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Colorado uses strong second half to down Drake


MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Aaronette Vonleh had 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead fifth-seeded Colorado to an 86-72 victory over 12th-seed Drake in the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament on Friday night.

The Buffaloes will face fourth-seeded Kansas State in the second round Sunday.

Colorado (23-9) also got 16 points from Jaylyn Sherrod and Kindyll Wetta, and Maddie Nolan had 12. The Buffs held a 39-18 advantage on the boards.

Drake (29-6) got 24 points from Katie Dinnebier. Courtney Becker added 14 and Taylor McAulay had 13.

The Buffaloes opened the third quarter with a 14-3 run to grab a 60-44 lead midway through the quarter. Drake had a chance to cut the deficit to single digits, but Anna Miller missed two free throws trailing 60-49. The Buffs scored the next seven points to open their largest lead of the game to that point. They led 71-53 at the end of the third quarter. Colorado held Dinnebier scoreless in the third quarter.

Drake didn't get closer than 13 points in the final quarter.

Drake jumped out to a 9-0 lead, but it didn't take long for Colorado to respond. When Sherrod converted a tradiitonal 3-point play, the Buffaloes led 13-11. Colorado took a 24-21 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Buffaloes extended the lead to 12 points on a 3-pointer by Tameiya Sadler and a layup by Sherrod with 7:09 left in the second quarter. But this time Drake responded. The Bulldogs cut it to 42-41 with 2:32 left.

The Buffaloes took a 46-41 lead to the locker room. They were led by Vonleh with 14 points and 8 each from Sherrod and Nolan.

Drake was led by Dinnebier, who had 18 points. Becker added 9.


Drake: The Bulldogs needed more production from players other than Dinnebier, especially in the first half, when she scored almost half her team's points.

Colorado: The Buffaloes' size and pressure gave Drake fits. The Buffs had big advantages on the boards and in points off turnovers.


Colorado will face Kansas State (26-7) in the second round on Sunday.


AP March Madness bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-womens-bracket/ and coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness