Following a solid 76-66 home win over the Oregon Ducks this past Sunday, the University of Colorado women’s basketball team hit the road for Seattle to take on Kelsey Plum and the No. 11 Washington Huskies.
Standing in the way of the Buffs was Plum, who is the Pac-12 Conference’s all-time leading scorer and is the only player in conference history, male or female, to record 3,000 collegiate points.
At the end of the first quarter, Colorado trailed just 20-18, but from there, the Buffs were unable to keep things even relatively close, as the Huskies outscored CU 59-28 in the final 30 minutes of play.
The beginning of the game did not go according to plan for Colorado. Within two and a half minutes, the Buffaloes trailed, 10-0, with sophomore guard Alexis Robinson finally netting CU’s first points with a long ball at the 6:56 mark.
An early nuisance for the Buffaloes was the Huskies’ Chantel Osahor, who scored Washington’s first 10 points of the game and was a menace near the glass. She led all scorers with 19 points in the first half and dominated near the glass, snagging 20 rebounds on the day. The Huskies won the rebounding duel against the Buffs, 49-37.
The Buffs managed to battle back, and a three-pointer by senior guard Lauren Huggins made the score 15-10 Huskies. Colorado went down, 20-12, with 2:49 left in the quarter but managed to score six unanswered as the quarter came to an end. At the start of the second quarter of play, CU trailed 20-18, the closest it had been to Washington, and the closest it would get for the rest of the game.
Colorado got off to another slow start in the second quarter. After about three minutes, Colorado was down by nine, 29-20. At the 5:46 mark, the Buffs faced a 31-20 deficit.
Plum made a free throw with five seconds left in the quarter and Washington maintained a 38-27 lead as both teams headed to their locker room.
Colorado was led by senior guard Haley Smith in the first 20 minutes, as she added eight points and snagged four rebounds. The Buffs managed to outshoot the Huskies by halftime with a 37 percent make rate compared to UW’s mark of about 35 percent.
Plum blew up in the second half, tallying 16 points in the final 20 minutes. Colorado took a minor moral victory in the fact that Plum was held to 25 points, which was a bit under her season average of 30.7 points per game.
The third quarter saw Colorado fail once again to score a basket for the first few minutes of play. This time, the Buffs were unable to score until nearly a quarter of the way through the period. By the end of the third quarter, Washington had taken a 20-point lead thanks to free throws made by Plum as the clock wound down. The Buffs entered the final 10 minutes of play down, 59-39.
The final quarter saw the Huskies run away with things, as Washington gained a 30-point lead for the first time with about seven minutes remaining and never looked back.
Smith led the team with 16 points as the Buffaloes (15-13, 5-12 Pac-12) fell on the road. It was a quiet day for the rest of the Buffaloes. Robinson added seven and sophomore guard Kennedy Leonard was held to just five on the day. She made just 1-of-10 attempted baskets during the game.
Turnovers hurt Colorado in the loss, as the Huskies capitalized and scored 19 off of the Buffs’ mishaps. The home team also edged the Buffs in second chance points, 15-6.
Up next for Colorado is the final game of the regular season, a road matchup against the Washington State Huskies on Saturday, Feb. 25. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. (MST)
Contact CU Independent Head Sports Editor Justin Guerriero at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo.