The 9th ranked Oregon State Beavers Women’s Basketball team heads back to Gill Coliseum fresh off a sweep of the Washington schools to take on the Colorado Buffaloes in game 22 of the season. Tip-off is slated for 7 PM PST on Friday, February 1st. Watch it live on the PAC-12 Network or check out the team’s Twitter page for other ways to follow along live. Let’s take a closer look at the Buffaloes.
Colorado (10-9 overall, 0-8 conference)
Last season: 15-16 overall, 5-13 in PAC-12 (9th), no postseason
In the midst of a tough midseason stretch, the Colorado Buffaloes are seeking their first PAC-12 win of the year. The Buffs are coming off a weekend where they hosted the Bay Area schools, including the top-ten ranked Stanford Cardinal. The Buffs actually gave the Tree a scare (even without their best player), heading into halftime with a 36-28 lead. Stanford won the third quarter by a 20 point margin to take the game.
Things don’t look any better for the Buffaloes over the next three weeks as they hit the road to the Oregon schools, followed by hosting the LA schools, and then heading to the desert. If they want to improve upon last year’s record, they’ll want to get Kennedy Leonard back on the court; more on her in bit.
The head coach for Colorado, JR Payne, is in her third season after a successful two year stint at Santa Clara. In her first season in Boulder, the Buffaloes won their first 10 games en route to a 17-win season, making it to the third round of the WNIT. It’s looking like the Buffs may not be able to repeat that this year despite having one of the best players in the conference.
Who to watch
#20 - Kennedy Leonard, Senior Guard
The star of the show, Leonard may not make it on the court for the showdown in Corvallis as she has sat out the last five games due to a foot injury. According to an article from buffzone.com, Leonard is missing time for the first time her her career after having played in 108 straight games, including 107 starts. The two-time All-PAC-12 performer leads the team points, assists, steals, free-throws made, and minutes. Last year she had 19 points and 7 assists against the Beavers.
#21 - Mya Hollingshed, Sophomore Forward
A year ago, Hollingshed broke out in these teams’ lone meeting with a 22 point performance. She nailed six three-pointers in what was her best game of the year in her reserve role. Now a starter, the 6’4’’ sophomore has turned into a solid contributor, averaging 11.2 points per game. While she may not be the three-point shooter she was a year ago, she has developed into a decent rebounder, leading the team with 6.8 per contest.
#2 - Alexis Robinson, Senior Guard
The senior guard rose her game against ranked Utah and Stanford teams the last two weeks with 24 and 25 point performances with the absence of Leonard. While she is second on the team in points per game at 11.3, she requires a lot of shots for that claim having attempted 237 shots this year while just hitting 32.1% of them. Last year against the Beavers, she was 4-of-18.
If Leonard has to sit out another game, this likely doesn’t look good for Colorado. While they are on an eight game losing streak, they are competitive when Leonard is on the floor. Leonard is the type of player that gives Oregon State fits as she nearly averages three steals a game. Even if she does play, as long as the Beavers can find their range (like they did against Washington, but not Washington State), they should cruise to victory.