Dominant defense leads CU Buffs womens basketball to rout of Washington The Denver Post

Snapshot: CU Buffs women 65, Washington 43

Turning point: CU opened the game on fire, hitting seven of its first 10 shots to race to a 16-4 lead. The lead never dipped below eight after  that.

Buff of the game: Quay Miller. Facing her former team, Miller posted her sixth double-double of the season, with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

What’s next?: CU hits the road to take on Arizona State on Friday at 11 a.m. MT

The offense doesn’t always show up for the Colorado women’s basketball team, but the Buffaloes can almost always count on their defense.

On Sunday afternoon at the CU Events Center, the 25th-ranked Buffs struggled to hit shots, but played stellar defense in rolling past Washington, 65-43.

“The offense wasn’t as great as usual, but our defense, I mean, we’re built on the defensive side of the ball,” CU head coach JR Payne said. “We have a lot of offensive weapons that can score in different ways, but we trust our defense. It doesn’t matter if we have a great offensive night or not. We know we can defend anybody. We take a lot of pride in that.”

CU (20-5, 11-3 Pac-12) won its fourth straight game and solidified its spot in third place in the conference standings. With four games remaining in the regular season, the Buffs hold a two-game lead on three teams tied for fourth place: Arizona, UCLA and USC.

Facing her former team, CU’s Quay Miller finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, posting her sixth double-double of the season. Frida Formann added 14 points and six rebounds.

The Buffs opened the game by hitting 7-of-10 shots to take a 16-4 lead, which set the tone for the afternoon after an emotional, last-minute win against Washington State on Friday.

“I think that we just placed emphasis on this game just because of what happened when we played the (Los Angeles) teams,” said Miller, referring to CU being upset by USC on Jan. 29 at home. “Being able to be mature and bounce back from one emotional game to another and execute; even though we didn’t execute everything, but just being able to lock in and just get the win.”

After the hot start, the Buffs hit just 19 of 58 shots (32.8%) in the final 33 minutes, 45 seconds, but dominated defensively and on the boards.

Washington made just 33.3% of its shots and CU outrebounded the Huskies 50-29.

CU held Washington’s starting five to 17 points. That group came in averaging 41.5 points per game.

“Yeah, I mean, nothing new,” said CU’s Kindyll Wetta, one of the defensive sparks. “We just do what we do and do it well and we know that we can always control that.”

Washington came into the game second in the Pac-12 in rebounding margin, at plus-8.52 per game, and second in offensive boards per game (13.65). CU controlled the glass all game, including a 21-7 advantage in offensive rebounds.

“Rebounding was definitely a huge factor,” Payne said. “We knew that they’re the second leading rebounding team in the league, pretty high statistically across the country. It was a huge priority.”

CU led by as many as 26 points – its largest lead in any conference game in more than two years – and never let the Huskies get rolling. Washington scored almost a third of its points (14 of 43) in the final six minutes with the game out of reach.

“As much as we focus on flushing Friday night’s game, when it’s a really emotional game and it takes a lot of energy to win a game, it’s still really hard to do,” Payne said. “So I continue to be really proud of just our mental focus and our leadership that made sure we were really ready for today’s game. Washington’s a really good team playing very well and we knew that we’d have to be ready and so I’m proud of our team for that.”


This is the 16th time in program history that CU has reached 20 wins in the regular season. It’s the first time the Buffs have done it in back-to-back seasons since three in a row from 2001-03. … Wetta finished with six assists and no turnovers. She had 11 assists and no turnovers in the two games this weekend. … CU has gone 4-0 against the Washington schools this year. It’s the first time the Buffs have ever swept the home and road weekends against UW and WSU. … As part of its alumni weekend, CU honored the 2003 Elite Eight team at halftime.

No. 25 Colorado 65, Washington 43

WASHINGTON (13-11, 5-9 Pac-12)

Schwartz 3-7 2-2 9, Noble 0-2 0-0 0, Van Dyke 1-7 2-4 4, Daniels 2-5 0-0 4, Oliver 0-3 0-0 0, Stines 2-7 2-2 6, Brown 0-1 2-6 2, Grothuas 2-2 0-0 4, Gillmer 0-0 1-2 1, Ladine 3-10 1-1 7, Watkins 0-0 0-0 0, Rees 3-4 0-0 6. Totals 16-48 10-17 43.

COLORADO (20-5, 11-3 Pac-12)

Sherrod 3-6 2-2 8, Jones 0-2 0-0 0, Formann 5-11 0-0 14, Miller 6-15 2-2 17, Vonleh 4-10 1-2 9, Sadler 2-8 0-0 4, Wetta 2-4 0-0 4, Wynn 1-7 1-1 3, McLeod 2-2 0-0 4, Whittaker 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 26-68 6-7 65.

Washington                 8          11        9          15        –           43

Colorado                     16        15        14        20        –           65

3-point goals – Washington 1-4 (Schwartz 1-1, Van Dyke 0-2, Brown 0-1), Colorado 7-19 (Formann 4-9, Miller 3-6, Wynn 0-3, Sadler 0-1). Rebounds – Washington 29 (Van Dyke 7), Colorado 50 (Miller 12). Assists – Washington 8 (Noble 3), Colorado 17 (Sherrod, Wetta 6). Steals – Washington 9 (Van Dyke 3), Colorado 4 (4 players with 1). Turnovers – Washington 11, Colorado 13. Total fouls – Washington 12, Colorado 17. Fouled out – None. A – 2,148.

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