BOULDER – Colorado’s offense continued to click as the No. 14/19 ranked Buffaloes sprinted past South Alabama, 94-61 in the first round of the Omni Hotels Classic Friday evening at the Coors Events Center.
Colorado (5-0) will play Rice (4-4) in Saturday’s championship game, set for 7:30 p.m. at the Coors Events Center. Rice squeaked by Samford 57-52 in the opener. South Alabama (0-5) will play Samford (1-4) in Saturday’s consolation at 5 p.m.
Colorado had five players score in double-digits for the third straight game and hit at least 80 points for the fourth consecutive contest, and 90 for the second time this year.
“It was another night with really good balance,” head coach Linda Lappe said. “Offensively, we moved the ball well. We had a lot of different players contribute; we scored on the inside, we scored on the outside. I really like the flow of some of the things we’re doing offensively.”
Colorado’s balanced shined once again as all 10 players that played scored, in fact that was achieved less than 10 minutes into the contest. Kresl scored 11 of her 12 points in the first half and keyed the Buffaloes fast start, drilling a 3-pointer that gave Colorado an early 11-2 lead.
South Alabama stayed close early on the heels of Rachel Cumbo, who hit two early 3-pointers, the second pulling the Jaguars to within six at 22-16 at the 11:10 mark of the first half.
From there the Buffaloes continued to roll. Colorado hit 57 percent in the first half alone en route to a 53-27 lead at the break, its most halftime points since putting up 53 against Southern Utah in 2009.
The Buffaloes dominated in the paint outscoring the Jaguars 40-14. The trio of Reese, Hargis and Swan were a combined 15-of-24 from the field. They also got it done at the foul line, making 12-of-13 combined, including a career-best 7-of-8 from Hargis.
Swan’s 16 points were a career high and came in a variety of ways, she had put back on offensive rebounds, mid-range jumpers and even a steal and coast-to-coast lay-in. She finished 7-of-10 from the field and grabbed eight boards, leading the Buffaloes in rebounding for the second straight contest.
“It was pretty even, it just came down to who wanted it more,” Swan said. “They were good on the inside and strong, but again, it came down to who wanted it more.”
Colorado as a team was outstanding from the line sinking 83 percent (20-of-24).
”We keep working on that every day,” Hargis said. “It was nice to get some fouls and get to the line.”
Reese was 6-of-8 from the field and pulled down seven rebounds. Ashley Wilson finished with six points, six rebounds and tied a personal best with four assists.
Colorado ended up at 52 percent for the game (34-of-65) and dished out 19 assists. The Buffaloes also enjoyed a 42-28 edge on the boards.
Cumbo had a game-high 19 points for South Alabama while Jennifer Johnson scored 18 off the bench.