There was plenty of rust that needed to be shaken off between two teams that had not played a game in two weeks.
Yet winning ugly counts as much as any other victory, and the Colorado women’s basketball team was perfectly content to take the result on Friday over style points.
Led by a sturdy defense and a milestone game from senior Mya Hollingshed, the Buffaloes outlasted visiting Washington for a 60-50 victory in Pac-12 Conference play at the CU Events Center.
“I’m really proud of how we adapted to the different things that were kind of thrown at us,” CU head coach JR Payne said. “We made some adjustments. We ran a little more zone than we typically do defensively. We did a lot of different things on the fly. I’m just proud of our team, how we played tonight. So many people that stepped up when we needed to.”
Playing their first game since Dec. 18, CU shot 1-for-13 on 3-pointers and finished with a season-high 21 turnovers. But Washington, which hadn’t played since Dec. 19, wasn’t much better, committing 22 turnovers while struggling to a .333 mark against an active Buffs defense. Washington also finished 4-for-27 on 3-pointers.
While the Buffs also struggled from long range, they fared well when getting the ball inside, finishing the game with a 21-for-36 mark (.583) on conventional 2-pointers. And the offensive struggles certainly didn’t affect either Hollingshed or Aubrey Knight.
Hollingshed led all scorers with 19 points, going 8-for-12 from the field while adding five rebounds. Hollingshed made a little history along the way, as her free throw with 2 minutes, 12 seconds left in the first half made her the 32nd CU player to score 1,000 points in her career.
Knight went 5-for-5 and recorded a season-high 11 points, including a key 3-point play off an offensive rebound during the Buffs’ decisive run down the stretch.
“It’s always great to hit that milestone,” Hollingshed said. “It’s all thanks to my teammates and coaches for just trusting me to score the ball and get the ball to me. I’m really proud of where I came and this whole organization and program.”
Washington led 33-28 at halftime, but CU outscored the Huskies 17-11 in the third quarter to take a one-point lead into the fourth.
The Huskies regained the lead on a bucket to start the final period, but the Buffs took the lead for good with six consecutive points. Washington remained within a point on a pair of free throws from Tameiya Sadler with 5:17 to play, but CU scored the game’s final nine points while holding the Huskies scoreless the rest of the way.
“This whole week at practice we’ve been focusing on our defense, just because Washington plays such weird defenses that on offense we weren’t really going to know what defense they were playing. We knew that our offense was going to be a little bit harder to get,” Knight said. “We just really focused on our defense because that was something we could control, and just being aggressive and packing the paint more and forcing contested jump shots, which I think we did a really good job of.”
Georgetown transfer Tayanna Jones scored her first CU points on a pair of free throws in the third quarter…Sadler, Washington’s leading scorer, had missed the previous two games due to an injury, but the freshman came off the bench to score a team-high 14 points against the Buffs…CU completes a run of four consecutive home games against Washington State on Sunday (noon, Pac-12 Networks).
Colorado 60, Washington 50
Washington 19 14 11 6 — 50
Colorado 17 11 17 15 — 60
Washington (4-4, 1-4)
Van Dyke 5-9 0-0 11, Rooks 1-4 0-0 2, Miller 4-9 3-5 12, Noble 0-3 2-2 2, Griggsby 0-2 2-2 2, Lowery 0-2 0-0 0, Rees 1-6 1-2 4, Sadler 6-13 2-2 14, Finney 0-3 0-0 0, Lind 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 18-54 10-13 50.
Colorado (4-4, 2-3)
Sherrod 0-6 6-10 6, Hollingshed 8-12 2-3 19, Tuitele 4-8 1-1 9, Formann 1-9 1-2 3, Knight 5-5 1-1 11, Finau 0-1 1-4 1, Whittaker 4-6 1-2 9, Kulinska 0-0 0-0 0, Jank 0-0 0-0 0, Buford 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 0-2 2-2 2. Totals 22-49 15-25 60.
3-point field goals — Washington 4-27 (Van Dyke 1-3, Rooks 0-2, Miller 1-3, Noble 0-3, Griggsby 0-2, Lowery 0-2, Rees 1-4, Sadler 0-2, Finney 0-3, Lind 1-3); Colorado 1-13 (Tuitele 0-1, Sherrod 0-2, Formann 0-7, Hollingshed 1-2, Jones 0-1). Rebounds — Washington 31 (Van Dyke 7); Colorado 35 (Formann, Hollingshed, Whittaker 5). Assists — Washington 9 (Rooks, Sadler 2); Colorado 11 (Finau, Formann 3). Total fouls — Washington 22, Colorado 18.