Colorado’s victory against No. 1 Stanford on Sunday might go down as the greatest upset in the history of the Buffaloes’ women’s basketball program.
And, Mya Hollingshed’s performance in that game won’t soon be forgotten by the Buffs.
Hollingshed racked up 32 points, 10 rebounds and five steals in CU’s stunning, 77-72 victory against the top-ranked Cardinal – the first win over a No. 1 team in program history.
On Monday, she was honored as the Pac-12 women’s basketball player of the week. Teammate Frida Formann was honored as the Pac-12 freshman of the week. This is the first time CU has ever had players win both awards in the same week.
“I am so excited for Mya and Frida to win the Pac-12 player of the week awards,” CU head coach JR Payne said. “Not only because they absolutely earned them, but because you don’t win these awards unless your team plays great. These ladies worked extremely hard to help their team win this week and it’s such an honor to receive these awards in such a tough conference like the Pac-12.”
Formann busted out of a three-game slump to average 17.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in the Buffs’ two wins against California and Stanford last weekend. She was 12-for-15 from the floor in those games, including 8-for-12 from 3-point range.
Hollingshed, meanwhile, may have opened some eyes around the conference and the country. The 6-foot-3 senior forward was also named the ESPN Women’s Hoops player of the week on Monday.
In addition her double-double against Stanford, Hollingshed had 18 points and nine rebounds in a 75-59 win against California on Friday. She started her week with 14 points and 10 rebounds in a loss to USC on Jan. 11.
Hollingshed is just the third Buff to earn Pac-12 player of the week honors, and the first since Arielle Roberson on Dec. 9, 2013. Chucky Jeffery was honored three times from 2011-13.
Asked if she’s playing the best basketball of her career, Hollingshed said, “No, I don’t think I’m playing the best. I think I’m actually just getting started. Just trying to evolve my game as a whole and just be what my team needs, which is leadership. Having that leadership, growing that role right now, being a captain in my first year. So there’s a lot to improve on.”
Hollingshed has improved every year of her career, but playing a starring role in an upset of the No. 1 team in the country is sure to bring more attention to her status as one of the best players in the Pac-12.
“I would hope so,” Payne said. “I don’t think there’s too many players that put up 32 against Stanford, because they are so good defensively. Mya is a testament to what it looks like to work. She came in as a freshman and didn’t have that skill set. She just didn’t, and she’d be the first to admit it. But she’s worked incredibly hard.”
Coming to CU from Bellaire High School in Houston, Hollingshed came off the bench as a freshman and averaged 6.8 points and 3.9 rebounds. She has started 68 of 70 games since. As a sophomore, she posted 10.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game and elevated those numbers to 13.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game as a junior.
This season, Hollingshed is averaging career highs in points (16.5 per game), rebounds (8.7), blocks (1.5) and field goal percentage (.472).
Hollingshed leads the Pac-12 with six double-doubles this season and ranks third in rebounds and fifth in scoring.
“Mya is amazing,” sophomore point guard Jaylyn Sherrod said. “She’s like an older sister to me and she really stepped up (against Stanford) because I know in that first half, me and Frida and the rest of the team we were kind of struggling to find our shot. But Mya just did what Mya does.
“She should get her recognition way before this, but today you know who Mya is and it’s gonna be hard to prepare for her because she can do so many things. Mya is amazing. She deserves this moment completely. She absolutely deserved this moment.”
Hollingshed is the first Buff to win player of the week honors during conference play since Jeffery on Feb. 11, 2013.
“She’s very loyal to this program and to us to be persistent in her pursuit of growth both on and off the court,” Payne said. “And, she’s really good.”
True to form, though, Hollingshed was already looking forward.
“I know we’re excited right now, but there’s still a lot we can learn from this game to improve for the next,” she said.
Formann is the sixth different Buff to win freshman of the week honors since 2011, joining Arielle Roberson (five times in 2012-13), Kennedy Leonard (once in 2015-16), Annika Jank (three times in 2017-18), Peanut Tuitele (once in 2018-19) and Sherrod (once in 2019-20).