The Colorado women's basketball team improved to 4-0 Tuesday with a 76-59 win over host North Dakota State in Fargo, N.D.
Junior center Zoe Correal led the way with 10 points and 10 rebounds for her first career double-double while guard Kennedy Leonard scored a team-high 17 points and five assists and guard Ariana Freeman added 13 points off the bench.
"I just really wanted those boards," Correal said in a CU news release. "Those players really did work hard to box me out, but I feel like I kind of put my mind to it, dug in, and went for them."
It's the first 4-0 start for CU since 2013. First-year coach JR Payne is the third coach in school history to start her career 4-0 and the first since Ceal Barry in 1983.
Taylor Thunstedt had 19 points and Emily Spier and Reilly Jacobson added 10 apiece to pace North Dakota State (1-3), which had 23 turnovers and shot only 33.3 percent from the field.
Trailing 14-9 in the first quarter, the Buffs went on a six-point run to lead 15-14 at the end of the period and never lost the advantage the rest of the way. CU's Makenzie Ellis got a block and Brecca Thomas took it down the court for a jumper to start the run.
Colorado led 33-26 at the half and 55-42 entering the final quarter.
"It was a little sluggish through most of the first half, but the second half, we really picked up the intensity defensively," Payne said. "Which always triggers good stuff for us offensively."
The Buffs shot 45.7 percent from the field for the game and finished with 16 steals and 10 blocked shots, six of them courtesy of the 6-foot-4 Correal. In all, CU scored 46 points in the paint, 30 points off the bench and 27 points off turnovers.
Colorado will look continue its undefeated run this weekend as its hosts the four-team Omni Classic. The Buffs open with a 7:30 p.m. game Friday against St. Francis (New York) after SMU and Boston College meet in the first game.
The third-place and championship games are set for Saturday.