The University of Colorado women’s basketball team fell to the Washington State Cougars Sunday at the Coors Events Center, 80-77.
Colorado (14-11, 4-10) held a lead with 2:17 left in the game after trailing Washington State the entire second half. But as has been the story for much of the season, the Buffs were one shot away from the win, as sophomore forward Jamee Swan failed to get a shot off after catching junior forward Jen Reese’s full court inbounds pass with 1.1 seconds remaining.
“The throw was just a little, about less than a foot, too deep,” head coach Linda Lappe said of Reese’s pass, which Swann caught inside the three-point line with insufficient time to get in position to take a game-tying three-point shot.
The Buffs have lost five of their last seven games. Sunday’s latest blow was the third of those losses that was by three or less points.
“I really believe you have to take the positives out of it,” Lappe said. “We’re staying in games.”
Colorado’s forwards continue to shoulder the scoring load, as Swan and Reese led the Buffaloes with 19 points each.
Senior guard Brittany Wilson left the game about 12 minutes into the second half with an apparent head injury after taking a charge on a Washington State fast break. She did not return.
Following Wilson’s exit, fellow senior guard Ashley Wilson, Brittany’s twin sister, proceeded to score the next five points for the Buffs and would finish the game with 12. Despite the absence of Brittany, who is the Buffs’ leader in minutes played and the third-leading scorer this season, Colorado was able to narrow down the Cougars’ nine-point lead at the time of Wilson’s injury, and even retook the lead briefly in the game’s final three minutes.
“We’ve done that all year. If somebody goes down, somebody else steps up,” Lappe said.
Ashley Wilson contributed 10 of her 12 points in the second half. She was three for six from the field and made six of ten free throw attempts.
“She’s being more aggressive overall,” Jen Reese said of Wilson’s performance.
With 12.3 seconds remaining, Cougars sophomore guard Lia Galdeira went to the free-throw line and made both shots, putting the Cougars up 79-75. On the next possession, Reese managed to make a shot for the Buffs, once again bringing Colorado within two points. But after junior forward Shalie Dheensaw went one for two at the free-throw line for the Cougars, Colorado couldn’t convert on their last chance inbounds from Reese.
Junior guard Tia Presley led Washington State (14-12, 8-6). Her 32 points were five shy of a career high.
The Buffs head to Arizona next weekend, wrapping up their away schedule with games at Arizona State on Friday and Arizona on Sunday.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Sam Routhier at Samuel.firstname.lastname@example.org.