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Fagan's long distance show propels Colorado

3/23/2003

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- Shooting 12-for-20 from 3-point range, Colorado punished BYU from the perimeter, making the Cougars pay for their collapsing zone defense.

Kate Fagan scored 21 points, including 6-of-10 on 3-pointers,
and Colorado routed BYU 84-45 Saturday night in the first round of
the NCAA women's Mideast Regional.

Colorado, the No. 6 seed, will meet North Carolina, the No. 3 seed, in the second round Monday night. North Carolina edged Austin Peay 72-70.

Intent on stopping Tera Bjorklund, Colorado's 6-foot-5 center, BYU double- and triple-teamed Bjorklund.

That left Fagan and Sabrina Scott, who was 4-of-5 from 3-point distance, open on the outside.

"Obviously, I think the difference in the game was at the 3-point line,'' Colorado coach Ceal Barry said. "We were just really, really hot from the outside. I had a feeling Kate was going to come out hot.

"There was so much attention on (BYU's) Erin Thorn, and I felt
like Kate was going to come out shooting the ball. And Sabrina
(Scott) kind of matched her.

"We knew their focus was going to be on Tera, and we basically
said that other people needed to look for their shots.''

Barry also praised Maria Billingsley, who held Thorn, BYU's leading scorer, to 10 points -- all in the first half. Thorn was averaging 19.1 points.

"I thought Billingsley's defense on Thorn was a key,'' Barry
said. "She kept her focus and didn't get distracted with the
screens and some of the things that were happening inside.''

Scott added 12 points and eight rebounds for Colorado (23-7),
and Tera Bjorklund had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Fagan said she didn't feel especially hot. "I just tried to
take the shots in rhythm that we had in transition and some of the
ones in the flow of the offense,'' she said.

Bjorklund said she was "just waiting to see where the
double-team was coming from, and I was more than happy to kick it
out.''

BYU (19-12), which reached the Sweet 16 last year, was never a factor Saturday night.

"Colorado played an outstanding game,'' BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. "They have a lot of weapons, and their weapons were on full tank tonight. If they play that way, I can't see too many teams beating them on the way to the Final Four.

"We didn't play our kind of game. It just seemed like
everything we did went wrong and everything they did went right.''

Fagan had 15 points in the first half, including 4-of-8 on 3-pointers, as Colorado raced to a 43-18 halftime lead.

BYU opened with a collapsing zone defense in an attempt to stop the 6-foot-5 Bjorklund, and Colorado made the Cougars pay from the perimeter.

Scott hit three 3-pointers in the half, including back-to-back 3s that gave the Buffaloes an early 19-6 lead. Fagan's 3-pointer capped a 12-0 run that made it 34-10 as BYU went 6:50 without a point.

Two more 3s by Fagan and one by Scott produced a 43-13 lead with 2:01 left in the half.

Colorado outshot the Cougars 48 percent to 25 percent in the half, and BYU didn't go to the free-throw line in the half.

The Buffaloes used a 10-0 run early in the second half to build a 56-21 lead and eventually pushed its advantage to 42 points.