The fourth-ranked Colorado Buffaloes took care of business against Oregon on Friday night, easily dispatching the Ducks in a 90-57 victory.
The Buffs didn’t miss a beat against Oregon, as they zoomed out to a 10-4 lead to start the first quarter and never looked back. The Buffs opted to exploit the Ducks’ zone defense by setting up camp in the paint and attacking via the midrange jumper, which worked quite well. 14 of Colorado’s 22 first quarter points came from within the paint, making it one of their better scoring quarters of the season.
A couple of minutes into the second quarter, it became obvious that the Buffs entered Friday’s game with one mission: to leave no bucket unassisted. Safe to say, they did a pretty good damn job of that. Colorado absolutely carved up the Ducks on the offensive floor, moving the ball with the most ease and efficiency we’ve seen from this team all year. No single Buff was leading the assist effort either, as nearly every player was dishing the ball out to another in an attempt to find the best look possible. At the end of the first half, the Buffs recorded a whopping 19 assists, setting the record for the most in the first half in program history.
Despite Colorado’s prolific ball-movement and scoring efforts, the Ducks managed to stick around. The Buffs’ lead lingered at around only 10 points for the majority of the first half, mainly due to a decent rebounding performance by Oregon and some luck with the three ball. That didn't phase Maddie Nolan though, who took matters into her own hands to close out the half. With just 1:03 left to play before halftime, Nolan hit back-to-back-to-back threes, sending the Buffs to the locker room with a 49-31 lead and all the momentum.
If Nolan’s heater to end the first half wasn't enough to put Oregon away, Frida Formann’s back-to-back threes to open the second sealed the deal. Colorado’s five consecutive makes from deep built them a comfortable 22 point lead, which they’d extend even further by playing that very same brand of unselfish basketball. The Buffs managed to score 29 points in the third quarter, 12 of which came from deep, to enter the fourth with a 78-45 lead.
After a fourth quarter that consisted mostly of Colorado playing their entire bench due to being up big, the Buffs sent the Ducks back to Eugene with a 90-57 loss. After a rough couple of weeks shooting the ball, it seems the Buffs got back on-track with this 90 point performance. Friday’s game is the first time the team has scored 90+ points in over two months, with the last occasion being their Dec. 5th game against UT Arlington.
Another big reason for Colorado’s impressive scoring effort was their impressive unselfishness and willingness to share the ball. The Buffs finished the game with 32 assists, leaving only four FGs unassisted the entire night. Those 32 assists are now tied as the fifth most in a single game in program history and the most since the 1994 season.
Maddie Nolan’s excellent performance paved the way to the Buffaloes blowout victory. The transfer guard scored a game-high 19 points, shooting 5 of 9 from three in the process. Nolan also finished the game with an impressive 6 assists, 4 rebounds and a block for good measure. Quay Miller also showed out against the Ducks, finishing the game with a 12 point, 11 rebound double-double.
Colorado will now prepare for their final true home test of the season, as they’ll take on 17th ranked Oregon State on Sunday. The Beavers bested the Buffs in Corvallis just a few weeks ago, and now JR Payne and her squad have a chance to get their revenge against one of the nation’s hottest teams. Fans can tune in when Buffs take on the Beavers this Sunday at Noon on the Pac-12 Network.