The Buffs showed off their depth as they played almost their entire team and defeated the Mountaineers 87-38.
Colorado had the advantage of experience, as Western State’s 2012-13 squad returns only two players from last year and also has a new coaching staff.
The CU team didn’t play only veterans, though. Redshirt freshman forward Arielle Roberson, freshman guard Kyleesha Weston and freshman forward Jamee Swan all hit the court for the first time, playing at least 18 minutes each. Roberson, who is not new to CU but who sat out last season due to injury, made the starting lineup.
Head coach Linda Lappe said she was satisfied with the level of play her freshmen exhibited.
“I thought they were a little nervous coming out, but overall they did a fantastic job,” Lappe said. “I think both Kyleesha and Jamee showed some really bright things … I liked Kyleesha’s tempo and what she did with the ball. Jamee came in and got some key rebounds and was strong down low.”
Guard/forward Meagan Malcolm-Peck was the only senior to play for the Buffs Friday night, as guard Chucky Jeffery sat out for violating team policy. The junior and senior classes stepped up though, especially sophomore guard Lexy Kresl and junior guard Brittany Wilson. Kresl scored 11 points for the Buffs and added three rebounds. Wilson led the Buffs in scoring with 16 points and was also strong on the boards, recording seven total rebounds.
Wilson said she was pleased with the way she and the rest of the offense played, but that she wasn’t surprised by the success.
“I just took the open shot,” Wilson said, “We’ve been prepared, we’ve been running through it and our offense has looked really good, and I think a lot of our offense came from our defense too.”
The Buffs pulled ahead immediately in the first half, going up 9-0 before the Mountaineers were able to score a point. Just 15 minutes into the game the Buffs had widened their lead to 16 (32-16). By the end of the half, CU was leading Western State 52-18.
The Buffs continued to widen their lead in the second half. A three-pointer followed by a field goal both from sophomore guard Jasmine Sborov put Colorado up by 36 with 12:51 left in the game. By the time the clock hit five minutes remaining, CU was up by 40 (77-37). In the final five minutes, the Buffs added nine more to their lead, with each score coming from a different player. The Buffs finished the night with an 87-38 victory.
Weston, who was second in scoring behind Wilson with 14 points, credited her teammates for working with her throughout the game.
“I think it was all to my teammates, because they found me when I was open and set screens to get me open,” Weston said. “Just to come out on the floor and play with my teammates was really fun.”
Lappe said she her team still has some work to do in the coming week, but that she has high hopes for the season based on tonight’s performance.
“We’re going to spend a lot of time on the defensive side of the ball … just making sure we’re in the right position,” Lappe said. “There are going to be some things to fine-tune offensively and defensively, but our effort was there all night long.”
The Buffs return to the court on Sunday, Nov. 11 to take on the University of Idaho in their true home opener. The game is set for 2 p.m. at the Coors Events Center in Boulder.
Photo credit: (Robert R. Denton/CU Independent)