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Opening day in women's hoops has historic loss by defending champs and stellar play by freshmen

APTOPIX LSU Colorado Basketball
Posted at 1:34 PM, Nov 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-07 18:41:55-05

It was a wild and historic opening day in women’s college basketball with a monumental upset and stellar debuts.

Seven months after LSU won the national championship, the Tigers became the first No. 1 team to lose their season opener in 28 years when they were stunned by No. 20 Colorado 92-78. UConn was the last team to do it according to ESPN when the Huskies were No. 1 to start the 1995-96 season and fell to Louisiana Tech. They were also the defending NCAA champions that year as well.

CU women's basketball beats LSU 92-78

"For a game like this that a large part of the world said no to and a large part of the world said why would you play that game? It was everything that we wanted," head coach JR Payne stated after the win. "We wanted a challenge and we wanted to take our team into the national spotlight so that I can show the world how great they are. I'm really proud of how we played, proud of how we competed and it's a great start to the year."

The Buffs were led by Frida Formann, Jaylyn Sherrod and Aaronette Vonleh who all returned to the Buffs from last year's Sweet 16 squad, the school reported. While up by 11 in the final quarter, Colorado went on an 11-0 scoring run to take its largest lead of the night at 77-55. During that run, the Tigers were unable to score for 2:19, the report reads.

A bunch of freshmen had stellar debuts. Juju Watkins scored 32 points to help No. 21 Southern Cal shock seventh-ranked Ohio State.

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