Skip to content
Colorado's Quay Miller, right, and USC's Taylor Bigby fight for a rebound during Sunday's game. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
Colorado’s Quay Miller, right, and USC’s Taylor Bigby fight for a rebound during Sunday’s game. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Snapshot: USC 71, No. 25 CU Buffs women 54

Turning point: After CU took a 21-17 lead midway through the second quarter, USC closed the half on a 9-1 run and then opened the second half with a 9-1 run. CU never recovered from that combined 18-2 surge by the Trojans.

Buff of the game: Quay Miller. She finished with her second straight double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds).

What’s next?: The Buffs visit Oregon on Friday at 8 p.m. MT.

Even during the pregame shoot-around, the vibe around the Colorado women’s basketball team didn’t feel right on Sunday.

It never got any better, as the 25th-ranked Buffaloes were rolled by visiting USC, 71-54, at the CU Events Center.

CU (16-5, 7-3 Pac-12) suffered its first home loss of the season and its worst loss on the home floor in nearly three years. The Buffs also had their 12-game home winning streak snapped. It was the longest home winning streak for the program in 20 years.

“I think we’re gonna go back and watch the film and say, ‘Man, we’re a lot better than that,’ ” CU head coach JR Payne said. “USC is a really good team; one of the most talented teams in the conference, and that’s saying a lot because this conference is full of talent. We obviously didn’t do what we needed to do to be successful tonight and they made us pay for that.

“Just sort of bottom line, our effort was fine, but that’s not enough in this league. You’ve got to play pretty well to win.”

Quay Miller posted her second-straight double-double, with 13 points and 11 rebounds, to lead the Buffs, and Aaronette Vonleh had a team-high 16 points, but overall, it was a struggle for CU.

Two days after an emotional, overtime upset of No. 8 UCLA, the Buffs played catch-up most of the day against the Trojans (16-5, 6-4).

Colorado Buffaloes' Tameiya Sadler drives to the basket against the USC Trojans' on Jan. 29, 2023.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff photographer)
Colorado Buffaloes’ Tameiya Sadler drives to the basket against the USC Trojans’ on Jan. 29, 2023.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff photographer)

Outside of Miller and Vonleh, who were a combined 12-for-23 from the floor, the rest of the Buffs went 11-for-34. Meanwhile, USC connected at a 44.8% clip, including 51.7% during a 45-point second half.

Guard Destiny Littleton torched the Buffs for 21 points, including six 3-pointers, while forwards Rayah Marshall and Kadi Sissoko each posted double-doubles. Marshall had 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Sissoko had 18 points and 12 boards.

That trio sparked a game-changing 18-2 run for the Trojans in the middle of the game. CU took a 21-17 lead midway through the second quarter, but after a jumper by Marshall with 7:53 to go in the third, the Buffs trailed 35-23.

USC led by as many as 19 points and never trailed in the second half.

“I think it was just all us at the end of the day,” Miller said. “We didn’t execute the scout. That’s just what it is. We just did not execute the scout.

“We got ready for them. We knew what it was from scout. We watched the film and we just didn’t execute today. They’re great players, but at the end of the day, we knew what they were capable of, we knew their strengths and we knew their weaknesses and we didn’t take it away.”

Coming off the upset of UCLA, Payne acknowledged it can difficult to maintain a high level of play night-in and night-out in the Pac-12, but didn’t use that as an excuse.

“On paper, absolutely, any rational person could say it’s really hard to play at your best in this league every night,” Payne said. “But we have really high expectations for ourselves on a daily basis, and today, we just didn’t play – it’s cliche, but we didn’t play Colorado basketball.

“We just need to be better than that. We’re having a great season, but maybe this is going to be a blessing that we refocus and we don’t allow any slippage anywhere, anytime, because that’s what it takes to keep winning in this conference, so we’ve got to be better.”


Sunday’s crowd of 2,377 was a season-high at home, topping the 2,227 from Friday. … Miller, who played her first two seasons at Washington, reached the 1,000-point mark for her career, with exactly 1,000. She has 639 of those with the Buffs. “I’m just grateful to be in the hands of coach J and (Toriano Towns) and Alex (Earl) and Tim (Hays),” she said. “I’m happy that I came and got that milestone at Colorado with the Buffs.” … Prior to Sunday, CU’s largest deficit at home this season was eight points. … This was CU’s largest margin of defeat at home since a 101-53 loss to Oregon on Feb. 1, 2020.  … USC snapped a three-game losing streak to the Buffs and got its first road win against a Top 25 team since Feb. 8, 2019, at Utah.

USC 71, No. 25 Colorado 54

USC (16-5, 6-4 Pac-12)

Williams 0-2 0-0 0, Littleton 6-17 3-4 21, Marshall 8-14 3-3 19, Adika 2-3 0-0 5, Sissoko 8-17 2-3 18, Bigby 0-0 0-0 0, Miura 2-3 0-0 6, Akunwafo 0-2 0-0 0, Doumbia 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 26-58 10-12 71.

COLORADO (16-5, 7-3 Pac-12)

Sherrod 2-10 0-0 4, Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Formann 2-9 0-0 5, Miller 5-10 2-4 13, Vonleh 7-13 2-6 16, Sadler 2-6 0-0 5, Wetta 3-4 1-2 7, Wynn 0-1 0-0 0, McLeod 2-3 0-1 4, Whittaker 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-57 5-13 54.

USC                            14        12        26        19        –           71

Colorado                     9          13        19        13        –           54

3-point field goals – USC 9-19 (Littleton 6-13, Miura 2-2, Adika 1-2, Sissoko 0-1, Williams 0-1), Colorado 3-15 (Formann 1-7, Sadler 1-2, Miller 1-1, Sherrod 0-4, Wynn 0-1). Rebounds – USC 36 (Sissoko 12), Colorado 36 (Miller 11). Assists – USC 14 (Sissoko 5), Colorado 14 (Sherrod, Formann 4). Steals – USC 6 (Williams, Miura 2), Colorado 10 (Sadler 3). Turnovers – USC 12, Colorado 11. Total fouls – USC 11, Colorado 16. Fouled out – Miller. A – 2,377.