CU Buffs women’s basketball getting boost from post players

Quay Miller, Peanut Tuitele form solid duo in paint for No. 25 Colorado

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BOULDER, CO - Nov. 22, 2021: ...
University of Colorado Boulder’s Peanut Tuitele shoots past Samford’s Andrea Cournoyer during the November 22, 2021 game in Boulder. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

The majority of the roster for the Colorado women’s basketball team is filled with guards.

In the early going of the season, however, the Buffaloes are proving to have some firepower in the post, as well.

Senior Peanut Tuitele and junior Quay Miller have been an impressive 1-2 punch for the 25th-ranked Buffaloes (8-0), who will visit Southern Utah (4-4) on Tuesday.

“The best thing about it is that neither of them cares anything about accolades or glory or points,” CU head coach JR Payne said. “These two are two of the most selfless … like, ‘We just want to do whatever the team needs me to do.’

“That’s the most fun thing is that they’re just going to give you great effort, work hard, do their best. Whether they go 10-for-10 or 0-for-10 (on shooting), you’re going to get the same type of effort from both of them, which I love.”

CU is playing this season without center Charlotte Whittaker, who is recovering from hip surgeries, but so far the Buffs have made up for it with impressive play in the paint.

Miller, a 6-foot-3 center transfer from Washington, comes off the bench, but is second on the team in points (9.6 per game) and rebounding (5.4 per game). Tuitele, a 6-1 senior starter at forward, is averaging 7.4 points and 3.6 rebounds.

University of Colorado Boulder's Quay Miller ...
University of Colorado Boulder’s Quay Miller clears a path through Dixie State’s Emily Isaacson on Dec. 3, 2021.

Both are shooting at least 57% from the floor as they have formed one of the better frontcourt duos CU has had in recent years.

“Honestly, I think Quay has been a great addition to our team,” Tuitele said. “She brings a different skill set that we haven’t seen on our team and she’s very encouraging. She’s the first person you’ll hear when you come off the bench or when you have a bucket. She’s always the first one.”

The Buffs’ paint talent doesn’t stop with Miller and Tuitele, however.

Mya Hollingshed isn’t a traditional post, but the 6-3 senior is once again having a great season, with 13.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

Off the bench and in practice, the Buffs are also getting great work from 6-4 center Maura Singer, a sophomore who missed the previous three years with knee injuries. Singer has played just 22 minutes, but has given the Buffs quality depth and has been a beast in practice.

“She helps me a lot in practice, like being prepared to play 6-7 girls in PAC-12s,” Tuitele said. “I think Maura and Quay are really good. They’re physical, which is good for us. They do their jobs and they show up every day and provide the same effort and energy and we need that from all of the posts because we have deep posts.”

While the guards have done their part, the Buffs have leaned on their talented frontcourt to outscore the opposition 304-185 in the paint and out-rebound the opposition by an average of 7.5 boards per game.

That depth is something Miller wanted when she came to CU this summer. She was a starter at Washington last year, averaging 9.9 points and 6.0 rebounds, but is enjoying the challenge she gets from Tuitele, Singer and others.

“I love playing against them,” she said. “It’s fun because it’s out of love. And I know they’re trying to get me better going against Mya, Peanut, Maura, Kylee (Blacksten); they all make me better. … That’s the best part about being here.”