After the Buffs’ two-game weekend in Arizona got off to a nerve-wracking start with Friday night’s close call, Sunday’s game in Tempe was significantly less stressful, as CU handled their business in a relatively-painless 81-68 win over Arizona State.
The Buffs got out to a quick lead, starting the game with a 9-0 run. For much of the first half, their offense ran through Aaronette Vonleh, who scored 14 in the first quarter alone. There was a scary moment late in the first quarter, when Vonleh came down hard on her ankle and had to be helped up and back to the locker room. She would return a few minutes later, however, but would only play for eight minutes in the second half. Vonleh finished the game with a season-high 20 points (10-15 FGs), along with three blocks and a rebound.
Outside of Vonleh, the Buffs got plenty of other offensive contributions. Four of their five starters ended the day with double-digit scoring totals, and the bench added 17 of their own. Maddie Nolan’s 11 first half points were second-most behind Vonleh and it was Nolan’s three pointer that capped off the 14-0 run late in the first half which separated the two teams for good. The Buffs outscored the Sun Devils 33-7 over the final 12 minutes of the first half, and went into the locker room up 50-25.
The Buffs pretty clearly went into cruise-control from then on, only scoring 31 points over the final two quarters while shooting 40 percent from the field. Frida Formann was the only real bright spot in the second half, scoring 10 of her 13 points in the third quarter. Arizona State looked way more competitive over that stretch – they outscored the Buffs 43-31 in the second half – but ultimately couldn’t get enough stops to get back into the game.
With the win, the one-loss Buffs head home still undefeated in Pac-12 play. They’ll head home for what could be the biggest four-game stretch of games on their schedule – three of their next four are against Top-10 opponents in Stanford (8), UCLA (2), and USC (9). First, though, comes a game on Friday night against Cal. Tip off is scheduled for 7PM local time.