Frida Formann scores 23 points, No. 7 Colorado women beat Air Force 74-58

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) — Frida Formann scored 23 points and No. 7 Colorado used a big second quarter to beat Air Force 74-58 on Saturday.

Formann was four points shy of her career high set in Colorado’s win over then-No. 1 LSU in the season opener and finished 5 of 9 from 3-point range. Sara-Rose Smith, with 11 points, was the only other Colorado (8-1) player to score in double figures.

Taylor Britt led Air Force (4-4) with 13 points.

The Buffaloes used their size advantage to hold a 49-30 edge in rebounding and outscored the Falcons 40-26 in the paint. Colorado has three rotation players listed at 6-foot-3 while Air Force doesn’t have a player taller than 6-feet.

“They’re basically all guards on their team and they have some really scrappy 6-foot players,” Formann said. “We were really conscience about trying to get the high-low because they were fronting.”

Colorado started slowly for the second straight game but didn’t wait long to get going. The Buffaloes led by two late in the first quarter but began to pull away, taking a 19-13 advantage into the second quarter.

“Our offense feeds off of our defense and whenever we get stops we go in transition to get easy shots,” Formann said. “We were also good on the (offensive) boards; we kept giving ourselves extra opportunities.”

Formann hit two free throws to give Colorado a double-digit lead and then the defense took over. Air Force missed its last 11 shots of the second quarter and didn’t score after Madison Smith’s jumper with 6:45 left in the half. The Buffaloes had the last 13 points and outscored the Falcons 21-8 in the quarter to lead 40-21 at intermission.

“In spurts we were really good,” head coach JR Payne said of the defense. “The second quarter was fantastic; everything was tough. It was hard for them to get a good, clean look.”

Air Force ended its seven-minute drought on the first possession of the second half to start a 9-4 run. The Falcons got as close as 47-34, but the Buffaloes pulled away with a 9-2 run to end the quarter.

“I didn’t think our defense was bad, they were hitting shots,” Payne said.

BIG PICTURE

Air Force: The lack of size was a problem against the bigger Buffaloes but the Falcons weren’t shy about playing in the paint. They have dropped three straight but can turn things around with three more home games before traveling to Clemson on Dec. 19.

Colorado: The No. 7 ranking is secure after two impressive bounce-back wins this week. The Buffaloes have one more game before a 16-day break, and don’t hit the road again until Jan. 5.

UP NEXT

Colorado: Hosts UT Arlington on Wednesday.

Air Force: Host UC-Colorado Springs on Wednesday.

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AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball