No. 20 Colorado lived up to Jaylyn Sherrod’s team mantra of “will over skill,” taking down defending national champion and No. 1-ranked LSU, 92-78, in the season opener in Las Vegas.
The Buffaloes went up 10, 57-47, with 2:36 remaining in the third quarter on Frida Formann’s triple from just left of the top of the key and kept the defensive intensity up on the Tigers.
Formann scored 27 points, knocked down 7 of 11 from 3-point range, and added five rebounds and five assists. She delivered in big moments while leaning on Sherrod and forward Aaronette Vonleh, who made 11 of 15 from the floor to finish with 24 points and six rebounds. LSU had no match for Vonleh, and Colorado was fearless attacking the paint.
Colorado shot 43.5 percent from 3-point range and dealt LSU head coach Kim Mulkey her third career opening-game loss. Mulkey said last week that Colorado was “playing LSU at the right time” because of the many new players the Tigers are breaking in this season.
Freshman Mikaylah Williams scored a team-high 17 points for the Tigers. LSU All-American Angel Reese had 15 points and 12 rebounds but missed nine of her 15 shots. Senior guard Hailey Van Lith, a coveted transfer from Louisville, had 14 points, seven assists and four turnovers. She made 4 of 11 shot attempts.
Quay Miller buried a 3 with 2:33 remaining in the game to nudge the lead to 88-71 but LSU’s Amani Bartlett, who made a layup before the 3 by Miller, hit a jumper to put the Colorado lead back down to 15.
Sherrod’s steal with 2:16 left salted things away for the Buffaloes. She had 19 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals.
After falling behind in the first quarter, Colorado led 38-32 at halftime thanks to Sherrod’s 12 points and four rebounds.
–Field Level Media