said. “On the last game, we were kind of spraying up early shots so we let the offense come to us and we’re just making the right shots in the right times.”
Sophomore Jaylyn Sherrod made large strides as a point guard as well. Sherrod struggled to finish a pair of drives to the rim in the first half but was nearly unstoppable in the second half. Her strong dribble echoed throughout an empty Events Center, highlighted by an impressive and-one play that left her sliding towards the exit in the third quarter.
Head coach JR Payne, however, was just as impressed with Sherrod’s performance on the defensive side of the ball. Sherrod had a career-high six steals along with her 11 points.
“I love Jaylyn’s aggressiveness,” Payne said. “I thought she got great looks at the rim and I really was proud of how she defended. We’ve talked with Jaylyn really since she got here last year about using her just incredible athleticism on the defensive side of the floor as well as the offensive side and I thought she really did that tonight.”
In the second half, Colorado was able to maintain and extend its comfortable lead throughout. Led by Sherrod, CU tacked on 25 points in the third quarter and kept the stress levels low in the fourth quarter.
“I’m really proud of how we played,” Payne said. “I told the team coming into the game that anytime you play an academy, so the Air Force Academy, you’re going to face a team that’s extremely tough, resilient, never wilts, never quits, they’re very scrappy and Air Force was all of those things. What I was mostly proud of is that we also were all of those things tonight.”
Despite putting up 88 points, the Buffs were just 1-of-6 from three. After shooting 6-of-25 from three against Western, Payne emphasized better shot selection against Air Force.
“We typically in a game will take more than six threes,” Payne said. “But I also think our shooting percentage shows that we were really sharing the ball and really getting better looks at the basket.”
Colorado will open Pac-12 play on Dec. 4, against the Oregon Ducks in Eugene.
Contact CU Independent Visuals / Operations Manager Nigel Amstock at email@example.com