ROME - Colorado head coach Linda Lappe was anticipating the opportunity to give her four new freshman valuable playing time during the team’s trip to Italy. She is getting exactly what she was hoping for, and possibly more.
Zoe Beard-Fails had 14 points and Bri Watts grabbed double-digit rebounds for the second straight game as Colorado blasted the Lazio All-Stars 96-22 Sunday at the Stella Azzurra.
All 12 Buffaloes scored with four in double-digits. Jen Reese, Brittany Wilson and Jamee Swan had 12 points apiece. Watts had a game-high 10 rebounds to go with five points and four assists.
Not to be outdone, freshman guard Desiree Harris had seven points and seven rebounds while classmate Haley Smith pitched in six points, three rebounds and three assists.
“(The freshmen) are doing a really nice job fitting in to what we are doing,” Lappe said. “They are getting a lot of minutes and they are capitalizing on that. We’ve seen some really good things from everybody and the freshmen are no different.”
Beard-Fails filled out her stat line nicely with five rebounds, four steals and three of assists while making 7-of-10 from the field.
“We had confidence and cohesiveness,” Beard-Fails said. “We have been spending a lot of time together (on this trip) on and off the court and it’s beginning to show.”
Sunday’s game was over quickly. Colorado scored the first 13 points and led 29-4 after the first 10-minute quarter. Wilson hit her first of three 3-pointers during CU’s opening run, setting the tone for the contest.
“We tried to set the tone to be quicker, and that carried through the game,” Wilson said
The Buffaloes hit 58 percent in the first quarter (11-of-19). Lazio managed just six field goal attempts hitting two, and had 14 turnovers in the first quarter alone.
Colorado built its lead to 49-4 at the half, and didn’t allow more than seven points in any one quarter. The Buffaloes final margin of 74 was its largest. Lazio was 6-of-44 from the field (14 percent) and it took a late 3-pointer by Sbolci to allow the all-stars to break 20 points. Lazio hit 9-of-16 from the foul line.
Colorado scored 64 of its points in the paint, many of them in transition, and scored 45 points of 32 Lazio turnovers.
The Buffaloes made 54 percent from the field. Swan and Reese each hit 6-of-8 from the field.
“We had a few goals for tonight and one of them was to be much sharper,” Lappe said. “We did a fantastic job defensively and that really spurred our offense, that allowed us to get stops, and we did a much better job converting in transition.”
Wilson echoed Lappe’s pregame plan of focus...”Our mindset was to come out more sharp and that took care of everything else. We were more aggressive on defense...we came out more intense and ready to play.”
Colorado will play its third off four games Monday at 7 p.m. local time, 11 a.m. MT, against Latina.