Colorado's defining win of the 2012-13 season came in December. Then-No. 8 Louisville came into Coors Events Center and suffered a 70-66 defeat at the hands of the Buffaloes, propelling Colorado into the national polls for the remainder of the season.
Colorado's massive win was largely thanks to Brittany Wilson's masterful defensive job on Shoni Schimmel. The all-American was held to just four points on 2-of-12 shooting. Louisville would rebound from the loss well, making a surprise appearance in the national championship game, where they fell to Connecticut.
Saturday afternoon, with a birth in the top-10 likely on the line, Colorado couldn't find an answer for the Schimmel in a 69-62 loss. Schimmel torched the Buffs, scoring 30 points, 21 of which came in the second half. Brittany Wilson played limited minutes due to foul trouble, and couldn't put the clamps on Schimmel like she had the year before.
"I loved how hard our players played," head coach Linda Lappe told AM-760 after the loss. "I thought both teams played their hearts out. They threw everything at us that they had and we threw everything at them. We got after each other - it was a fun game."
The game's turning point came late in the first half. After Lauren Huggins hit a three to put Colorado ahead 27-24, Louisville head coach Jeff Walz took a timeout, and was called for a technical foul. Lexy Kresl, who had 15 first half points, knocked down both free throws, but a fired up Louisville squad rallied, making a 9-0 run before halftime after Kresl's technical free throws.
"It's hard, I thought (the officials) were a little different in the first half than they were in the second half," said Lappe. "Even so, you've got to take the first five minutes of the second half and learn from it, and they were already in the bonus at that point. We've just got to get a little bit smarter, we've got to be able to defend one-on-one a little bit better."
Colorado would re-take the lead at the 18:18 mark in the second half with a Jasmine Sborov three. A Brittany Wilson free throw that broke a 36-36 deadlock with 16:57 to go would mark the last lead Colorado would hold.
CU managed to tie the game with 9:44, as Jen Reese found Sborov for a layup, but from that point, the Cardinals held a solid 2-7 point lead until the final buzzer.
"Coach (Ceal) Barry used to say ‘you never lose in December,' and that's only true if you learn from it, and you get better from the loss," said Lappe. Just looking at our player's eyes in the locker room, we're ready to get better. I think I can get them to buy in to boxing out now, which is hard to do when you're outrebounding opponents by 15."
The loss snaps Colorado's non-conference regular season winning streak at 33. The last loss came at the hands of Dayton, in December of 2010, Linda Lappe's first season... Jen Reese scored 14 points and added 14 rebounds (tied for a career high)... Lexy Kresl tallied 17 points and eight rebounds... Arielle Roberson had 14 points as well for Colorado... Shoni Schimmel scored over half of her team's second half points (21-of-36)... Three Buffs fouled out, Ashley Wilson, Jasmine Sborov, and Brittany Wilson...
Player of the Game
Shoni Schimmel - The all-American played as well as she has since Louisville's monumental Sweet Sixteen upset of the Brittney Griner-led Baylor Bears in March of 2013.