Why the Buffs won: They battled through three tough quarters and dominated the fourth quarter, 30-16, by hitting the glass and cranking up the defense. They forced five turnovers in the final quarter, while draining 10-of-14 shots on offense.
1. CU’s Jaylyn Sherrod: The Buffs’ senior point guard was sensational, especially late, finishing with 16 points, nine assists and five steals.
2. OSU’s Anna Great Asi: CU didn’t have an answer for her all day, as she finished with 25 points, including 6-for-10 from 3-point range. She also had four assists and three rebounds.
3. CU’s Quay Miller: She got going late, sparking the rally. She finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and two assists.
Up next: Colorado will visit SMU on Saturday at 7 p.m. MT in its first true road game of the season.
As good as the Colorado women’s basketball team was last year, there were a few times when the going would get tough and the Buffaloes wouldn’t.
On Sunday, when it got tougher, so did the Buffs.
Sparked by Quay Miller and Kindyll Wetta, the 20th-ranked Buffs rallied and dominated the fourth quarter to knock off Oklahoma State 86-75 at the CU Events Center.
“Something that we focused on leading to the season was just our mental toughness, being able to not, like Coach J said, splinter,” said Miller, who had her first double-double of the season (13 points, 10 rebounds). “I think that was one of our biggest improvements from last year. We tended to get down on ourselves and it’s something that even Frida (Formann) says in practices like to remind us, ‘That’s just not who we are anymore.’
“We’re trying to really get that out of our culture because at moments like that, where it is the hardest, we want to come together instead of going outward. So I think that’s what (Sunday’s game) taught me, I guess, is that we have that now, and we can’t let go of that.”
Six days after upsetting No. 1 LSU in Las Vegas to start the season, the Buffs played in front of 3,931 fans – the largest home crowd in nearly seven years – but found themselves trailing going into the fourth quarter.
Oklahoma State (2-1) drilled 15 3-pointers and was led by Anna Gret Asi (25 points) in building a seven-point lead in the middle of the third.
That’s when Miller, Wetta and Jaylyn Sherrod really got going.
In the last 13:25 of the game, Miller scored eight of her 13 points and Wetta had 12 of her career high-tying 15 points. Sherrod brought energy on both ends of the floor.
Miller had back-to-back second-chance buckets to start the fourth that tied the game sparked a 30-16 advantage in that frame.
“I think both teams were kind of battling and I know we felt that we weren’t playing particularly well, or weren’t getting the looks that we necessarily wanted,” head coach JR Payne said. “Those were huge momentum plays, I thought. I thought Quay was just incredible during that stretch; almost sort of single-handedly got us going energy wise, and everybody fed off of that.”
It wasn’t until late that CU delivered the knockout punches, though.
Leading 71-69 with four minutes left, Sherrod drove the lane, hit a layup and drew the foul, completing the three-point play with a free throw. A couple of possessions later, Wetta drained a 3-pointer from the corner to make it 77-69. Just seconds after that, Wetta got a steal on defense and went the other way for a layup to push the advantage to 10.
“Not just my defense, but I think everybody’s defense (sparked the team),” Wetta said. “We are a defensive team, as we know, and I think down the stretch, we really start relying on that and really, as the intensity starts building, we also start building intensity on defense and that fuels our offense.”
That fuel carried the Buffs to the finish with another impressive win.
Aaronette Vonleh had a team-high 18 points, Sherrod had 16 to go with nine assists, and Formann added 11.
“I think it’s been a great week, but it’s also been exhausting,” Payne said. “Not just the three games – I think we’re very conditioned and we’re very tough, so we can push through fatigue – but having three totally different teams is mentally exhausting, because we do pour a lot into our scouting reports, game planning and things like that.”
Add in school work and it’s been an intense week, but the Buffs got through it by passing all their tests on the court.
“I’m really proud of our response tonight,” Payne said. “Very proud of our team today.”
The crowd was the largest for any CU women’s home game since Feb. 19, 2017, against Oregon (3,988). It was the best crowd for a non-conference game since Dec. 29, 2012, against New Mexico (5,305). … OSU’s 15 3-pointers were the most by a CU opponent since Utah hit 16 on Jan. 17, 2020. … Sherrod has 23 assists in the first three games. … CU had five double-digit scorers for the first time since Feb. 23, 2022, against Oregon. … CU is 47-2 in non-conference home games under Payne, including a current 34-game win streak.
No. 20 Colorado 86, Oklahoma State 75
OKLAHOMA STATE (2-1)
Noble 2-4 0-0 5, Asi 9-17 1-2 25, Prater 2-6 1-2 5, Garzon 6-11 0-0 17, Heard 7-11 0-0 17, Fauntleroy 2-8 2-2 6, Langerman 0-0 0-0 0, Jackson 0-1 0-0 0, Williams 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-58 4-6 75.
Sherrod 4-11 8-9 16, Formann 4-11 2-2 11, Smith 2-3 0-0 5, Miller 6-14 0-0 13, Wetta 5-10 4-6 15, Sadler 1-2 0-0 2, Vonleh 6-7 6-8 18, Nolan 2-4 0-0 6. Totals 30-62 20-25 86.
Oklahoma State 16 23 20 16 – 75
Colorado 24 11 21 30 – 86
3-point goals – OSU 15-28 (Asi 6-10, Garzon 5-9, Heard 3-4, Noble 1-2, Fauntleroy 0-2, Prater 0-1), Colorado 6-24 (Nolan 2-4, Formann 1-8, Miller 1-6, Wetta 1-3, Smith 1-1, Sherrod 0-2). Rebounds – OSU 24 (4 players with 3), Colorado 38 (Miller 10). Assists – OSU 11 (Asi, Fauntleroy 4), Colorado 20 (Sherrod 9). Steals – OSU 6 (Asi, Heard 2), Colorado 15 (Sherrod 5). Turnovers – OSU 20, Colorado 15. Total fouls – OSU 21, Colorado 13. Fouled out – None. A – 3,931.