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Arielle Roberson made her long-awaited debut for the Colorado women's basketball team a memorable one.

The redshirt freshman scored 16 points and came up with a critical steal in the final minute of CU's season-opening 70-65 win over Idaho on Sunday afternoon at Coors Events Center.

"It was definitely nerve-wracking at first," said Roberson, a 6-foot-1 forward who sat out last season with a back injury. "Warming up, I was definitely nervous. I think my teammates did a really good job of keeping me grounded."

Getting the start, Roberson made an impact early and filled with the stat sheet with impressive numbers all around. She made seven of 13 shots, snagged six rebounds and had five steals, two assists and two blocks.

Junior guard Brittany Wilson had a game-high 18 points and six rebounds and senior Meagan Malcolm-Peck had a nice opener, with seven points and eight boards. Several other players also chipped in to help the Buffs, who were without suspended point guard Chucky Jeffery, escape against the pesky Vandals (0-2).

"It was definitely tighter than we thought it was going to be," said Wilson, who went 8-for-8 from the free throw line. "You never think your first game is going to be so close, but it was. We came together as a team and fought until the end and we came out on top."

CU's only deficit was 2-0 in the first minute, but Idaho was never out of it. The Vandals went on a 5-0 run to cut the Buffs' lead to 61-60 with 2:35 to play. From that point, the Buffs went on a 7-0 run to pull ahead by eight. Idaho hit two free throws and a long 3-pointer by Stacey Barr to keep it close, but the Buffs held on.

"We could have made some better decisions down the stretch, that's for sure," Idaho coach Jon Newlee said. "But we battled and we competed and we fought until the end."

With CU clinging to a five-point lead, Roberson had a key steal with 42 seconds to play. That led to a free throw from her, while taking a scoring chance away from the Vandals.

"I did not want them to score and we could not have them score," Roberson said. "I think I was just in the right place at the right time and we all took care of our business."

From start to finish, it was the type of game CU hopes to get from Roberson on a regular basis.

"That's who Arielle is," head coach Linda Lappe said. "She can score in a lot of different ways and she's going to play multiple positions. I think she's going to keep getting better than what we saw tonight. She's going to keep getting stronger and she's going be able to understand the flow of a college game."

CU took its biggest lead of the game, 25-14, with 6:02 to play in the first half on a three-point play by Jasmine Sborov. Idaho responded to that, however, with an 11-2 run, holding CU without a field goal for nearly five minutes. With the exception of a brief 10-point lead midway through the second half, CU's lead was in single digits the rest of the way.

"I think that was good for our players to feel that," Lappe said. "It puts a little bit more pressure on your players when teams hang tight and it is a close game, and it feels like a close game. That kept us on our toes. We had to be ready every single possession."

Roberson didn't care how tight the game was, as long as the Buffs pulled out the win and she could be involved.

"This was a great, happy ending to the weekend," said Roberson, whose older brother Andre helped the CU men defeat Wofford on Friday night. "My family was here (from Texas) and, of course, it was my first game, so that is extra motivation to do well. And, I don't really like losing, so I think that winning drive was definitely a good push."

Notable

CU improved to 34-5 all-time in season-openers and 37-2 in home openers. The Buffs are 27-0 when the season opener is played at home. ...Sophomore Jen Reese had eight points and five rebounds for CU. ... Alyssa Charlston led Idaho with 16 points, while Barr had 15. ... The Buffs are 3-0 all-time against Idaho, including a win against the Vandals a year ago.

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Colorado 70, Idaho 65 IDAHO (65)

MIN FG 3PT FT Rb PF TP

Forde 20 2-7 0-0 0-0 4 5 4

Charlston 33 5-8 0-1 6-8 4 2 16

Salvatore 26 2-9 2-8 1-2 4 1 7

Karr 33 3-6 2-4 2-2 1 1 10

Ballestero 33 5-16 1-4 0-0 4 2 11

Barr 22 4-12 3-8 4-4 9 4 15

Schivo 3 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 2

Graham 7 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 0

Weiss 3 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0

Walters 20 0-2 0-0 0-0 6 2 0

Team 4

Totals 200 22-63 8-26 13-16 37 18 65

Assists (8): Salvatore 4, Karr 2, Ballestero, Barr.

Steals (8): Forde 3, Walters 2, Salvatore, Karr, Ballestero.

Turnovers (19): Charlston 5, Karr 5, Barr 3, Salvatore 2, Walters 2, Ballestero, Graham.

Blocked shots (2): Charlston, Salvatore.

COLORADO (70)

MIN FG 3PT FT Rb PF TP

MM-Peck 27 3-5 1-3 0-2 8 2 7

Roberson 23 7-13 0-2 2-6 6 4 16

Hargis 22 2-7 0-1 1-2 4 1 5

Kresl 24 2-7 2-4 0-0 1 2 6

B. Wilson 31 4-11 2-4 8-8 6 2 18

A. Wilson 15 2-4 0-0 0-0 2 2 4

Sborov 20 2-2 0-0 1-1 3 2 5

Reese 19 3-8 0-0 2-2 5 2 8

Weston 12 0-1 0-0 0-0 4 1 0

Swan 7 0-3 0-0 1-2 2 2 1

Team 5

Totals 200 25-61 5-14 15-23 46 20 70

Assists (15): Kresl 3, B. Wilson 3, A. Wilson 3, Roberson 2, Hargis 2, Malcolm-Peck, Reese.

Steals (13): Roberson 5, B. Wilson 2, A. Wilson 2, Reese 2, Sborov, Weston.

Turnovers (18): Kresl 4, Reese 4, Roberson 2, Hargis 2, B. Wilson 2, Malcolm-Peck, A. Wilson, Sborov, Swan.

Blocked shots (4): Roberson 2, Kresl, B. Wilson.

Halftime score: Colorado 31, Idaho 26.

Technical fouls -- None.

Attendance -- 1,221.