KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Throughout a 14-2 run in the fourth quarter on Friday night, the Colorado women’s basketball team displayed some of the fight that head coach JR Payne wants to see.

Unfortunately for the Buffaloes, that big run didn’t do anything to impact the result, as they were routed by No. 23 Tennessee, 69-51, at Thompson-Boling Arena.

“We just have a long ways to go in playing the type of basketball we want to play,” Payne said. “I love our team, loved our grit and toughness down the stretch of the game, but we need to play like that for 40 minutes. We just have a lot of areas to continue to grow in that regard. We’ve got to be tougher. We’ve got to be more disciplined in executing. Too many ‘my bads’ as far as execution and things like that. So just a couple of things I think we really need to prioritize as a group and just learn from it and move on.”

Sophomore Kindyl Wetta led the Buffs (4-2) with 13 points off the bench, but CU never really threatened the Lady Vols (3-4), who led wire-to-wire. It was CU’s 50th consecutive road loss against Associated Press Top 25 opponents, dating back to a 62-51 win at then-No. 20 Vanderbilt on Dec. 9, 2007.

CU played without second-leading scorer Frida Formann, who was allowed to go home to Denmark this week to play with her national team. She’s expected to rejoin the Buffs on Saturday and play in Sunday’s game at Chicago State.

The Buffs also played half the game without leading scorer and rebounder Quay Miller, who was in foul trouble most of the night and fouled out with 7 minutes, 6 seconds to play. Miller finished with season lows in points (three) and rebounds (two).

“Even when she did play, she was playing hesitant because she was afraid to foul again, so that makes it difficult,” Payne said.

CU stayed with the Lady Vols early, trailing 8-7 after a pair of Miller free throws with 4:56 to go in the first quarter. About two minutes later, though, Tennessee’s Jordon Horston sparked a 22-4 run that opened up the game. Horston finished with a game-high 23 points.

Tennessee took its biggest lead of the night, 48-24, after a Horston jumper midway through the third quarter.

Led by Wetta, CU sliced the deficit to 61-50 with 3:16 to play in the fourth, but Tennessee closed on an 8-1 run.

With this game behind the Buffs, Payne is hoping they use it for good going forward.

“As long as we lean into some of the things that we’re talking about as far as growing in those areas, then I think this can be a turning point for us,” Payne said. “But, we’ve got to lean into it and we’ve got to just really prioritize getting better in that way.”

Chicago State is 0-6, so it will be a different type of game for CU on Sunday, but Payne said the Buffs can’t let Friday’s loss carry over.

“There’s nothing more important than that right now,” she said. “Not just play well, but play the way that we want to play, as far as executing and playing with toughness, finishing plays, competing on both ends. I think that leads to good basketball. Our focus is going to be way more on just taking care of our own business.”

Snapshot: CU Buffs at Tennessee

Turning point: Tennessee closed the first quarter on a 9-2 run and opened the second quarter on a 6-0 surge. That turned a one-point game into a 15-point lead for the Lady Vols. CU trailed by at least 11 the rest of the way.

Buff of the game: Kindyl Wetta. She had a team-high 13 points and sparked a late rally. She also had five rebounds and two steals.

What’s next?: The Buffs visit Chicago State on Sunday at 11 a.m. MT.

No. 23  Tennessee 69, Colorado 51


Sherrod 3-10 4-6 11, Jones 0-8 1-2 1, Sadler 2-4 0-1 4, Miller 0-5 3-4 3, Whittaker 0-1 0-0 0, Wetta 5-9 2-2 13, Vonleh 3-7 4-6 10, Wynn 3-9 0-0 7, McLeod 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 17-54 14-21 51.


Jackson 8-11 4-4 20, Powell 1-2 0-2 2, Key 1-1 0-0 2, Darby 0-2 0-0 0, Horston 10-14 2-2 23, Miles 0-0 0-0 0, Pucket 1-3 2-2 4, Walker 1-5 4-8 6, Wynn 0-3 0-0 0, Striplin 0-0 0-0 0, Possiott 0-1 0-0 0, Franklin 0-1 0-2 0, Suarez 1-6 2-2 5, Hollingshead 3-5 1-2 7. Totals 26-54 15-24 69.

Colorado                     9          5          21        16        –           51

Tennessee                    17        13        27        12        –           69

3-point goals – Colorado 3-11 (Wynn 1-3, Sherrod 1-2, Wetta 1-2, Miller 0-2, Jones 0-1, Whittaker 0-1), Tennessee 2-17 (Suarez 1-4, Horston 1-2, Jackson 0-2, Darby 0-2, Puckett 0-2, Walker 0-2, Powell 0-1, Wynn 0-1, Pissott 0-1). Rebounds – Colorado 33 (Wynn 6), Tennessee 38 (Horston 8). Assists – Colorado 7 (Sherrod 3), Tennessee 12 (Powell, Horston 4). Steals – Colorado 10 (4 players with 2 each), Tennessee 15 (Jackson, Horston 4). Turnovers – Colorado 25, Tennessee 22. Total fouls – Colorado 23, Tennessee 20. Fouled out – Miller, Key. A – 7,509.

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Brian Howell
2022-11-26 03:43:18
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