Colorado women’s basketball team hands Utah its first loss of the season

Buffaloes win 77-67; No. 8 Utah falls to 14-1 overall and 3-1 in the Pac-12.

Colorado guard Frida Formann, shown during a game at Utah on Dec. 14, scored 20 points as the Buffaloes beat the Utes on Friday night in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/Tyler Tate)

Boulder, Colo. • Frida Formann and the tenacious Colorado Buffaloes never let Utah get comfortable.

All part of the plan to disrupt the Utes. Along with it, their winning streak.

Formann scored 20 points, Jaylyn Sherrod had 16 and Colorado beat No. 8 Utah 77-67 on Friday night, sending the Utes to their first loss of the season.

Aaronette Vonleh added 15 as the Buffaloes (13-3, 3-1 Pac-12) posted their first win over an AP top-10 team since knocking off No. 1 Stanford 77-72 in overtime on Jan. 17, 2021.

“It was just really good to execute our game plan so well — just felt like we really made them so uncomfortable the whole game,” Formann said. “We love that. That was really good.”

The loss by the Utes (14-1, 3-1) leaves only three undefeated Division I women’s basketball teams — No. 1 South Carolina (15-0), No. 3 Ohio State (16-0) and No. 7 LSU (15-0). Utah was led by Jenna Johnson, who scored all 17 of her points in the second half. Leading scorer Alissa Pili finished with 14 points, which was below her average of 19.7.

“It was not pretty, not a thing of beauty,” Utah coach Lynne Roberts said. “It’s one of those things where they just disrupt you with their physicality.”

Formann’s 3-pointer with 7:05 remaining extended Colorado’s lead to 14 points. The Utes rallied late and cut the deficit to 65-61 with just under three minutes remaining. Quay Miller scored four straight points to give the Buffaloes some breathing room.

Relying on tenacious defense, Colorado held the Utes well below their average of 88.7 points. Utah shot 39.3% from the floor, including 10 of 26 from 3-point range, and turned the ball over 21 times.

“They play so pretty, their basketball offensively is so smooth and free flowing,” said Colorado coach JR Payne, whose team avenged an 85-58 loss at Utah on Dec. 14. “We just wanted to be able to try to limit their comfortability on the offensive end of the floor. I think we did that pretty well.”

Formann drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Colorado a 31-24 lead at halftime. It was a rough first half for the Utes, who committed 12 turnovers and shot 8 of 30 from the floor.

“Honestly, I think it’s just us versus us. We really just need to figure out what’s going on on our offense and just how to work together and make it flow smoothly,” Pili explained. “Once we do that, we’ll be better.”


Utah: The Utes are set to fall after achieving their highest AP top-25 ranking in program history. They also saw their string of five straight road wins snapped.

Colorado: The Buffaloes moved to 7-0 at home this season. They dominated points in the paint by a 46-24 margin and held a 21-4 advantage in fast-break points.


New Colorado football coach Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders showed up with athletic director Rick George midway through the second quarter. ... Utah forward Dasia Young ended up on the broadcast table diving after a loose ball early in the second quarter. ... Miller had 12 points and six rebounds before fouling out with 39.8 seconds remaining. ... Formann had four 3-pointers.


Utah: Hosts Arizona State on Friday night.

Colorado: Hosts No. 15 Arizona on Friday night.