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Colorado Locks Down Utes, 61-45

Buffs grab much-needed third Pac-12 win

Byron Hetzler-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado women's basketball held Utah to just 25.9 percent shooting from the field, coasting to a 61-45 victory, avenging a 68-66 loss to the Utes just four days ago.

"Good to get that win," said head coach Linda Lappe. "I thought our players really stepped up. I thought our players did some really nice things on the defensive end, and also rebounding the basketball. We've always said we're at our best when we're balanced. Today we were really balanced in our scoring and also rebounding and assists. You look down the stat sheet and everyone did their part."

The Utes kept within striking distance for the majority of the first half, but a 14-0 run that started with less than four minutes to play in the first half and continued well into the second half gave the Buffs a comfortable advantage for the entirety of the second half.

Arielle Roberson scored a game-high 18 points, bouncing back nicely from a rough outing Wednesday night in Salt Lake City, when she only scored six points on 2-of-9 shooting.

Roberson and freshman Zoe Beard-Fails sparked the critical 14-0 run. Beard-Fails scored all six of her points in the last 3:09 of the first half. Those six points matched her total output in CU's previous eight Pac-12 games.

Brittany Wilson's aggressive play led to 10 points, eight of which came from the free-throw line. Freshman Haley Smith contributed an extremely balanced effort, scoring eight points, grabbing eight boards, and dishing out four assists in her team-high 33 minutes.

The Buffs finished plus-16 on the boards, with six players grabbing five or more rebounds. The last time Colorado had six players with five or more boards was last February against USC, also on Super Bowl Sunday.

Next up for Colorado is a critical two-game road trip at Oregon State and Oregon. Should the Buffs grab two wins in Oregon, they'd give themselves a chance to get back to .500 in Pac-12 play, as a homestand against Washington and Washington State - both winnable games - awaits the Buffs when they return from Oregon.