Facing an injured opponent is not always as easy as it seems. The Arizona Wildcats will face just such a situation when the Buffaloes come to town on Sunday. Colorado started the season 13-0 but will come to Tucson on a three-game losing streak. Can the home team make it four?
When Mya Hollingshed announced she would return for her super senior season, Colorado head coach JR Payne was to be one of America’s happiest coaches Hollingshed was one of the Pac-12’s most underrated stars for most of his career.
The return of Hollingshed and the play of Jaylyn Sherrod and Frida Forman propelled Colorado to a perfect record in non-conference play. They also got a huge boost from transfer Washington Quay Miller, who is averaging 12.4 points per game off the bench.
Still, that 13-0 record came with question marks for the Buffs. It was a weak non-conference program. What would they do once they had to face teams like Stanford?
The answer came in their first Pac-12 game. The Buffaloes started well, collecting 10 interceptions and taking the lead in the first quarter on their home field. The Cardinal calmed down, however, and took the other three quarters to claim victory.
Since then, Colorado has lost two on the road, including a tough overtime game in Tempe when ASU finally opened Pac-12 play on Friday night. To send the Buffaloes into a four-game skid, the Wildcats will likely have to play the same way as the Sun Devils: fight and fight.
Colorado has the No. 32 defense in Division I women’s basketball according to the statistics service His hoop stats. Arizona is eighth. The Wildcats also have the superior offense, ranking 28th to the Buffaloes’ 65th.
Both play at a slow pace. Arizona has 68.4 possessions per 40 minutes to Colorado’s 68.5. That puts them at No. 283 and No. 282 respectively out of 356 DI teams.
Can the Wildcats extend the Buffaloes’ misery? It could play out in the fourth quarter, just like Arizona’s last five games.
No. 22 Colorado (13-3, 0-3) @ No. 10 Arizona (13-2, 3-2)
When and where: The game kicks off at McKale Center in Tucson, Arizona at 12 p.m. MST on Sunday, January 23.
TV: The game will be broadcast on Pac-12 Mountain.
Radio: Brody Dryden’s radio call will be at 1400 AM (KTUC). The show is also available online at The university network Or on the station website.
Rankings and ratings: Arizona is ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 9 in the USA TODAY Sports/WBCA Poll. The Wildcats are No. 10 in the Internet and No. 9 in Ranking Her Hoop Stats.
Colorado is ranked No. 22 by the AP and No. 23 by the coaches. The Buffaloes are No. 34 in the NET and No. 49 according to Her Hoop Stats.
Screenings: His hoop stats give the Wildcats an 86.8 percent chance of winning at home and predict 65 points for Arizona to 53 for Colorado. Arizona would also have a significant advantage on neutral ground or in Colorado according to the statistics service.
Adia Barnes says: “Colorado is different (from Utah). So (Utah) is a very offensive team. I think Colorado is more defensive, scrappy, plays an aggressive zone, very different, has a little more athleticism to inside, so I think it’s a tough weekend for us.
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