In preparation for the start of the regular season next Sunday, the CU women’s basketball team blew out Regis University 86-44, in an exhibition game at the Coors Events Center on Sunday afternoon.
Head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said she was pleased with her team’s performance, but admits there are still areas to work on before the season starts.
“I thought the ball pressure was great on the defensive end, causing 34 turnovers, easy buckets in transition, this group likes to get out and run and I thought their decision making was very good,” McConnell-Miller said.
“Free throws are a concern, this is very uncharacteristic for this group, because every day in practice it’s a focus and I don’t think we’re ever less than about 78 percebt from the free throw line.”
CU finished 16 for 25 from the charity line, a very low number since free throws have been an emphasis with the team since the start of practice.
“Our free throws we definitely need to work on,” said redshirt-sophomore Kelly Jo Mullaney. “We’ve been doing that a lot in practice so it’s kind of surprising that we’ve missed our free throws because of how much time we do spend on it in practice.”
Mullaney had 16 points, three rebounds, and three assists in her 22 minutes played against Regis.
After having to sit out a year per NCAA rules after transferring from Colorado State, Mullaney said it felt good to be back on the court in a game situation.
“It felt great, it was a good game to get under my belt, to play with my teammates and the chemistry on the floor was amazing,” Mullaney said. “It was great to be out there and play a game after two years of sitting out basically.”
A surprise for CU was the play of freshman Alyssa Fressle who played the most minutes on the team with 33 and led the Buffs in points with 18, while posting seven rebounds and three assists in her first collegiate game.
“I had some jitters, but I think that was normal,” Fressle said. “It was good to get this game out of the way and focus on a real game next Sunday.”
McConnell-Miller said Fressle’s play helped ignite the team not only on offense but on defense as well.
“I think she ignited everything on the defensive end, the amount of ball pressure she gives us really allows other players to take chances, gets deflections, and creates time constraints for the other team which forces them to take tough shots,” McConnell-Miller said.
The Buffs never trailed in the contest and started the game on a 16-3 run, which featured four 3-pointers.
Colorado went 4-for-4 from the three-point line in the first four minutes of the game, but then went 1-for-8 in the next eight minutes of the first half.
CU finished 8-for-23 from beyond the arc, something that McConnell-Miller did not especially like.
“I’m okay with the four for four, I’m not ok with that one for eight,” McConnell-Miller said. “Making eight is fine, taking 23, we’ve done worse, but we definitely need to shoot a higher percentage because we have some players who can make those shots.”
Except for a few minor details, it seemed like the Buffs were clicking on all cylinders in this warm up game.
However, McConnell-Miller said they need to do a better job in the rotation of players and in the preparation for the opposing team, before next Sunday’s season opener against Central Florida at 2:30 P.M. at the Coors Events Center.
“I think a better rotation for me, I think better combinations of players, and really what we’re running with, with those groups of players,” McConnell-Miller said. “Not taking so many chances on the defensive end, and hopefully having a little better preparation for what [the other team] is supposed to run.”