BOULDER – Reigning Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Year Arielle Roberson scored a game-high 20 points to lead Colorado to a 91-42 women’s basketball exhibition win over the Colorado School of Mines Saturday night at the Coors Events Center.
In her first game action since last March, Roberson had a solid all-around game. She hit 8-of-14 from field and recorded six rebounds, three steals and two assists.
“I was anxious for this one, but the next one will be a lot better because it’s against (Colorado State), so that will be fun,” Roberson said. “I just feel ready to get out there, ready for the season to start officially. I’m excited to get back on the court with my team and keep working towards our end goal.”
In all the Buffaloes had five players score in double-digits. Lauren Huggins, coming off a stress fracture that sidelined her for all but five games last year, drilled 5-of-9 from 3-point range to finish with 15 points. Sophomore forward Jamee Swan had 13 points off the bench on a perfect 5-of-5 from the field. Lexy Kresl and Ashley Wilson each had 10 points.
Missing the services of starting point guard Brittany Wilson for this game as she continues to recover from a foot injury, Colorado counted on the combination of Kresl and Jasmine Sborov at the point. The duo did a fine job in the back court running the offense. The Buffaloes had 18 assists on their 31 field goals; six from Kresl and five from Sborov.
An added plus was the number of weapons available. All nine players who saw game action scored. After a slow start from the field, Colorado shot 52 percent in the second half.
Huggins was able to stretch the Colorado Mines defense hitting her five 3-pointers from various points, and a couple well beyond the arc. The Littleton, Colo., native thrived off screens and found herself with plenty of wide open looks.
“I owe all of those shots to great passes and great screens,” Huggins said. “We played very cohesively as a team and it’s exactly what we worked on in practice, so it feels pretty good.”
Good looks at the bucket proved to be a worthy theme for the Buffaloes. Head coach Linda Lappe was particularly pleased with the team’s passing and shot selection.
“Sometimes in games like this, you can get into, ‘It’s my turn to shoot.’ We never did that,” Lappe said. “I can count on one hand the times that we actually took a bad shot. We took the shot that we should have taken, we made the pass that we should have made, and that was really good to see from our team.”
Colorado led from the beginning, building a double-digit lead less than 10 minutes into the game. The Orediggers stuck around in the first half by getting to the line. New rules that went into effect during the offseason limit the amount of contact a defender can have with an opponent. Mines seized that opportunity against an aggressive Colorado defense to get to the line in the first period, making nine free throws. From the field the Orediggers could only muster five field goals on 20 attempts (.250).
Colorado’s defense played well enough in the first 20 minutes for a 41-21 halftime lead. The Buffaloes then broke the game open early in the second half, opening the period on a 13-2 run to push the lead over 30. The Buffaloes led by as much as 52 (88-36) with just under three minutes remaining.
The Buffaloes controlled the paint, outscoring Colorado Mines 34-16. Colorado also took advantage of 25 turnovers while limiting their own to just 10. The Buffaloes outscored the Orediggers 33-8 off takeaways.
Tory Langas led Colorado Mines with 11 points, hitting 5-of-6 from the line.
Colorado will return to action and officially open its 40th season of women’s basketball on Tuesday, Nov. 12, as the Buffaloes travel to play Colorado State in Fort Collins in a 7 p.m. tip.