Colorado women's basketball tipped off the WNIT with a bang, notching a 78-71 victory over the TCU Horned Frogs.
TCU finished 8-10 in the always competitive Big XII, but the Horned Frogs found themselves facing a remarkable amount of adversity coming into Wednesday night's contest. Tuesday afternoon, TCU head coach Jeff Mittie announced his resignation, in order to take the head coaching job at Kansas State after 15 years in Fort Worth.
Mittie's associate head coach Brian Ostermann took the reins of the Horned Frogs for Wednesday night's WNIT game. Despite the distraction of a new head coach, TCU jumped out to a 19-11 lead with the help of guards Natalie Ventress and Zahna Medley.
"We saw some rust in our turnovers and just handling the ball versus their pressure at times," said CU head coach Linda Lappe, who is coaching in her third WNIT.
CU responded with a 15-3 run, taking a 43-30 lead into the locker room.
The Buffs stretched the lead to as many as 17 with 16:59 remaining, but the Horned Frogs' pressure forced the Buffs into 14 second half turnovers, and TCU clawed all the way back, knotting the game at 59.
Haley Smith responded by hitting a pair of free throws, and Arielle Roberson broke a field goal of over five minutes with a wide-open layup to put the Colorado lead back at four.
From that point on, momentum favored the black and gold, as Jamee Swan hit bunnies and jumpers to put the game away.
"It's always fun to keep playing," said Swan. "I think at this point, it's just continuing to play and have fun. And win."
Roberson led her team with 18 points. Jamee Swan added 16 points, ten of which came in the second half. Ashley Wilson spent the week off healing from several injuries, including a torn rotator cuff, and scored an efficient 13 points.
Colorado will face the winner of Thursday's Colorado State-Southern Utah game. The Buffs have already seen both the Rams and the Thunderbirds in their non-conference schedule. CU beat the CSU 63-59 in the first game of the season, and knocked off Southern Utah 75-59 in their final non-conference tune-up before Pac-12 play.