Friday night’s matchup with No. 2 Stanford was a big game for the Colorado women’s basketball team, but it didn’t take long for the Buffaloes to turn the page.
Less than 24 hours after the disappointing 60-52 defeat, the Buffaloes were on an airplane, headed for Corvallis, Ore., and another daunting challenge.
On Monday, the 22nd-ranked Buffs (13-1, 2-1 Pac-12) will visit Oregon State (7-4, 0-1) in a game originally scheduled for Dec. 31 but postponed because of COVID-19 issues at CU.
Challenge No. 1 for the Buffs is to avoid letting Friday’s disappointment spill into Monday.
“Culturally we’re very much about being excellent today,” CU head coach JR Payne said. “I don’t think that’s a difficult task for us with this team, because so much of what we do is just focused on winning the day, competing today, getting better today. So I think honestly, we’ll watch the film and we’ll be over (the loss to Stanford).”
An even bigger challenge for CU is the number of road games on the upcoming schedule.
Monday kicks off what is now scheduled to be a four-game road swing over the next 12 days. That’s followed by a three-game homestand and another four-game road swing.
Although COVID-19 postponements and reschedules could change future slates, Utah is the only other team in the Pac-12 with even one four-game road swing scheduled.
“On paper, I would say that’s not really fair, but it is what it is,” Payne said. “We’re thrilled to have the game rescheduled. With that being said, we’re going to have to show a whole lot of resilience in the coming two weeks.”
While CU’s current schedule isn’t equitable – six Pac-12 teams don’t even have a three-game road swing scheduled, let alone a four-game swing – Payne said the Buffs will embrace it.
“I think the biggest thing is just lean into it,” she said. “Don’t complain about it. Be thankful that we’re blessed to be able to charter trips and limit our amount of missed class time and things like that. It’s difficult, sure, but I think it’s important to lean into it and sort of take on that mindset of being road warriors or road dogs.”
Prior to leaving for Corvallis on Saturday, CU had played just two out-of-state games all season, and none since Dec. 7, so a four-game road swing will allow the Buffs to learn more about themselves as a team.
“It almost kind of puts a chip on our shoulder as well, as far as just saying, ‘Alright, well, this is what it is. Let’s go prove it. Go prove our consistency, go prove that we’re worthy of being talked about and things like that.’
“You don’t get to play every game at home. At some point, you’re gonna have to prove that you can win at home and you can win on the road and you can win against these great teams. We’re off to a great start through the first three games of the Pac-12 season, but we’ve got to continue that momentum.”
A key for the Buffs to continue the momentum will be to improve their rebounding. They were dominated on the glass against Stanford, 49-27. In the game before that, against UCLA, the Buffs were outrebounded by nine.
Now, the Buffs face an Oregon State team that leads the Pac-12 with 44.2 rebounds per game and in rebounding margin (plus-12.55 per game). CU is last in average rebounds (36.6) and 10th in margin (plus-2.71).
“It’s a big concern because you can’t perform like that on the glass and win consistently,” Payne said. “That will cost you games that you should win and are capable of winning if we don’t fix that. I think we just need to really evaluate why. … It’s definitely something that we have to work towards being better.”
CU’s players have typically responded well to coaches’ challenges and Payne is confident her team will do so again after falling short on the glass in the last two games.
“Our team takes pride in those things, so I think they’ll be pretty disappointed with what the numbers say and also with the film,” she said.
No. 22 CU Buffs women’s basketball at Oregon State Beavers
TIPOFF: Monday, 3 p.m., at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore.
BROADCAST: Online – Pac-12.com/live/Oregon-state-University. Radio – 630 AM
RECORDS: Colorado 13-1 (2-1 Pac-12); Oregon State 7-4 (0-1)
COACHES: Colorado – JR Payne, 6th season (85-76; 186-189 career). Oregon State – Scott Rueck, 12th season (247-118).
KEY PLAYERS: Colorado – G Sila Finau, 5-9, Sr. (4.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg); G Frida Formann, 5-11, So. (8.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg); F Mya Hollingshed, 6-3, Sr. (14.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg; 1.1 bpg); C Quay Miller, 6-3, Jr. (12.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg); G Jaylyn Sherrod, 5-7, Jr. (8.6 ppg; 2.9 rpg; 4.2 apg, 2.1 spg); F Peanut Tuitele, 6-1, Sr. (6.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg); G Kindyll Wetta, 5-9, Fr. (4.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.3 spg). OSU – F Kennedy Brown, 6-6, So. (7.4 ppg, 8.0 rpg); F Taya Corosdale, 6-3, Jr. (7.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg); F Taylor Jones, 6-4, So. (12.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg); G Greta Kampschroeder, 6-0 Fr. (8.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg); F Ellie Mack, 6-3, Sr. (6.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg); G Talia von Oelhoffen, 5-11, Fr. (13.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.5 apg).
NOTES: The Buffs begin a four-game road swing and look to bounce back from a 60-52 loss to No. 2 Stanford on Friday. … Sherrod, who suffered a hard fall late in Friday’s game was doing better on Saturday. “She’s feeling better and it’ll be day to day,” Payne said. … Dating back to last season, the Buffs have a six-game winning streak in true road games and they are 3-0 on the road this season. … The Beavers are looking to bounce back from a 55-53 loss at home to No. 7 Arizona on Thursday. Corosdale had 19 points and eight rebounds for OSU in that game. … Prior to the Arizona game, OSU had not played since Dec. 19, as five games were either canceled or postponed. … Oregon State leads the all-time series with CU, 13-6, and has won 10 consecutive against the Buffs. CU’s last win in the series came on March 6, 2015, when the Buffs upset the No. 1-seeded Beavers in the Pac-12 Tournament in Seattle. … CU is 1-7 in Corvallis, with the only win coming on March 3, 2013. That was also the only time CU took a ranked team into Gill Coliseum (the Buffs were No. 19). … Hollingshed ranks eighth in CU history with 771 rebounds and needs two to pass Jamee Swan (772 from 2012-16) for seventh.