Duke women’s basketball falls to Colorado in OT in second round of NCAA Tournament
Duke women’s basketball team watched its season come to an end in the same manner many of its losses occurred. The Blue Devils just couldn’t muster enough offense when it mattered.
No. 6 seed Colorado (25-8) closed the game on an 15-3 run between the end of regulation and overtime to defeat No. 3 seed Duke 61-53 in Cameron Indoor Stadium in the NCAA Tournament’s second round. The Buffaloes advance to the Sweet 16 in Seattle Region 4.
Duke (26-7) held a 50-46 lead with 1:41 left in regulation thanks to a Celeste Taylor layup. It was one of only three field goals the Blue Devils made in the fourth quarter.
That allowed Colorado to tie the game on a pair of Jaylyn Sherrod layups. Sherrod, who had 14 points, had a chance for a three-point play to give the Buffs the lead with 34 seconds left in regulation, but missed her free throw.
Duke’s Shayeann Day-Wilson had a chance to win the game on their final possession in regulation. She came off a pick for a clean look just left of the top of the key, but the shot was long. Day-Wilson finished just 1-for-9 and missed all four of her 3s.
As a team, the Blue Devils missed all seven of their field goal attempts in overtime and finished the game shooting just 31 percent from the field.
Colorado was just good enough in the extra period, getting a jumper from Frida Formann and a pair of layups from Aaronette Vonleh to take a 56-51 lead and they never looked back.
Formann, who had 21 points and five 3-pointers in the Buffaloes’ first round win over Middle Tennessee State, was locked up most of the game by Taylor. Formann had nine points and was just 1-for-5 from 3.
Taylor nearly posted a quadruple double with eight points, eight assists, 10 rebounds and 10 steals.
The Blue Devils played from behind most of the game. They trailed the entire first half and for most of the third quarter before Reigan Richardson helped spark a 12-2 run by making a pair of 3-pointers. Taylor gave them their first lead at 41-39 with a steal and layup.
Jordyn Oliver’s short jumper to end the third quarter gave Duke all the momentum headed into the fourth quarter. But another scoring drought set in as Colorado went zone.
Duke went scoreless for the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, allowing the Buffs to erase its modest four-point lead to start the period.
Elizabeth Balogun led the Blue Devils with 14 points and Richardson added 10.
Duke got off to a slow start, watching Colorado score 10 of its first 15 points in the paint to take a 13-point lead not even halfway through the first quarter.
The Buffs’ frontcourt, led by a pair of 6-foot-3 forwards in Vonleh and senior Quay Miller, got all the shots it wanted early on. When Duke fronted Vonleh in the post, the Buffs just threw over it. Vonleh finished with 12 points. When it pushed Miller out to the perimeter, she stepped back and make jumpers.
Miller, who scored 15 of her 17 points in the first half, was the reason why Colorado held off the Blue Devils as their offense began to find a rhythm.