LUBBOCK, Texas – On the bright side, the Colorado women’s basketball team was given a game Wednesday from which it can learn a lot.
Unfortunately, it came on a frustrating, whistle-filled night.
The Buffaloes nearly overcame one of the highest foul counts in program history before falling to host Texas Tech, 86-85 in overtime in the preseason WNIT at United Supermarkets Arena.
Tameiya Sadler’s desperation layup attempt came up short before the final buzzer as the Buffs (3-1) lost their first game of the season. CU nearly won despite being hit with 34 fouls – tied for the second-most in program history. The only time a CU team had more was on Feb. 13, 1981, when the Buffs had 36 fouls in a loss at Utah.
“We never foul like that,” CU head coach JR Payne said. “You can go back six years and probably never find a game where we fouled that much with this veteran of a ballclub.”
In fact, in Payne’s now seven-season tenure, the previous high foul total for CU was 28. On this night, three Buffs – Jaylyn Sherrod, Frida Formann and Jada Wynn – fouled out and three other Buffs had four fouls.
Texas Tech capitalized, hitting 36-of-41 free throws (87.8%). The Red Raiders were hit with 24 fouls, and the Buffs were 23-of-32 (71.9%) from the line.
“It was very frustrating because we had no idea from possession to possession how it was going to be called,” Payne said. “That’s a really difficult thing to ask a team. We’re saying, ‘Make the adjustment.’ … What adjustment? What do you want me to do? It was just very, very frustrating.”
Quay Miller had a career-high 24 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to lead the Buffs, while Sherrod scored 19 of her 21 points in the second half.
CU was sizzling early, making 11-of-15 shots in the first quarter to take a 27-20 lead. But, with 1:35 to play in the first quarter, Texas Tech head coach Krista Gerlich was hit with a technical foul.
“After their coach got a technical foul, I thought the game changed in how it was called,” Payne said. “It was called super, super tight after that.”
Despite that, CU increased its lead to 16 points, at 39-23, with 4:13 to play in the second quarter. The Red Raiders closed the half on an 11-2 run, however, and then opened the second half with a 10-3 run to tie the game at 44-44.
Texas Tech never led by more than three, but there were 11 lead changes, most of those down the stretch.
“It was very difficult to play a game like that,” Payne said. “It was very hard to get into any rhythm whatsoever because everything was a foul and a free throw and then you’re stopping, you’re playing off a dead ball out of bounds.”
Payne was please with Sherrod’s second half effort. After just two points in the first half, the senior point guard had 14 in the third quarter.
“Jay is just ultimately very, very competitive and so she’s going to do everything humanly possible to help us win and she just did that,” Payne said. “She found ways to get downhill, got a couple of steals and was creating even a little bit with her defense. She was phenomenal.”
Unfortunately for the Buffs, it wasn’t enough as they had a 14-game winning streak in regular season nonconference games snapped.
“Every time we take the floor is an opportunity to learn, but this game is better for us than a 20-point win over someone that doesn’t necessarily challenge us in these ways,” Payne said. “I’m disappointed with the outcome, but certainly glad that we had an opportunity to play a tough team on their floor in a very challenging environment. I think we definitely have a lot that we can learn from this.
“We’ll be a better team next week because of a game like this.”
Snapshot: CU Buffs at Texas Tech
Turning point: The lead changed hands 11 times, but the final turning point came midway through overtime. CU scored the first three points of the extra session, but had back-to-back turnovers and Texas Tech scored four straight to take the lead, sparking a 6-2 run in the final 2:11.
Buff of the game: Quay Miller. She posted another double-double, with a career-high 24 points and 12 rebounds. She also tied her career high with five steals.
What’s next?: The Buffs host Air Force on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Texas Tech 86, Colorado 85 (OT)
Sherrod 6-9 7-8 21, Jones 4-6 1-3 9, Formann 4-6 2-2 12, Miller 8-12 5-6 24, Vonleh 2-6 0-0 4, Sadler 2-8 3-5 8, Wetta 0-4 2-2 2, Wynn 1-3 1-2 3, McLeod 0-1 0-2 0, Whittaker 0-2 2-2 2. Totals 27-57 23-32 85.
TEXAS TECH (2-1)
Tofaeono 1-3 2-2 4, McKinney 8-15 3-3 22, Gerlich 1-6 8-8 10, Scott 1-5 11-14 14, Veitenheimer 0-0 0-0 0, Freelon 0-1 0-0 0, Shavers 0-2 0-0 0, Ukkonen 0-0 0-0 0, Wenger 1-2 3-4 5, Maupin 4-10 8-8 20, Chevalier 0-1 0-0 0, Lewis 5-5 1-2 11. Totals 21-50 36-41 86.
Colorado 27 14 21 18 5 – 85
Texas Tech 20 14 24 22 6 – 86
3-point field goals – Colorado 8-20 (Miller 3-4, Formann 2-4, Sherrod 2-3, Sadler 1-3, Wetta 0-2, Wynn 0-2, Jones 0-1, Vonleh 0-1), TT 8-15 (Maupin 4-6, McKinney 3-5, Scott 1-3, Gerlich 0-1). Rebounds – Colorado 31 (Miller 12), TT 32 (Tofaeono, Lewis 5). Assists – Colorado 7 (Sherrod, Jones 3), TT 11 (Gerlich 4). Steals – Colorado 12 (Miller 5), TT 3 (3 players with 1). Total fouls – Colorado 34, TT 24. Fouled out – Sherrod, Formann, Wynn, Tofaeono. Technicals – TT coach.