Colorado 70, No. 8 Louisville 66

Despite its lofty ranking, No. 8 Louisville had an idea what

kind of fight it was in for against unranked Colorado.

”We knew coming out here that this was going to be a very good

test for us,” Cardinals coach Jeff Walz said. ”We were aware that

Arielle Roberson is a big-time post player and Chucky Jeffery is a

great point guard and I felt from film that they were the best

overall team we had played.”

Colorado justified Walz’s concerns.

Jeffery had 22 points and seven rebounds, and Roberson added 13

points as the Buffaloes beat Louisville 70-66 on Friday night.

Jen Reese added 11 points and sealed the win with a rebound

basket for Colorado (9-0), which beat a top 10 team for the first

time since defeating No. 2 Stanford in the round of 16 during the

2002 NCAA tournament.

”We expect this outcome,” Colorado coach Linda Lappe said. ”I

know on paper it might seem to be unexpected, but this is what we

expected.”

Historically, the Buffaloes haven’t played well in these sort of

games. They are only 62-142 against ranked opponents.

But this is a different Colorado team. The Buffaloes are 9-0 for

second straight year and fourth time overall.

”We weren’t intimidated,” Jeffery said. ”We can’t afford to

be intimidated.”

Louisville was missing sophomore forward Sara Hammond because of

a death in her family. Hammond, who is averaging 11.2 points and a

team-leading 7.8 rebounds, didn’t travel with the team.

Antonita Slaughter paced Louisville (9-2) with 19 points.

Shawnta Dyer had 14 points for the Cardinals, who finished 3 for 19

from 3-point range and lost for the second time in three games.

”We had our chances in the second half,” Walz said. ”We just

didn’t take care of things.”

The Cardinals trailed by six at halftime, but dug in defensively

to hold Colorado scoreless for nearly 5 minutes at the start of the

second half. Their offense couldn’t take advantage, though,

managing only two baskets by Dyer during that same stretch before

Roberson sank two free throws to make it 38-34.

Dyer got Louisville as close as 41-40 with a rebound basket with

14:01 left, but the Cardinals couldn’t get over the hump. Jeffery

put Colorado ahead 48-43 with four straight free throws before

Slaughter answered with a 3-pointer.

The Cardinals managed only a free throw by Jude Schimmel over

the next 3 minutes as Colorado outscored Louisville 12-3 to build

the lead to 60-51.

Slaughter closed the gap to 68-66 with a basket. Brittany Wilson

missed both free throws with 11 seconds left, but Reese got the

rebound off the second miss and put the ball back up to seal the

win.

”Rebounding was our biggest problem tonight,” said Slaughter,

pointing to a 44-32 rebounding edge for Colorado. ”We were told to

beat this team, we had to rebound and you saw what happened at the

end.

”It wasn’t just that play,” she added. ”During the whole game

we missed a couple of missed shots.”

Outhustled and outrebounded 19-12, Louisville trailed 36-30

going into the break. Shelby Harper’s two free throws put the

Cardinals ahead 8 minutes into the game but Colorado came roaring

back, with Jeffery and Lexy Kresl making 3-pointers to give the

Buffaloes a 23-16 lead.

Jeffery scored on a baseline drive and a 3 to make it 30-22.

Louisville got the deficit down to four points, the last time on

Slaughter’s two free throws before a layup by Rachel Hargis pushed

Colorado’s lead back to six at halftime.

The Buffaloes had a 10-2 scoring edge on second-chance

points.

”It was game of missed boxouts,” Dyer said. ”There were too

big boxouts that we weren’t able to get.”