RENO, Nev. -The Colorado women's basketball team improved to 5-0 on the season with its 78-68 win over Utah State on Sunday. The Buffaloes finished with four players in double figures and shot a season-high 12 3-pointers.

Senior Kennedy Leonard totaled a team-high 17 points. She was on triple-double watch, handing out eight assists to go with her seven rebounds. Junior Quinessa Caylao-Do and sophomore Mya Hollingshed finished with 15 points apiece. Hollingshed was just shy of a double-double with nine rebounds. Senior Alexis Robinson went 4-of-7 from behind the arc, finishing with a season-high 14 points.

Utah State's Shannon Dufficy led all scorers with 23.

"We had to dig deep," CU coach JR Payne said. "I am proud of our seniors and juniors down the stretch. They were calm and really led us down the stretch when things were getting a bit crazy. We needed that from them."

The game opened at a blistering pace. Colorado hit 10 field goals in the first quarter, shooting 66.7 percent from the field. Utah State was just as efficient, shooting 64.3 percent (9-14).

The Buffs used the 3-ball to their advantage throughout the first half. Threes from Robinson, Hollingshed, Caylao-Do and Emma Clarke helped CU to an 18-14 lead. Colorado held onto the four-point lead to close the quarter up 26-22.

The Buffs used four more threes in the second quarter, capped by a Leonard step-back at the buzzer to take a 43-31 lead at the break.


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CU looked like it would have a repeat of its first quarter performance at the onset of the third quarter. The Buffs came out of the locker room and converted on their first three shots. CU's lead jumped to 16 in the quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers from Leonard and Clarke. Utah State battled back to cut the Colorado lead down to eight, 61-53, to close the frame.

The Aggies fought all the way back, cutting the Colorado lead down to three, 66-63, at the 4:42 mark.

"It got a little dicey," Payne said. "I would have loved to have gone up 15 and stayed there. The reality is we need close games from an experience standpoint. We also need to work on maintaining the lead. We need to do some of the things that were working early in order to keep that lead."

The Buffs dug in the rest of the way, finishing 5-for-5 from the field. Robinson hit a key 3 with 1:47 on the clock to neutralize the Utah State comeback.

Colorado is off to its best start since the 2016-17 season when it started 10-0. The Buffs will play their third game in five days when they host Pepperdine on Tuesday.

 

Colorado 78, Utah St. 68

UTAH ST. (2-4)

Mason 1-2 0-0 2, Dufficy 8-13 6-8 23, Gorman 4-11 0-0 10, Harris 0-1 3-4 3, West 3-8 0-0 8, Aniambossou 0-0 0-0 0, Dudley 0-0 0-0 0, Bassett-Meacham 4-9 2-2 10, Brewster 5-10 0-0 10, West 1-5 0-0 2, Totals 26-59 11-14 68.

COLORADO (5-0)

Hollingshed 5-8 4-4 15, Jank 2-5 0-0 5, Caylao-Do 5-9 3-5 15, Leonard 6-12 3-4 17, Robinson 5-9 0-0 14, Tuitele 1-5 0-0 2, Clarke 3-4 0-0 8, Diop 0-0 0-2 0, Finau 0-0 2-2 2, Totals 27-52 12-17 78.

Utah St. 22 9 22 15 — 68
Colorado 26 17 18 17— 78

3-Point Goals — Utah St. 5-20 (Dufficy 1-4, Gorman 2-5, Harris 0-1, West 2-4, Brewster 0-3, West 0-3), Colorado 12-24 (Hollingshed 1-2, Jank 1-3, Caylao-Do 2-3, Leonard 2-5, Robinson 4-7, Tuitele 0-2, Clarke 2-2). Assists — Utah St. 14 (West 6), Colorado 13 (Leonard 8).  Rebounds — Utah St. 27 (Brewster 6), Colorado 34 (Hollingshed 9). Total Fouls — Utah St. 17, Colorado 15.  A — 137.