SALT LAKE CITY – Colorado was so desperate for a win that it didn’t matter it took an extra five minutes to get it.
On Friday night, the CU women’s basketball team outlasted Utah, 66-62 in overtime at the Jon M. Huntsman Center to snap a four-game losing streak.
Mya Hollingshed had a double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Peanut Tuitele had a season-high 16 points to lead the Buffs (14-4, 3-4 Pac-12) to the victory.
“After that four-game stretch, I’m glad that we pulled this one out,” Tuitele said. “I think it’s just big in general. These past four losses have been tough and we could have easily gave in, easily wilted, but I’m glad that we came back and we fought and we showed people our resilience.”
Tameiya Sadler hit a layup with 16.3 seconds to play in overtime to give the Buffs a 64-62 lead. About three seconds later, Tayanna Jones got a steal, was fouled and drained two free throws to seal the victory.
It was CU’s third overtime game in the last four outings, with the first two – at Oregon State and at Arizona State – resulting in losses.
“As soon as we went into overtime, I said to the team, ‘Third time’s the charm. This is our game,’” CU head coach JR Payne said. “There were so many things throughout the game that I was really, really proud of and I’m just super excited obviously.
“It’s obviously so hard to lose and it’s so hard to lose those close ones. When you know that in so many ways you’re in control of your destiny but we shoot ourselves in the foot with certain things and that is heartbreaking and it’s emotionally exhausting for everyone. So yeah, it’s a little bit of relief.”
CU trailed 45-40 going into the fourth quarter and needed a rare rally to get the win. Under Payne, the Buffs had been 6-68 when trailing after three quarters, including 1-13 the last two seasons.
Against the Utes (10-7, 1-4), the Buffs opened the fourth on a 12-3 run to take a 52-48 lead with 4:26 to play
The Utes stormed back, however, and regained the lead at 53-52.
After CU took a 58-55 lead, Utah’s Dasia Young drained a 3-pointer with 7.5 seconds to play in regulation to send the game to overtime.
Sadler, who has started the last two games, had four of her 13 points in overtime and added seven rebounds and three assists.
“Tameiya is someone that I’m really proud of how she’s embracing sort of her new role,” Payne said. “All along we’ve known that she’s capable of scoring. She’s capable of doing these things. … I just thought that she did a great job of being aggressive. We asked her to be aggressive, looking to score the ball and she clearly did that and made some big plays.”
Jones, who played only three minutes, came up with a huge steal and free throws in the final seconds.
“I love that (assistant coach Toriano Towns) had the ultimate faith in her to go in at the end of the game to defend and guard and get a stop,” Payne said. “Not only did she get a stop, but she got to steal and then to have the emotional wherewithal to knock down two free throws, there aren’t that many young people out there that can sit most of the game and come in and do what she did. Just incredible.”
Tuitele, who had score just 11 points on seven shots in the previous three games combined, went 7-for-7 from the floor. She had seven of her points in CU’s 12-3 fourth-quarter run. Her 16 points were the most she’s had since scoring 18 in the final game of her sophomore year, on March 5, 2020, against Southern California.
“It felt really good,” she said. “At shoot-around and before the game I was shooting and I was like, ‘Whoa, hold on, how many have I missed?’ I’m just thinking to myself, and I was like, ‘Yeah, this is gonna be a good shooting day for me.’ I give credit to my teammates finding me when I was open because I’m very selective on my shots.”
The Buffs will have a quick turnaround as they welcome the Utes to Boulder on Sunday.
Hollingshed surpassed the 800-rebound mark for her career (809), becoming the seventh player in CU history to reach that mark. … CU has a 20-19 lead in the all-time series and is 6-4 in Salt Lake City since joining the Pac-12.
What went right: The Buffs made key plays down the stretch and rallied for a much-needed victory.
What went wrong: The Buffs piled up 19 turnovers and made just 38 percent of their shots.
Star of the game: Peanut Tuitele. She was 7-for-7 from the floor for 16 points and added five rebounds.
What’s next: CU will host Utah on Sunday at Noon MT at the CU Events Center in Boulder.
Colorado 66, Utah 62 (OT)
COLORADO (14-4, 3-4 Pac-12)
Sherrod 2-5 3-4 7, Sadler 5-11 3-4 13, Finau 0-1 0-0 0, Hollingshed 5-17 4-7 16, Tuitele 7-7 0-0 16, Jones 0-0 2-2 2, Formann 1-7 1-2 4, Miller 2-7 1-2 5, Blacksten 0-0 0-0 0, Wetta 1-6 1-3 3. Totals 23-61 15-24 66.
UTAH (10-7, 1-4 Pac-12)
Kneepkens 3-13 4-6 11, Gylten 1-7 3-4 5, Johnson 2-9 2-2 7, McQueen 4-9 0-0 9, Rees 2-5 0-0 4, Palmer 0-0 0-0 0, Vieira 1-2 2-2 4, Maxwell 0-4 0-0 0, Jackson 2-3 0-0 4, Young 6-11 2-2 18. Totals 21-63 13-16 62
Colorado 17 11 12 18 8 – 66
Utah 14 19 12 13 4 – 62
3-point goals – Colorado 5-16 (Hollingshed 2-5, Tuitele 2-2, Forman 1-4, Miller 0-2, Sadler 0-1, Finau 0-1, Wetta 0-1), Utah 7-27 (Young 4-7, Kneepkens 1-6, McQueen 1-4, Johnson 1-3, Maxwell 0-4, Gylten 0-2, Vieira 0-1). Rebounds – Colorado 43 (Hollingshed 11), Utah 41 (McQueen 7). Assists – Colorado 14 (Sadler, Hollingshed 3), Utah 14 (Gylten 6). Steals – Colorado 9 (Miller 3), Utah 9 (McQueen 3). Turnovers – Colorado 19, Utah 20. Total fouls – Colorado 19, Utah 21. Fouled out – Sherrod. A – 2,165.