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With the aim of getting tougher, CU Buffs take on Tennessee – BuffZone

University of Colorado Boulder's Quay Miller shooting at Thiam of New Mexico State on November 7, 2022.  (Cliff Grassmick/staff photographer)
University of Colorado Boulder’s Quay Miller shooting at Thiam of New Mexico State on November 7, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/staff photographer)

The Colorado women’s basketball team got off to a good start with a 4-1 win.

However, it’s not nearly as good as it should be.

CU lacked staying power early in the season, which doesn’t bode well for a team that relies on staying power.

“I think that’s where you can feel our frustration with some of the veterans and our coaching staff,” said CU head coach JR Payne. “We never have the greatest depth, the greatest athleticism, the greatest size, the greatest talent. But that doesn’t matter if you’re the tougher team, so we have to work daily to fix that.

Payne and her staff are working to rediscover that toughness when the Buffs play in Knoxville, Tenn., No. 23 Visit Tennessee (5 p.m. MT, SEC Network).

“To be honest, we just need to toughen up,” Payne said. “Is it hard what we do — play Division I, Power 5 basketball? Yes. But to be honest, we just have to get better, from head to toe. Be more disciplined, stand firm.

“As a group we still have a long way to go and culturally that’s who we are. We’re tough, we’re fearless, we’re not giving in – all those things, and we’re not there yet.”

CU defeated the Air Force 71-63 on Saturday, but it wasn’t a strong performance for the Buffs, who had to rally on their home court in the second half. CU has traditionally routed the Falcons, but in the last minute it was a one-possession game.

That win came three days after an 86-85 loss in overtime at Texas Tech. CU coughed up a 16-point lead in that loss.

“I definitely think we need to just latch on and focus,” senior Quay Miller said. “I think we are our own biggest competitor. We just have to work on the things we control, regardless of what umpires we get or who we might be up against. … It’s just how we approach the game, how we deal with shooting around and how we practice before the game.”