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CU Buffs women’s basketball gears up for Air Force

Game against Falcons will be last tune-up before Pac-12 play

BOULDER, CO – November 25, 2020: Colorado’s Frida Foreman drives to the basket into Samantha Coleman of Western. The Colorado Women’s Basketball Team played Western Colorado on November 25, 2020.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
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One game wasn’t enough to shake off all the cobwebs after nearly nine months of waiting to play, but the Colorado women’s basketball team got what it wanted Wednesday night.

After rolling past Western Colorado in the opener, the Buffaloes will be looking to continue a strong start on Saturday when they host Air Force at CU Events Center.

“I think it was just the start of what we need to do,” senior Mya Hollingshed said after the 77-50 victory against Western. “I don’t think we really executed most of the time like we wanted to, but I think that’s gonna be a focus, especially for the next practice and the next game. I think it’s just being able to just continue to be confident and comfortable in the sets that we’re running and just be able to play basketball at the end of the day.”

Saturday’s game against the Falcons (0-1) is the last tune-up before Pac-12 play for the Buffs (1-0).

As will be the case before each game this season, CU head coach JR Payne will simply hope to play. Both teams will have to pass COVID-19 testing in order for the game to take place.

“Day by day,” Payne said. “We really are just focused on one day at a time, do the very best we can make good choices and continue to play basketball.”

According to Hollingshed, it’s not as difficult as it was early on to deal with COVID-19 testing and the restrictions.

“I think now we’ve been in this COVID situation for nine months, so it’s part of our life as of right now,” she said. “We’re just really focused on the things that we can control and just being there for each other and just worried about each other.”

In doing that, the Buffs were pleased with their preparation for the season and then came away from Wednesday’s opener feeling good about the overall performance. Still, the win against Western was just the first step, the Buffs know they have to get better with each step along the way.

“I think it’s gonna get a lot better,” Hollingshed said. “Coach J already told us she didn’t expect this game to be pretty and neither did we, but I think we could have did a lot better (against Western).”

Now that Game 1 is under their belt, the Buffs are eager to show some improvement against the Falcons.

“We have a lot to improve and we’re just glad that we finally got to play so we can see what we have to work on,” freshman Frida Formann said.

CU women’s basketball preview: Air Force

MATCHUP: Air Force Falcons (0-1) at Colorado Buffaloes (1-0)

GAME TIME: Saturday, Noon MST, at CU Events Center

BROADCAST: Online – CUBuffs.com/WatchWBB. Radio – 630 AM

COACHES: Colorado – JR Payne, 5th season (61-64; 162-177 career). Air Force – Chris Gobrecht, 6th season (29-123; 571-596 career).

KEY PLAYERS: Colorado (2019-20 stats) – G Lesila Finau, 5-foot-9, Jr. (3.4 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 1.5 apg); F Mya Hollingshed, 6 -3, Sr. (13.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg); G Aubrey Knight, 6-0, Jr. (7.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg); G Jaylyn Sherrod, 5-7, So. (9.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 5.1 apg); F Peanut Tuitele, 6-1, Jr. (7.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg). Air Force (2019-20 stats) – G Briana Autrey-Thompson, 5-6, Jr. (9.0 ppg, 4.1 apg); G Emily Conroe, 5-10, Sr. (8.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg); G Kaelin Immel, 5-9, Sr. (15.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg); G Allyah Marlett, 5-9, So. (4.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg); F Riley Snyder, 6-0, Jr. (14.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg).

NOTABLE: CU is coming off a 77-50 win against Western Colorado in the opener on Wednesday. Hollingshed had 19 points and 11 rebounds, while freshman Frida Formann added 13 points and sophomore Charlotte Whittaker had 11. Air Force lost to Denver, 72-56, at home on Wednesday. Briana Autrey-Thompson had a career-high 25 points to lead the Falcons. … Fans are not allowed to attend games at CU until at least January. … CU leads the all-time series with AFA, 5-0. The most recent matchup was a 68-43 CU victory on Dec. 15, 2017, at the Academy.