Women’s basketball: CU Buffs stun Duke to advance to Sweet 16

Snapshot: CU Buffs WBB 61, Duke 53 (OT)

Turning point: Aaronette Vonleh hit back-to-back layups late in overtime to give the Buffs a five-point cushion that they carried to the finish.

Buff of the game: Quay Miller. Playing her best game in a few weeks, she posted 17 points and 14 rebounds.

What’s next?: Sixth-seeded Colorado will play second-seeded Iowa in the Sweet 16 on Friday in Seattle.

DURHAM, N.C. – There are easier ways to get from Boulder to Seattle, but for the Colorado women’s basketball team, a detour through North Carolina has made the journey sweet.

On Monday night, the sixth-seeded Buffaloes stunned third-seeded Duke, 61-53 in overtime at Cameron Indoor Stadium in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

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The Buffs (25-8) have advanced to the Sweet 16 for the seventh time in program history and for the first time since 2003. They will face second-seeded Iowa on Friday in Seattle.

This is the first time CU has advanced to the Sweet 16 from the road. The previous six times, the Buffs won games in Boulder to get to this point.

To do it, the Buffs dominated in overtime, outscoring the Blue Devils 11-3 in the extra period.

Quay Miller finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds for CU, just the 13th double-double in the NCAA Tournament in CU history. Jaylyn Sherrod had 14 points and Aaronette Vonleh finished with 12 points.

Vonleh scored back-to-back layups to give the Buffs a 56-51 lead with 1 minute, 35 seconds to play in overtime and the Buffs went 5-for-6 from the free throw line down the stretch.

CU was sizzling at the start, racing to a stunning 15-2 lead in the first 4:40 of the game. Miller had nine of those points, including a 3-pointer. Duke responded with a 7-0 surge, but the Buffs outscored the Blue Devils 6-2 in the final 3:11 to take a 21-11 lead after the first quarter.

In the second, CU had to weather foul trouble. Sherrod sat the last 6:01 of the half with two fouls, while Vonleh sat the final 3:14 with two. The Buffs also made just 5 of 17 shots in the quarter and racked up eight turnovers.

Despite all of that, the Buffs went into the break with a 32-26 lead. Duke made just 38.5% of its first half shots (10-of-26) and racked up 13 turnovers.

The third quarter got off to a bad start with Vonleh picking up her third foul just 11 seconds in. But, CU still held a 37-31 lead with 5:48 to go in the frame after Sherrod scored three straight points.

Duke took off from there, outscoring the Buffs 12-2 the rest of the quarter to take a 43-39 lead into the fourth. The Blue Devils snagged their first lead of the game on a Celeste Taylor layup with 1:37 to play in the quarter.

Colorado’s defense was relentless to start the fourth, shutting out the Blue Devils for the first six minutes of the frame. A put-back by Miller gave the Buffs a 46-43 lead going into the final four minutes.

Duke’s Elizabeth Balogun then hit a 3-pointer with 3:55 to go to tie the game. Moments later, Taylor got a steal and dished to Vanessa de Jesus for a 48-46 Duke lead.

A Taylor layup put Duke up 50-46 with 1:41 to go, but Sherrod raced to the other end for a layup to pull the Buffs within two. Sherrod hit another layup with 33.9 seconds to go and drew the foul, but missed the free throw, leaving the game tied at 50-50.

Duke missed a 3-pointer before the buzzer, pushing the game to overtime.

Colorado 61, Duke 53 (OT)


Sherrod 5-17 4-7 14, Jones 0-2 0-0 0, Formann 3-11 2-2 9, Miller 6-12 4-4 17, Vonleh 6-10 0-0 12, Sadler 2-7 0-0 5, Wetta 1-4 2-2 4, McLeod 0-0 0-0 0, Whittaker 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-63 12-15 61.

DUKE (26-6)

Taylor 3-14 2-2 8, Balogun 5-9 2-2 14, Brown 0-2 0-0 0, Richardson 4-12 0-0 10, Day-Wilson 1-9 2-4 4, De Jesus 3-5 2-2 9, Jackson 0-1 0-0 0, Corosdale 0-1 0-0 0, Oliver 2-4 0-0 4, Heide 1-3 2-2 4. Totals 19-60 10-12 53.

Colorado                     21        11        7          11        11        –           61

Duke                           11        15        17        7          3          –           53

3-point field goals – Colorado 3-11 (Formann 1-5, Miller 1-1, Sadler 1-1, Sherrod 0-3, Jones 0-1), Duke 5-23 (Balogun 2-5, Richardson 2-5, De Jesus 1-3, Taylor 0-5, Day-Wilson 0-4, Jackson 0-1). Rebounds – Colorado 44 (Miller 14), Duke 35 (Taylor 10). Assists – Colorado 9 (Sherrod, Miller 3), Duke 10 (Taylor 8). Steals – Colorado 11 (4 with 2), Duke 17 (Taylor 10). Turnovers – Colorado 23, Duke 21, Total fouls – Colorado 18, Duke 17. Fouled out – None.

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