Following a difficult victory over Colorado State where the offense struggled to score in the final seven minutes, No. 17 Colorado women's basketball scored 83 points, notched 19 assists on 24 baskets and shot 45.3% from the floor in an 83-33 thumping of Alcorn State.
"I liked our effort tonight," said head coach Linda Lappe, who with her 66th victory moved into third-place all-time in wins by a CU head coach, only trailing Ceal Barry and Sox Walseth. "We had a lot of players play a lot of minutes and really play together well on the offensive end and the defensive end."
Redshirt Freshman Lauren Huggins had her breakout game in the black and gold Friday night. The sharpshooter from Littleton, who was a top-75 recruit in the class of 2012, tallied 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting. All ten of her field goal attempts came from beyond the arc.
"She's 6-foot-1, 6-foot-2 shooter with deep range and a high release, that's tough to guard." said Lappe.
Huggins' backcourt mate Lexy Kresl also had a solid night. Seeing significant minutes at the point guard position for the time in a Buffaloes uniform, Kresl scored nine points and dished out four assists. She also surpassed 500 points for her career, and hit her 110th career three-pointer.
Colorado also turned in an exceptional effort on the defensive end of the court. CU held Alcorn State to just 10-of-50 shooting (20%) and forced 21 turnovers. Lappe expressed disappointment with her team's performance on the boards, even though the Buffs outrebounded the Braves by 13. The Buffs' defense raised some eyebrows on the Alcorn State sidelines.
"One of the stingiest defenses I've seen in my coaching career over the last seven years is Kentucky," said Braves head coach Tanya Edwards. "Colorado's definitely on the right road to getting their defense up to that status."
Colorado returns to the Coors Events Center on Wednesday to face Iowa, who will be the toughest challenge Colorado has faced this season. The Hawkeyes played in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, and have already knocked off a ranked Dayton squad in 2013-14.
With the emergence of Huggins and Jasmine Sborov as outside threats, joining the proven Kresl, it looks like the Buffs will rely on the three-ball a lot more than they did last season. Colorado finished sixth in the Pac-12 last season in three-point field goal percentage; I would expect them to finish higher than sixth this year... Colorado's transition game was excellent, as they outscored the Braves on the fast-break 27-4...
Player of the Game
Lauren Huggins - Lappe has mentioned several times how Huggins has NBA range from beyond the arc. She didn't drain any from 24 feet, but she didn't need to, as Alcorn State's 3-2 zone provided Huggins with a plethora of open looks from right behind the three-point line.