No. 14 Buffs Come Back to Survive USC

The No. 14 University of Colorado women's basketball team overcame a 12-point halftime deficit, rallying behind a 19-point effort from senior center <b>Tera Bjorklund</b>, as the Buffs shot .462 from the floor and claimed a slim 69-67 victory over USC Saturday night in Los Angeles.

Three other Buffs accounted for the majority of the remaining Colorado offense. Freshman guard Emily Waner came off the bench to add 15 points and hit a perfect 3-3 from beyond the arc, helping to lift Colorado's team three-point mark to 5-8 on the night.

Randie Wirt and Kate Fagan also broke double figures in CU's eighth win of the season, posting 12 and 10, respectively.

USC refused to test the daunting defensive presence of Bjorklund inside, deciding instead to focus on attacking a depleted Colorado backcourt. The Lady Trojans tossed up 20 three-pointers on the night and making seven for a .350 average. Freshman Eshaya Murphy led the longball charge for the Women of Troy, posting a 3-8 mark from beyond the arc, finishing with a co-game-high 13.

Senior Ebony Hoffman also put the lucky number on the scoreboard, after shooting 4-9 and grabbing a team-high eight rebounds.

USC made half the shots they took in the first half (16-for-32), but were just 8-for-27 (29.6%) in the second half.

Colorado held a seemingly secure seven-point lead with 1:41 remaining before Kate Fagan, who'd made 21-of-22 charity tosses entering the game, missed two free throws. She went 5-for-8 from the line as USC fouled their way back into the game. The Lady Trojans fought their way to within two before their final attempt with 12 seconds remaining.

Amber Metoyer scored six points in 24 minutes of work in her first career collegiate start filling in for the injured Veronica Johns-Richardson. VJ was sidelined for Saturday night's game after developing stress fracture in her left foot this week in practice.

"I'm just going to go out there and perform like I normally do, like I was coming off the bench," Metoyer said this week in anticipation of her first start. "I'm just going to treat it like any other game and just go out there and play hard, and play for the team to get this win on the road because they're a tough team."

Colorado is one of five ranked teams in the Big 12 conference. Texas (5), Texas Tech (7), Kansas State (8), and Oklahoma (13) are the others; combining to post an imposing 34-3 nonconference mark. The conference has produced an 80-18 mark on the young season, with no team having won less than five, or lost more than three games.

The Lady Buffs (8-1) now return to Boulder to close out its out-of-conference schedule with a three-game homestand which will bring Wyoming (12/28), Syracuse (12/30), and Buffalo (1/3) to the Coors Events Center before CU opens its Big 12 season back on the road against Baylor on Jan. 7.

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