Playing in front of crowd at the Coors Events Center that included at least 1,000 red-clad Husker fans, Nebraska extended its school-record winning streak to 19 games and improved to 19-0 on the year. Colorado slipped to 12-8 on the year and 2-5 in the Big 12.
Senior All-America candidate Kelsey Griffin surpassed the 1,700-point mark in her career with 24 points and five rebounds to lead four Huskers in double figures. The 6-2 power forward from Eagle River, Alaska, had her streak of six consecutive double-doubles snapped, but Griffin added three assists and two steals in the game.
Junior guard Dominique Kelley added 18 points and a pair of assists, while taking a pair of charges to help lead the Husker defense. Senior forward Cory Montgomery added 11 points and a team-high six rebounds, while senior guard Yvonne Turner added 11 points of her own, including a trio of three-pointers to finish with nine points. Senior guards Kala Kuhlmann and Nicole Neals also played big roles off the bench, by each contributing six points. Freshman point guard Lindsey Moore added seven assists.
Nebraska hit better than 50 percent of its shots from the field (28-51) for the ninth time this season, but the Huskers were outrebounded for the first time in Big 12 play (36-27), and just the third time all season. NU also hit 6-of-15 three-pointers and 18-of-30 free throws. Nebraska did produce a plus-eight turnover margin (20-12) on the game.
"We didn't play our best game of the season, but anytime you can win on the road in the Big 12, you better celebrate," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "Our players continue to show their toughness and they executed when it mattered most in one of the toughest places to play in our league. It is another great win for our team, and we're definitely excited about it."
Nebraska, which joins Connecticut as one of just two unbeatens in the nation, notched its 16 double-digit victory of the season, while improving to 9-0 on the road this season, including to 4-0 in Big 12 play.
Chucky Jeffery led the Buffs with 14 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, while Bianca Smith pitched in 14 points on a trio of threes off the bench. CU star Brittany Spears managed 10 points and nine rebounds. Courtney Dunn rounded out a trio of Buffs in double figures with 10 points.
CU hit 44.2 percent (23-52) of its shots from the field, including 5-of-15 three-pointers, while hitting 13-of-18 free throws.
Leading just 38-33 early in the second half, Neals hit one of NU's biggest shots of the game with a three from the right wing to push NU's lead back to eight at 41-33. Kelley followed with a driving layup and completed a three-point play after being fouled by Jeffery to extend the Husker edge back to double-digits at 46-35.
The Huskers were able to trim the margin back to six at 50-44 with 12:02 left, before Griffin and Kelley combined for eight straight points to push NU's margin back to double-digits at 58-46 with 9:04 left. The Buffs would not cut it to single-digits again, as NU built the lead as large as 19 points before settling for the 16-point win.
Nebraska controlled the game throughout the first half, building a 14-point lead before a pair of Bianca Smith threes cut the Husker edge to 37-29 at halftime. Kelley led the Huskers in the opening period with nine points, while Griffin added eight points, four boards and two steals. Eight Huskers scored in the first half, as NU hit 52 percent (13-25) of its shots from the field, including 3-of-7 three-pointers and 8-of-11 free throws. NU also outrebounded CU, 16-15, while producing a plus-three turnover margin (10-7).
Smith led the Buffs with eight first-half points, while Jeffery and seven and Smith and Dunn pitched in six points apiece, all in the final 3:30 of the half. CU hit 11-of-26 first-half shots, including 3-of-9 threes, with all three coming in the final 2:30. The Buffs hit 4-of-5 free throws.
The Huskers return to Lincoln for a pair of Big 12 home games against top-15 teams next week. Nebraska begins its two-game stand against Big 12 South foes on Wednesday when the Huskers take on No. 15 Oklahoma State at 7:05 p.m. The Cowgirls entered the weekend in sole possession of second place with a 5-1 Big 12 mark. On Saturday, Feb. 6, the Huskers will collide with No. 8 Texas A&M. Tip-off against the Aggies is set for Noon. OSU plays at Texas A&M on Sunday, Jan. 31, at Noon, with live television coverage on FSN.
Tickets are available right now through the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office at Huskers.com, or by calling 1-800-8-BIG-RED during regular business hours Monday through Friday. General admission adult tickets start at just $5, while youth general admission tickets are just $3. Children 6 and under and University of Nebraska students (with valid N-Card ID) get in free.