Linda Lappe wanted a better defensive effort and a stronger presence on the glass.
The Colorado women's basketball coach got both in a big way.
The Buffaloes used stifling defense in the first half to build a big lead and then had a fourth-quarter run to put away Northern Colorado 63-41 on Thursday night.
It was Lappe's 100th win with Colorado and her 150th career victory.
"I don't really look too much at milestones," she said. "As a head coach you have a very small part in all of those wins and it takes a lot of really good players and a lot of talent and hard work to do that."
Haley Smith led CU (2-0) with 15 points and Jamee Swan had 13 points and 10 rebounds for her 11th career double-double. Zoe Beard-Fails finished with 12 points and a career-high nine rebounds.
CU held UNC to 22.6 percent shooting and held a 51-30 advantage in rebounding.
"I loved our defense," Lappe said. "We were active, we were moving our feet, we were helping each other out. We did a nice job of not letting Northern Colorado ever get started and made every shot they took really difficult."
That defense will be critical when the Buffaloes travel to Lexington to face No. 13 Kentucky on Sunday.
"With this game under our belt we're ready to go in and just play Colorado basketball," Swan said.
The Buffaloes started slowly on offense Thursday but things picked up. They had only five points through the first 4:20 of the game but still led 5-4. They pushed the lead to 15-7 after the first period.
CU took control of the game in the second period when it held the Bears to 3-for-16 shooting. The Buffaloes, conversely, were 9-for-13 in the second and scored 12 of their 21 points in the paint to push the lead to 36-15 at halftime.
"We had a great offensive game last game and this one was a great defensive game," Smith said. "Holding them to 15 in the first half was awesome."
The Bears (2-1) had more turnovers (six) than field goals (five) in the first half but were able to score in the third period to briefly make it a game. Kyleigh Hiser hit two 3-pointers, the second with 1:16 left in the quarter to cut CU's lead to 43-30.
Hiser had a chance to cut it to a 10-point game early in the fourth with another 3-pointer but it was short. Two possessions later, Beard-Fails converted a three-point play to make it 48-32. It also sparked a 16-4 CU run that put the game away.
The Buffaloes held UNC to 3-for-12 shooting in the fourth quarter.
"They hit some open shots in the third quarter and that was a wake up that we really needed to lock down," Smith said.
Colorado 63, Northern Colorado 41
At Coors Event Center
Howell 4-10 0-0 9, Scott 4-12 0-0 8, Hiser 3-9 0-0 8, S. Smith 1-10 4-4 6, Longwell 2-7 0-0 5, Jennings 0-0 3-4 3, Nobel 0-2 1-2 1, Williams 0-4 1-2 1, C. Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Zadina 0-7 0-0 0. Totals 14-62 9-12 41.
Smith 6-8 2-2 15, Swan 5-12 3-5 13, Beard-Fails 4-5 4-5 12, Leonard 4-8 0-2 8, Thomas 3-10 0-3 6, Correal 2-2 0-0 4, Huggins 1-3 0-0 3, Robinson 1-5 0-0 2. 26-53 9-16 63..
Halftime — CU 36-15. 3-point field goals — UNC (4): Hiser 2, Howell, Longwell; CU (2): Smith, Huggins. Total fouls — UNC 16, CU 18. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.