The University of Colorado women’s basketball team continued its horrendous start to conference play with a 66-68 last-minute loss to No. 14 Arizona State University on Sunday.
On their home floor in the Coors Events Center, the Buffaloes (12-7, 2-6) had the ball with 21 seconds to go and the score knotted at 66-66. But after a turnover by senior guard Brittany Wilson, freshman guard Lauren Huggins was forced to foul Arizona State senior guard Adrianne Thomas on the subsequent fast break. With four seconds left, Thomas made both free throws, giving the Sun Devils a two-point lead. On the ensuing Colorado inbounds, Wilson’s travel turned the ball over again and handed possession — equaling the win — to the Sun Devils. It was Colorado’s fifth loss in six games.
“Everything bad that could have happened did happen at the end of that game,” a frustrated Colorado head coach Linda Lappe said.
Wilson said after the final whistle that Lappe had focused on the team’s need to improve closing out games.
“We had the game,” Wilson said. “We just need to finish.”
Junior forward Jen Reese led Colorado with her second consecutive 22-point game, matching her career high. Reese also had 22 points in Friday’s win over the University of Arizona (68-47).
“She [Reese] was a huge reason why we were in that game,” Lappe said.
Sophomore forward Jamee Swan fouled out with two minutes and 43 seconds remaining. She had 10 points and seven rebounds along with two blocks. Swan has now started seven of the last nine games for the Buffs after seeing little action earlier in the season.
Last week, the Buffs weren’t ranked in the AP top 25 for the first time after 25 straight appearances in the poll. Since their first loss of the season to Louisville on Dec. 21, the Buffaloes are 3-6 after a 9-1 start. All of their losses except for the one at Louisville have come from within the Pac-12 conference.
Colorado looks to return to their winning ways at 7 p.m. on Wednesday when they take on University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
Throughout Sunday’s game, CU honored many of its women’s basketball alumnae as part of the school’s celebration of the program’s 40th year. Colorado’s first women’s athletic director Jane Wahl, who oversaw the introduction of women’s varsity sports at CU in the 1970s, became the first ever recipient of the Jane Wahl Legacy Award at half time, an award named in her honor.
Contact CU Independent staff writer Sam Routhier at Samuel.firstname.lastname@example.org.