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CU women’s basketball remains undefeated with win over Tulane

Buffs’ big fourth quarter helps put away Green Wave

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NEW ORLEANS – The Colorado women’s basketball team used a 12-2 run in the fourth quarter to beat Tulane Saturday in the final game of the Tulane Classic at Avron B. Fogelman Arena.

The Buffs finish the non-conference schedule at 11-0 for the first time since the 2012-13 season. Colorado is 42-5 against non-conference opponents under head coach JR Payne.

The Green Wave led 48-45 heading into the fourth quarter before the Buffs took control and outscored Tulane 17-4. Colorado held Tulane without a field goal for the final 3 minutes and 36 seconds.

“I thought we did a great job defensively in the fourth quarter. That was the difference in the ballgame,” Payne said. “We really started to communicate more defensively. We weren’t all on the same page throughout the first three quarters. We guarded the 3-point line more efficiently in the fourth quarter. We were able to switch and even pick up the pressure a little bit. I really think that’s what changed the game for us for good.”

Sophomore Peanut Tuitele led Colorado with 17 points and 10 rebounds, recording her second career double-double. Tuitele’s efforts landed her on the All-Tournament team. Redshirt sophomore Aubrey Knight, the tournament’s MVP, continued her stellar play. She finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. The Buffs played without their lone senior, Quinessa Caylao-Do due to a concussion.

“I think that’s huge for us. (to start 11-0) Especially, coming off last season. It’s a statement that we are capable of playing with anybody,” Tuitele said. “When we are hitting on all cylinders, it can be a scary thing. That’s what the coaches really emphasized in the locker room. These two games were a statement. It was a tough weekend, but we pulled through as a team. I’m just proud of my team.”

The Buffs did struggle from the behind the arc. They only shot 2-for-12 in the victory. Turnovers were also a problem as the Buffs committed 25 on Saturday.

The Green Wave had two players in double figures. Krystal Freeman scored 18 and hit four 3s and Irina Parau had 12 points in the loss.

Colorado is off until Dec. 29. That is when the Buffs will open Pac-12 play at Utah.

Fast break

What went right: The Buffs played a brilliant fourth quarter. They outscored Tulane 17-4 to blow open a close game.

What went wrong: The Buffs shot only 16.7 percent from behind the arc and also committed 25 turnovers.

Star of the game: Peanut Tuitele scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting.,

What’s next: JR Payne’s squad is off until Dec. 29 when the Buffs open Pac-12 play at Utah.

COLORADO 62, TULANE 52

COLORADO (11-0)

Sherrod 1-7 2-2 4, Finau 1-5 0-0 2, Hollingshed 5-10 0-0 11, Knight 7-12 2-3 16, Tuitele 6-10 5-5 17,  Clarke 4-9 0-0 9, Jank 0-1 1-2 1, Whittaker 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 25-56 10-12 62.

TULANE (4-8) 

Clark 3-7 2-4 8, Andeson 0-2 1-2 1, Cheatham 0-4 0-0 0, Parau 4-11 2-2 12, Freeman 7-15 0-0 18, Manuirirangi 3-11 0-0 9, Bates 1-5 2-2 4, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Grant 0-2 0-0 0, Heide 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-57 9-29

Colorado                     24        9        12        17       –        62

Tulane                         15        18       15       4     –          52

3-point goals – Colorado  2-12 (Hollingshed 1-4, Clarke 1-3, Finau 0-2, Sherrod 0-1, Whittaker 0-1). TULANE 9-29 (Freeman 4-8, Manuirirangi 3-8, Parau 2-6, Anderson 0-2, Cheatham 0-4, Bates 0-1). Rebounds – Colorado 43 (Clakre 10), Tulane 26 (Freeman 5). Assists – Colorado 14 (Sherrod 7), Tulane 14 (ANDERSON 4).  Turnovers – Colorado 25, Tulane 21. Total fouls – Colorado 12, Tulane 16.  Attendance – .