Buffs Take Care of Baylor in Big 12 Opener

The No. 14 University of Colorado women's basketball team took advantage of spectacular play from its starting lineup, which accounted for a combined 61 points, and held No. 24 Baylor at bay; claiming a 69-59 victory over the Lady Bears Wednesday night in Waco.

The win marked CU's first victory of the conference season, following an 11-1 non-conference campaign which saw the Buffaloes win eight straight and claim two tournament titles.

Colorado senior point guard Kate Fagan followed a career night in her team's non-conference finale Saturday against Buffalo, with a game-high 17-point effort against Baylor Wednesday night. Fagan shot 6-17 from the field and a lackluster 3-14 from beyond the arc, but managed to come through in the clutch.

CU senior center Tera Bjorklund was also instrumental in the victory; scoring 16 while finishing a single rebound away from her third double-double of the season.

Two other Buffs scored in double figures for CU on the night, as Veronica Johns-Richardson and forward Randie Wirt tallied 13 and 10, respectively.

Colorado opened the second half with Fagan's 3-pointer to go in front 39-16. But the Lady Bears reeled off 11 straight points, including seven by BU forward Steffanie Blackmon, and Baylor closed to 39-27.

The Lady Bears followed with back-to-back 3-pointers by Emily Niemann and Chelsea Whitaker to narrow Colorado's margin to 40-33 with just over 13 minutes remaining.

Baylor would never get any closer. Leading 43-36, the Buffaloes put together an 8-0 run and went ahead 51-36 with nine minutes left, effectively sealing the Buffs' ninth consecutive win.

The Lady Bears, who overcame a 36-16 halftime deficit to bring the second half margin to within six at one point, were led by Blackmon; who netted 15 in a game-high 28 minutes on the floor.

Baylor forward Sophia Young had also contributed a notable effort, dropping 14 in a 7-9 shooting effort working against CU's Bjorklund.

Colorado will have two full days to enjoy their most recent win, while preparing for the game of the early season this Saturday against No. 11 Kansas State. Tip-off is set for 11:30 A.M. at the CECC in Boulder.

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