The Buffs’ 2016-17 season started with a bang. It ended on a whimper. Colorado fell to the Washington State Cougars, 67-56, on Saturday afternoon, bringing their final regular season record to a middling 15-14.
It was a rough night all-around for the Buffs. No one on the team seemed to want to score. Only sophomore guard Kennedy Leonard ended with double digits (17). Her productive second half kept the team in the game.
The final quarter proved dramatic. Colorado had worked its way back despite an anemic performance. With three minutes left, the Buffs only trailed by four after Leonard made a jumper.
Washington State went on a 9-2 run to close out the game. It was a bleak ending to a season that started off so strong.
Having won only seven games the previous year, Colorado went 10-0 to start off the season and entered conference play with only one loss. The team then had a dramatic falloff and went 5-13 in conference play.
The season finale seemed to encapsulate many of the problems that plagued the Buffs this season. Fouling was a sore spot in the loss — Colorado committed 24, allowing the Cougars to go to the line 30 times. If Washington State had done a better job converting at the line, the game would have been a blowout.
Two Buffs players even fouled out. Sophomore forward Makenzie Ellis and freshman guard Quinessa Caylao-Do both racked up five fouls. It was a tough sign for two players who saw significant time on the floor during the game.
Sophomore guard Ariana Freeman had a relatively good game off the bench. She finished with eight points, four rebounds and three assists. However, Freeman only shot 3-of-15 on the night. Her average was indicative of the poor 29 percent the team shot as a whole.
Colorado will look to finish the season on a high note on March 8, when the Pac-12 Tournament kicks off. The Buffs’ opponent has yet to be determined.
Contact CU Independent Managing Editor Jake Mauff at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter, @jake_mauff.