"I felt like we were never able to get the momentum," said CU head coach Ceal Barry, who claimed her 400th win with the University of Colorado in her team's first round win over Idaho State. "We played and never lost the lead but we just couldn't get it going. We're happy to get the win, get our record to 5-1, and go into December with some confidence, but there is a lot that we need to improve on."
The Buffaloes opened the season claiming victory in the WBCA Classic, beating Old Dominion and Notre Dame on its way to its first tournament title of the year. CU beat Harvard 85-81 in the first game of the Subway Classic in Minneapolis, but dropped a 95-61 decision to Minnesota in the championship game, its only loss on the season to date.
Wednesday night's game will represent the 35th meeting between the two rivals with the Buffaloes holding a stark 25-9 advantage in the all-time series. The Rams have won the last two meetings in Fort Collins, in 1999 and 2001 and have won three of the last four games, losing a 65-51 decision last season in Boulder.
Colorado State dropped a 75-61 decision to Boston College in the championship game of the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational in their last decision. The Ram effort was led by sophomore guard Vanessa Espinoza, who had a career-high 16 points in the loss. All-tournament member Melissa Dennett scored 13 points and senior guard Jasai Ferrucho had 10 along with a team-high five assists.
"I was disappointed with our post game tonight," CSU head coach Chris Denker told reporters after Boston College broke his team's three-game win streak. "We also got beat off the dribble a lot. We played with a lot of intensity at the beginning of the game, but it was kind of a wild intensity."
Colorado, who moved passed LSU, Utah, and Oregon to No. 17 in the most recent AP NCAA Women's Basketball Poll released Monday, still has nonconference foes Washington, USC, Wyoming, Syracuse, and Buffalo prior to beginning Big 12 play against Baylor in Waco, TX on Jan. 7.