While Linda Lappe may have not been pleased with her team's defensive effort Thursday night against Denver, one thing is certain: Colorado is the best women's basketball on the Front Range.
After close road wins against Colorado State and Wyoming, Colorado closed out their Front Range portion of the non-conference schedule with an 83-61 trumping of the Pioneers.
"Overall, another good game for us offensively," said Lappe. "Defensively, I think we have to get a lot better, giving up 61 points."
The Pioneers, without co-leading rebounder Maiya Michel and Morgan Van Riper-Rose, who scored 28 points against the Buffs last season, jumped out to a 17-12 lead. DU guard Michaela Neuhaus hit her first three shots from the field and notched eight points in the first 8:09 to spark the Pioneers.
Out of a media timeout at the 11:51, Colorado went on a 20-3 scoring run, enabling the Buffs to take a 47-32 lead into the half. Lexy Kresl, who was instrumental in CU's 20-3 run, tallied 11 first half points.
The second half belonged to Arielle Roberson. The redshirt-sophomore scored 13 of her career-high 22 points in the second half, enabling the Buffs to extend their lead. Denver had a difficult time stopping Roberson from getting to the free throw line, as she took 17 free throws, hitting 13. Roberson pulled down 10 rebounds as well, recording her third-straight double-double.
Roberson's stellar performance overshadowed another solid game from Jen Reese. Reese scored 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
Kresl finished with 13 points, along with seven rebounds and six assists. Brittany Wilson added 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting for the Buffs.
Lappe was displeased with her team's defensive effort; noting that at times her team didn't communicate as well as they should have on the defensive end of the floor. CU's defense will need to improve, as a road date with No. 7 Louisville is next on the schedule. The nine-day gap between games will provide Lappe and her staff with plenty of time to work the defense into shape.
"We'll be coming off of finishing up finals and going to a ranked team," said Roberson. "I think we're excited for that game because we can very well beat them, but we definitely have to get better at defending."
Arielle Roberson's double-double was the sixth of her career. Roberson (17 free throws attempted) was one attempted free throw shy of the CU record for free throw attempts in a single game (18). Her 13 made free throws was two made free throws shy of Jackie McFarland's school record 15 made free throws...
Player of the Game
Arielle Roberson - Colorado will need their star forward to be at her best against Louisville one week from Saturday.