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CU head coach Linda Lappe’s team came up short just 30 miles south of Boulder.
The Buffs’ short, eight-person squad kept it close to Denver for most of the second half, but was not able to come back for the win.
At halftime, at DU’s Magness Arena, the Pioneers were up 39-32. The Buffs slowly closed the gap to 50-46 with 7:48 left in the game, and then rallied to a one-point lead (62-61) with two minutes left.
DU then pushed ahead again, due in large part to DU senior guard Britteni Rice, who made six free-throw points for the Pioneers in the game’s final minute. DU junior forward Kaetlyn Murdoch followed Rice’s points with two more free throws, scoring a total of 17 points for Denver.
Lappe said before the game that her team would need to “stay out of foul trouble,” which indeed proved to be a problem for the Buffs. The Pioneers took advantage of their opportunities on the line, making 22 of 25 free throws over the course of the game.
Although CU gained possession several times towards the end of the game, the team was unable to execute on the offense, giving Lappe her first loss as a CU coach.
Buffs freshman guard Brittany Wilson, who has been thrown into a central role on the court as part of Colorado’s eight-person team, kept the game close in its final minutes by making two driving layups. The effort did not turn into a win, though, and the Buffs were on the wrong side of a 70-69 score at the final buzzer.
CU senior forward Brittany Spears led Colorado in scoring with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore forward Meghan Malcolm-Peck added 14 points, five rebounds and three blocks. Sophomore guard Chucky Jeffery contributed 10 points and four assists.
The Buffs return home to the Coors Events Center to battle Santa Clara this Friday.
The original version of this story incorrectly referred to the University of Denver as the Patriots. This has been corrected to the Pioneers.
Contact CU Independent Sports Editor Brent New at Brent.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Staff Writer Caryn Maconi at Caryn.email@example.com.