With the shot clock winding down, Colorado’s Tameiya Sadler scrambled for a loose ball, finally secured it and, with three defenders on her, tossed a desperation one-handed shot towards the hoop.
Somehow, it banked in for a 3-pointer late in the first half on Friday night.
“It was a really cool shot,” freshman Brianna McLeod said. “I did not think it was going in. I was ready to rebound.”
It was that kind of night for the Buffaloes, who shrugged off a slow start to roll past Alcorn State, 82-47, at the CU Events Center.
“It wasn’t the prettiest basketball game that’s ever been played but there was still a lot of good things that came from our effort tonight,” CU head coach JR Payne said. “Great on the glass, a lot of different people playing a lot of different minutes, positions, rotations. All of that I think is good for us moving forward.”
Coming off a disappointing 85-58 loss at Utah in Wednesday’s Pac-12 Conference opener, the Buffs (9-3) didn’t have much trouble against the visiting Braves (4-5) in a nonconference matchup.
“It was really important (to rebound from Wednesday),” said junior Frida Formann, who had a game-high 21 points. “We watched a lot of film on Utah and there was a lot of things to learn from. I think we all kind of left the film room with a feeling of we could all just do more; just have more urgency, play with more energy — things that should just be intangibles that you shouldn’t leave and feel like you didn’t fight all you could.
“We just went into this game and really wanted to just play and just really give it all we had. I think we did that sometimes. I think it was good for us to have this game where we could just really get back out.”
Playing without senior point guard Jaylyn Sherrod, who was given the night off for body maintenance, the Buffs took a bit of time to pull away. Alcorn State hit four 3-pointers in the first 12 minutes to stay close, at 21-16.
Sadler’s desperation 3, however, capped a 7-0 spurt to close the first half and give the Buffs a 39-24 lead at the break.
“I actually thought the shot was pretty indicative of how the first half went,” Payne said.
The Buffs cruised through the second half, however, dominating on both ends of the floor.
CU drained 11 3-pointers, including four from Formann, and made sure Alcorn State’s 3s weren’t as impactful in the second half. The Buffs still gave up too many 3s (nine) to their liking, though.
“They were in a zone that was kind of not very good, and their rotations weren’t really very good, so we just had a lot of open shots when we created them,” Formann said. “On the other hand, our rotations weren’t very good today, so that’s definitely something we need to improve on when we face better shooting teams.”
CU finished with 27 points off 23 Alcorn State turnovers and out-rebounded the Braves 49-28. McLeod had a season-high eight boards.
“What I’m slowly learning is that rebounding is something that I actually like to do, I think I’m kind of good at and it’s something I can control,” said McLeod, who also had seven points and two assists off the bench. “When points are not falling for me, my effort on the glass I think is something that I can always make up for that. I’ve started to take pride in my rebounding ability and just making sure I get good positioning and I think it’s been working out for me recently.”
Payne loves hearing that from one of her players, but it was just the latest game in which CU had several different players step up in a variety of ways.
“I think every player on our team that’s played significant minutes has had at least one really good game, if not many really good games so far in the young season,” Payne said. “I think that should give us confidence in each other, confidence in ourselves and our ability to compete with anybody.”
Snapshot: CU Buffs vs. Alcorn State
Turning point: Alcorn State hit some early 3s to pull within 21-16 in the opening moments of the second quarter, but CU responded with a 9-0 run and the Buffs never really looked back from there.
Buff of the game: Frida Formann. Scored a season-high and game-best 21 points, including draining four 3-pointers. She also had five rebounds and three assists.
What’s next?: The Buffs visit Marquette on Wednesday at 11 a.m. MT.
Colorado 82, Alcorn State 47
ALCORN STATE (4-5)
White 1-6 0-0 2, McCalphia 4-6 0-0 11, Brown 0-1 1-2 1, Obillo 1-2 0-0 2, Wright 4-13 0-0 10, Griffin 2-9 0-0 5, Watkins 0-3 1-2 1, Backus 2-5 0-0 6, Anderson 0-1 0-0 0, Ford 0-0 0-0 0, Henderson 2-6 2-4 6, Claytor 1-2 0-0 3, Reid 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-54 4-8 47.
Jones 4-9 1-2 11, Formann 6-16 5-5 21, Miller 5-11 0-0 12, Wetta 1-4 0-0 2, Vonleh 6-12 2-4 14, Sadler 4-7 0-1 9, Fitzgerald 0-0 0-0 0, Wynn 2-3 0-0 6, McLeod 1-4 5-8 7, Gerber 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-67 13-20 82.
Alcorn State 13 11 16 7 – 47
Colorado 19 20 28 15 – 82
3-point goals – ASU 9-30 (McCalphia 3-5, Wright 2-8, Backus 2-4, Griffin 1-8, Claytor 1-2, White 0-2, Anderson 0-1), Colorado 11-29 (Forman 4-12, Jones 2-4, Miller 2-4, Wynn 2-3, Sadler 1-3, Wetta 0-2, Vonleh 0-1). Rebounds – ASU 28 (Henderson 7), Colorado 49 (McLeod 8). Assists – ASU 11 (Brown 3), Colorado 21 (Wetta 7). Steals – ASU 8 (Wright 3), Colorado 13 (Sadler 4). Turnovers – ASU 23, Colorado 15. Total fouls – ASU 13, Colorado 12. Fouled out – None. A – 546.