Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jake Mauff at email@example.com
The Colorado Buffaloes (6-19, 1-12) collapsed late in a loss against the Oregon Ducks (19-6, 7-6) Sunday night, 77-70. Colorado still only has one win in conference play, and remains in last place in the conference standings.
On Sunday, it was certainly a tale of two halves for the Buffaloes. The team came out of the gate strong, pushing to a nine-point lead to end the first quarter. This was highlighted with freshman guard Kennedy Leonard’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the quarter, and Colorado’s stiff defense, which limited Oregon to two made field goals of their 13 shots in the first ten minutes.
Colorado played well to start out the second quarter as well. It pushed to a double-digit lead halfway through the period, leading by as many as 14 points. It was at that point midway through the second quarter that the Ducks began a comeback. After chipping away at the Buffaloes’ lead for the remainder of the half, Oregon reduced Colorado’s lead to two points.
Oregon’s comeback was propelled by senior forward Jillian Alleyne. Foul troubles plagued the Buffs’ bigs, allowing Alleyne to attack in the post or get fouled trying. Troubling coverage from a revolving door of defenders led to a 26-point performance by Alleyne.
Alleyne was followed by freshman guard Maite Cazorla. The freshman has won the Pac-12 freshman player of the week the previous two weeks. With her showing against Colorado, it’s easy to see why. She had 23 points and led the team with five assists.
Fouling wasn’t an isolated incident for the Buffs. As a team, they were whistled 30 times. Oregon went to the charity stripe 37 times in response, gathering 24 points.
Two players fouled out for Colorado, as freshman forward Makenzie Ellis and junior forward Zoe Beard-Fails both collected five fouls. This is especially damning considering the team only had eight players come onto the court throughout the game, leaving an already thin rotation void of substitutes toward the end of the game. Junior forward Lauren Huggins was held out of the game, even though she played in Friday’s loss to Oregon State.
The lack of depth for Colorado also didn’t help rebounding. Colorado’s forwards were unable to box the Ducks out, as they were outrebounded 42-27. The team’s leading rebounder was a member of the backcourt, Kennedy Leonard, who grabbed seven. This allowed Oregon to score an additional 21 points off of their offensive rebounds.
Colorado’s offense showed a good game statistically. They converted on turnovers, amassing 28 points on 17 Oregon turnovers. This helped the team shoot 47.5 percent from the field. Leading the offensive charge was freshman guard Alexis Robinson. She led the team with 17 points and four assists.
This good outing does come with a grain of salt. It was a tough game on turnovers, seeing the Buffs cough the ball up 14 times. Most of these occurred in the second half, during Oregon’s comeback.
Mistakes like these lose teams games. Colorado made a number of them with fouling and turnovers during the second half. The team shot better in the last twenty minutes, making more than half of their shots. They went to the line the most in the third and fourth quarters. It wasn’t enough to counteract Oregon, even though they had a two point lead.
The Buffs will look to end their losing streak on Friday when they host the no. 13 Stanford Cardinal (20-5,10-3). Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. (MST) from the Coors Event Center.