BOULDER - The Colorado women's basketball team executed its game plan in every category Sunday afternoon to earn a decisive 79-36 win over Arizona at the Coors Events Center.
It was the Buffs' fourth straight Pac-12 Conference win, with the 43-point margin of victory the eighth-largest in CU history in conference play.
"Obviously I'm really happy with how that game turned out," said CU head coach Linda Lappe. "We had very few mental or physical errors, which was fun to see. It's very rare that you see both of those things happen on the same night."
Senior guard Chucky Jeffery's performance (11 points, five rebounds and six assists) made her the first player in school history to earn 1,400 points, 800 rebounds and 400 assists in her career.
The Buffs started strong over the Wildcats, going on a 7-0 run to start the game and building that lead for the rest of the half. CU shot 56.7 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from beyond the arc in the first half and held Arizona to 23.3 from the field and 14.3 from three-point range.
By intermission, Colorado was up 43-15, its largest halftime lead in conference play since leading Kansas 42-14 in February 2003. Hitting a jumper with nine seconds remaining in the half, freshman guard Kyleesha Weston became the ninth player to score for CU in the first 20 minutes.
CU held onto that momentum for the rest of the game, going up by 46, the largest lead of the game, on a Weston basket with four minutes to go.
But even with such a decisive lead, the Buffs never lost energy or focus.
"When you're on a roll, you just continue staying on a roll," said redshirt freshman forward Arielle Roberson, who scored a game-high 12 points on her 20th birthday. "You've got to continue to stay focused. In the timeouts, coach would say, 'Stay focused, stay solid,' and I think that helped."
By the final buzzer, CU had a 43-point lead over the Wildcats and had played nearly its entire bench, including walk-on guard Alexus Atchley in the final minutes. Weston, who was recruited to the team as a true point guard, gained a valuable 17 minutes of playing time at that position.
Four CU players - Roberson, Jeffery, sophomore guard Lexy Kresl and freshman forward Jamee Swan - scored in double figures, while five other CU players added at least six points.
"We have a lot of players that can score, and you could see that (Sunday)," Lappe said. "I thought our bench played great. From the very first second when the first one came in, we didn't slow down at all. In fact, we pushed the tempo . . . I think everybody that came off the bench was ready, brought a lot of energy, and there was no disruption of flow, so you have to credit our players for that."
All-conference guard Davellyn Whyte led the Wildcats in scoring with 11, nine of which were in the first half. Lappe said junior guard Brittany Wilson stepped up her defense on Whyte to shut her down in the second half.
"I thought Brittany did a really good job on her, staying down on her face," Lappe said. "Davellyn Whyte is a very talented player, has some great offensive skills, and I thought Brittany stepped up to the challenge."
Overall, CU shot 50 percent from the field and held Arizona to just 25 percent. The Buffs also out-rebounded the visitors 51-26, with Swan and junior guard Ashley Wilson recoding eight boards each.
Swan, who also added two blocks and two assists, said that while the margin of victory was unexpected, the level of play the Buffs showed was not.
"I don't think it was a surprise," Swan said. "I think we expect ourselves to do the best we can 100 percent of the time."
And while the Buffs' combined 51 rebounds, 21 assists and 79 points are something to be proud of, Kresl said Sunday afternoon wasn't about the stats.
"We all played together," Kresl said. "It was definitely a team effort and not one person was trying to get their points or steals or anything. It wasn't about statistics, it was all about the win and trying to play together."
Colorado improves to 15-2 overall and 4-2 in Pac-12 play, its best start since the 2003-04 NCAA Tournament team began its season 18-2. With the loss, Arizona falls to 11-6, 3-3.
Starting next week, the Buffs head to California for four straight away games. The first, at No. 7 California, is set for Friday at 9 p.m. MST.