What went right: Perhaps the only good thing out of this game was that it was an eye-opening experience for a young, inexperienced team. Coach JR Payne is hoping this is one that makes the Buffs better in the long run.
What went wrong: The Buffs struggled with their shooting, got dominated on the boards and had too many turnovers converted into easy ASU points.
Star of the game: Janea Bunn. The junior forward was the best player on the floor for CU, with a team-high 12 points and five rebounds.
What's next: The Buffs will host Arizona on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Coors Events Center
Going into Friday night, eight of the 12 healthy players on the Colorado women's basketball roster had never experienced a Pac-12 game.
Arizona State gave the Buffaloes a rough introduction.
Buried early, the Buffs were routed by the Sun Devils in the Pac-12 opener at Coors Events Center, 72-47.
CU lost its conference opener for the sixth year a row, and this one tied for the fifth-most lopsided loss by the Buffs (9-3, 0-1 Pac-12) since joining the Pac-12 before the 2011-12 season.
"This is a huge wakeup call," CU head coach JR Payne said. "Not just for our new players, but for all of us: for coaches, for managers, for trainers, for players that have been here and players that are new.
"This is what the Pac-12 is, and it will not change. The jerseys just change. Two days from now it's going to be Arizona and they're going to be just as good as Arizona State."
The Sun Devils (10-3, 1-0), who have gained a reputation under long-time head coach Charli Turner-Thorne as an aggressive team on defense and the boards, did just that against the Buffs, who often looked overmatched.
CU made just 33.3 percent of its shots (20 of 60), got out-rebounded 45-35 and had 19 turnovers converted into 23 ASU points. All those numbers were worse through three quarters, as the Sun Devils led by as many as 35.
"It was a little bit surprising," forward Janea Bunn said, "but then when we don't rebound and we have lots of turnovers and can't really get the ball in the hoop, what do you expect? Everybody is good in this conference."
Bunn is one of the eight new players on the roster, but she played well for the Buffs. A junior who transferred from Midland (Tex.) College, she led the Buffs with 12 points and chipped in with five rebounds.
"I just really mentally prepared, I ate right, I made sure I got good rest and made sure I was pumped up and somewhat ready to play," she said.
Overall, though, it was eye-opening experience for the Buffs, who also lost last year's Pac-12 opener by 25 points. They got better as last year went along, and Payne is hoping that's the case this season, too.
"We will (get better)," she said. "I think maybe we'll have a clearer understanding of not just what (playing in the Pac-12) is going to be, but what it's going to feel like. Cerebrally we understood that, but when you step on the floor and you get in a game with this type of team, I think it hits home pretty quickly.
"We have to use it as a wake-up call. It's very early in our season. We have to get better, we have to get tougher, we have to get more disciplined and get ready to roll on Sunday."
Junior point guard Kennedy Leonard had a career-low three points for the Buffs, making just one of her nine shots. She also had a season-low three assists. ... Sophomore guard Quinessa Caylao-Do made her first appearance for the Buffs since injuring her left hand against Miami on Nov. 18. She had missed the previous seven games, but scored five points in 14 minutes against ASU. ... Senior center Zoe Correal missed her fourth consecutive game with knee soreness. ... Freshman Annika Jank fell just shy of a double-double, with nine points and 11 rebounds.
Arizona State 72, Colorado 47
At Coors Event Center
Arizona State (10-3, 1-0)
Ekmark 5-11 2-2 13, Ibis 1-7 4-4 6, Johnson-Chapman 2-4 0-0 4, Richardson 1-5 2-4 4, Ryan 2-8 3-4 7, Russell 0-4 0-0 0, Elenga 7-8 3-4 17, Sanders 2-3 0-0 5, Rubin 0-1 0-0 0, Ruden 7-13 0-0 16. Totals 27-64 14-18 72.
Colorado (9-3, 0-1)
Bunn 6-11 0-0 12, Jank 4-10 1-2 9, Robinson 2-7 0-0 5, Leonard 1-9 1-2 3, Knight 1-6 0-0 2, Caylao-Do 2-6 0-0 5, Carter 1-2 0-0 3, Thomas 0-4 0-0 0, Hollingshed 2-3 0-0 5, Diop 0-0 0-0 0, Castro 0-1 0-0 0, Curtis 1-1 1-2 3. Totals 20-60 3-6 47.
Score by quarters:Arizona State21162510—72Colorado771320—47
3-point field goals — ASU 4-15 (Ruden 2-4, Ekmark 1-5, Sanders 1-2, Richardson 0-2, Ryan 0-1, Russell 0-1), Colorado 4-17 (Robinson 1-3, Caylao-Do 1-3, Carter 1-2, Hollingshed 1-1, Jank 0-3, Leonard 0-2, Knight 0-1, Thomas 0-1, Castro 0-1). Rebounds — ASU 45 (Richardson, Elenga 7), Colorado 35 (Jank 11). Assists — ASU 19 (Richardson 6), Colorado 10 (Leonard, Carter 3). Steals — ASU 10 (Sanders 3), Colorado 8 (Bunn, Knight 2). Turnovers — ASU 15, Colorado 19. Total fouls — ASU 12, Colorado 15. Fouled out — None. Attendance— 1,860.