With Marquette chipping away at the Colorado lead on Friday night, Mya Hollingshed cranked her game up a notch.
The fifth-year senior scored half of her game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter to lead the CU women’s basketball team to a 69-53 victory against Marquette in the home opener at CU Events Center.
“I guess you could say that,” Hollingshed said of putting the team on her back in the final quarter, “but, I think it was just the way we were responding. (The Golden Eagles) kind of went on their run at the end of that third quarter, beginning of the fourth, so we just wanted to push in transition and execute our offense and those are shots I work on every day. Those weren’t shots I was overthinking. They trust me to take those shots and I’m fully confident to take that shot, so I think that’s what kind of got into me.”
In addition to her season-high in points, Hollingshed recorded 10 rebounds and four steals. Point guard Jaylyn Sherrod added 17 points and tied her career-high with six steals.
Overall, it was an impressive effort for the Buffs (3-0), who defeated a 2021 NCAA Tournament team for the second time already this season.
“I thought we really executed the game plan down the stretch of the game,” head coach JR Payne said. “I thought there were a lot of things that we did. We wanted to be disruptive; we were. We wanted to rebound; we did. We wanted to go in transition; we did that. There’s always lots of room to improve, of course, but proud of how we played and our effort, and we’re sure excited to be home and be 3-0.”
The Golden Eagles (3-1) had rolled through their first three games, but CU’s defense was intense throughout the night. The Buffs racked up 14 steals and forced Marquette into 23 turnovers.
“We love to be disruptive,” Payne said. “We want those opportunities that we feel help us go in transition and I thought everybody was pretty active on the ball. I thought we played really long and it definitely led to some good offense for us.”
Sherrod led the charge defensively, picking the Golden Eagles’ pockets throughout the night.
“I think a lot of it was just the (scouting report), honestly, and just paying attention to who we were guarding and making sure that at every point on the court everybody was being disruptive,” said Sherrod, who also hit 6-of-8 from the floor.
As good as the Buffs were overall, they had to work for this one, though.
Midway through the third quarter, Marquette went on a 6-0 run to pull within 39-35. Payne called a timeout, and the Buffs responded with a 5-0 spurt to get the lead back to nine.
“We had to get stops, we had to rebound,” Hollingshed said of the message in that timeout. “That was really a big key tonight, rebounding and boxing out because they’re No. 3 in the country I think with rebounding. I remember right after that time out I got an O-board put-back so that was great. I think that kind of initiated our offense and that just kind of kick-started and led to our defense.”
Marquette then sliced the CU lead down to 48-43 early in the fourth, but Hollingshed had six points in a 7-0 Buffs run that extended the lead to 12. The Buffs then closed the game with a 7-0 surge.
“I feel pretty good,” Sherrod said of CU’s start to the season. “I know we’ve got a lot of things that we have to work on. We have kind of a loaded schedule next week, but at the same time, it just feels good to see … it feels like everything is finally coming together. I think defensively, offensively, it’s just all coming together and it’s a good thing to see.”
Hollingshed recorded the 17th double-double of her career. She also moved past Alexis Robinson for 18th on CU’s career scoring list, with 1,286 points. … Sherrod had two assists, reaching the 200 mark for her career.
What went right: CU’s defense was exceptional most of the night, forcing 23 turnovers, including 14 on steals. The Buffs also held the Golden Eagles to 38.9 percent shooting (21-of-54).
What went wrong: The Buffs didn’t shoot well from 3-point range (3-for-17) and missed too many free throws (10-of-17).
Star of the game: Mya Hollingshed. The senior had season highs in points (22), rebounds (10) and steals (four). She scored half of her points in the fourth quarter.
What’s next: The Buffs host Samford on Monday at 6 p.m.
Colorado 69, Marquette 53
McLaughlin 3-11 0-0 8, King 6-13 1-2 16, Karlen 5-14 1-1 11, Van Kleunen 4-8 3-6 11, Marotta 0-0 0-0 0, Okosun 1-1 0-0 2, Nkumu 0-1 0-00, Walker 2-6 1-2 5, Middleton 0-0 0-0 0, Myles 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-54 6-11 53.
Tuitele 1-1 1-2 3, Sherrod 6-8 5-10 17, Formann 3-10 2-2 8, Finau 2-7 0-0 4, Hollingshed 10-20 0-1 22, Jones 2-4 0-0 4, Miller 2-6 2-2 6, Wetta 0-1 0-0 0, Sadler 2-7 0-0 5, Blacksten 0-0 0-0 0, Singer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-64 10-17 69.
Marquette 15 10 16 12 – 53
Colorado 15 18 15 21 – 69
3-point goals – Marquette 5-20 (King 3-6, McLaughlin 2-6, Karlen 0-6, Van Kleunen 0-1, Walker 0-1), Colorado 3-17 (Hollingshed 2-5, Sadler 1-4, Formann 0-5, Jones 0-2, Finau 0-1). Rebounds – Marquette 40 (Karlen 8), Colorado 34 (Hollingshed 10). Assists – Marquette 10 (Marotta, McLaughlin 3), Colorado 10 (4 players with 2). Steals – Marquette 5 (Walker 2), Colorado 14 (Sherrod 6). Turnovers – Marquette 23, Colorado 10. Total Fouls – Marquette 20, Colorado 16. Fouled out – None. A – 1,227.