No. 5 CU Buffs women's basketball completes road sweep at Arizona State

Jan. 7—TEMPE, Ariz. — The Colorado women's basketball team will take a win any time. Particularly on the road in conference play.

Yet after Friday's win at Arizona in the first Pac-12 Conference road game of the season, head coach JR Payne expressed a slight level of frustration at an effort that featured 19 turnovers and sketchy defense that kept the Wildcats' upset bid alive until the final buzzer.

Payne wanted to see her club return to Colorado basketball, and the fifth-ranked Buffaloes delivered on Sunday. CU buried Arizona State in the first half to complete the road sweep, topping the Sun Devils 81-68 in at Desert Financial Arena.

It was the seventh consecutive win for the Buffs, who also secured the program's first 3-0 start in conference play since the 1996-97 season. The Buffs secured their first sweep of the Arizona trip since the 2012-13 season and recorded just their seventh two-game road sweep since joining the Pac-12.

It was a big afternoon for CU's frontcourt tandem of Aaronette Vonleh, who went 10-for-15 with 20 points, and Quay Miller, who posted her fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Vonleh briefly left the game in the first half after rolling her left ankle but soon returned.

"I think that our main focus was to just play our kind of basketball," Miller said. "Whatever was going to open up for us, that's what we were going to go with. Fortunately, they forgot to guard one of our biggest weapons (Vonleh). So we just kept going to her."

CU enjoyed a fast start, scoring the game's first nine points while the Sun Devils missed their first six shots. But the hosts rallied, with ASU taking an 18-17 lead with 2 minutes, 45 seconds left in the first quarter. The Buffs, though, took control from there.

The Buffs scored the next 12 points and, after ASU stopped the run, CU immediately reeled off the next 14 points in a row. Following that one-point lead for the Sun Devils, the Buffs outscored ASU 33-7 for the remainder of the half to take a 50-25 lead at halftime.

Even with an ice-cold fourth quarter, the Buffs shot an even 50%, hitting that mark for the sixth time this season. CU recorded 21 assists on 28 field goals for its 11th 20-assist performance of the season.

Still, it wasn't a flawless performance by the Buffs, who finished just 19-for-32 at the free throw line and struggled to the finish line in the fourth quarter as ASU trimmed what had been a 28-point Buffs lead late in the first half down to 10.

"In this league, where everybody is so good, you have to be consistent," Payne said. "You can't play so well, and then so poorly. We've got to be able to balance that out. In spurts I thought we played really, really well. Shared the ball. Tons of assists on the number of field goals and things like that. Just a poor fourth quarter. We weren't getting stops. We were fouling a lot. The clock kept stopping. We were getting to the free throw line but missing free throws. It just was very clunky down the stretch."


CU point guard Jaylyn Sherrod scored only nine points but it was enough to move into 22nd-place on the program's all-time scoring list. With three steals, Sherrod increased her career total to 236 to move into a tie for ninth all-time. ... After entering the game 22-for-22 on free throws this season, CU's Frida Formann went 0-3 at the line. ... ASU's Jayln Brown finished with a career-high 35 points, the most by any ASU player in 24 years. ... The Sun Devils have lost 26 of their last 27 regular season conference games (28 of 29 including the league tournament).

COLORADO (13-1, 3-0)

Sherrod 3-6 3-4 9, Formann 5-7 0-3 13, Q. Miller 1-8 9-10 11, Vonleh 10-15 0-4 20, Nolan 3-6 2-2 11, Wetta 2-2 2-3 6, Smith 2-5 0-0 4, Whittaker 2-5 3-6 7, Sadler 0-1 0-0 0, Atchison 0-0 0-0 0, McLeod 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-56 19-32 81.

ARIZONA STATE (8-7, 0-3)

Simmons 3-10 3-6 9, Crisp 2-9 7-8 12, Thompson 0-4 0-0 0, Brown 11-23 11-12 35, Sousa 4-5 0-0 10, Toure 0-1 2-2 2, Magolico 0-3 0-2 0, M. Miller 0-2 0-0 0, Novosel 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-58 23-30 68.

Colorado 25 25 21 10 — 81

Arizona State 18 7 24 19 — 68

3-point field goals — Colorado 6-20 (Sherrod 0-1, Formann 3-5, Q. Miller 0-4, Vonleh 0-1, Nolan 3-6, Sadler 0-1, Smith 0-1, Whittaker 0-1); Arizona State 5-16 (Simmons 0-2, Crisp 1-3, Brown 2-7, Sousa 2-2, M. Miller 0-1, Novosel 0-1). Rebounds — Colorado 37 (Q. Miller 10); Arizona State 41 (Simmons, Brown, Sousa, Magolico 5). Assists — Colorado 21 (Sherrod, Wetta 6); Arizona State 13 (Simmons 5). Turnovers — Colorado 13 (Q. Miller 5); Arizona State 16 (Simmons, Toure 3). Total fouls — Colorado 25; Arizona State 16. Attendance — 1,362.