It’s a strong start for Colorado basketball.
The Buffs women had three players scoring double figures on Friday as they defeated the NAU Lumberjacks 84-60 at the Coors Events Center.
Sophomore guard Brittany Wilson led the Colorado offense with a career-high 22 points. Freshman guard Lexy Kresl tied the school record for three-pointers scored in a half, as all 15 of her total points were first-half treys. Junior guard Chucky Jeffery also added 11 points for CU.
The Buffs took a decisive lead over the Lumberjacks from the beginning, going up 15-2 within the first four minutes. Kresl then came off the bench and made a trio of three-pointers, bringing CU’s lead to 24-9 with 12:30 left on the clock. She would make two more threes before the end of the half, helping Colorado to a 44-20 halftime lead.
“I was definitely feeling my shot,” Kresl said. “I wish it would’ve continued in the second half, but I knew we needed a pickup, so I tried to use my energy.”
The Buffs found the net easily in the first half, shooting 59.3 percent from the field and 58.3 percent on three-pointers. They held the Lumberjacks to just 29.6 percent from the field.
Colorado started the second half with a field goal from sophomore center Rachel Hargis. NAU then went on a 5-0 run, but Hargis, Jeffery, and Wilson responded quickly. They scored a field goal each, making the score 54-25 with 16:24 left in the game.
Wilson was the standout for the rest of the half. She would score 13 of CU’s 30 more points before the final buzzer, helping the Buffs to the victory.
Wilson said she felt the pressure to maintain the Buffs’ lead in the second half.
“We just have to put together 40 minutes of play,” Wilson said. “[NAU] has the weapons to come back, so when we had the chance to put them away, we knew we had to.”
The Buffs did more than enough to put the competition away, shooting 57.1 percent from the field and 66.7 percent at the free throw line.
Head coach Linda Lappe said she was impressed with her freshmen, especially Kresl, during Friday’s game.
“Having some firepower off the bench is really, really important,” Lappe said. “I think you saw that in Lexy tonight … [she] came in with a lot of confidence and got her feet set.”
Because Kresl went to high school in Paradise Valley, Ariz., Lappe said she expected the freshman to be extra determined to beat Northern Arizona.
“I somehow knew Lexy was going to do well against Northern Arizona because she knew a lot of the players,” Lappe said. “It was a little bit of a personal challenge.”
Lappe said the Buffs’ offense has improved since last Saturday’s exhibition game against Regis.
“I thought offensively we moved the ball well and scored it well,” Lappe said. “We established an inside presence which was very, very important. We were very versatile in what we did tonight offensively.”
The Buffs take to the road for the first time this season on Nov. 16, when they take on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. MST.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Caryn Maconi at Caryn.firstname.lastname@example.org.