The University of Colorado women’s basketball squad hit the road for Eugene, Oregon, to take on the Ducks. The Buffs were seeking to improve their 1-5 Pac-12 Conference record and despite a team-high 21 points from sophomore guard Kennedy Leonard, who also led the team with six rebounds and seven assists, Colorado was unable to keep the Ducks in check, losing 71-66.
Junior center Zoe Correal got the Buffs started, scoring the team’s first points of the game. Sophomore forward Makenzie Ellis nailed a three-pointer with 6:25 left in the first quarter, putting CU within one point of the Ducks while they maintained a 6-5 lead. Another three, this time by sophomore guard Alexis Robinson and some free throws by Leonard put the Buffaloes up 11-10 after one quarter of play.
The Buffaloes would maintain a 31-29 lead heading into halftime, outscoring the Ducks slightly, 20-19. Colorado shot 11-of-33 from the floor in the first 20 minutes and had a slight edge in the rebounding department, snagging 19 boards to Oregon’s 18.
In the third quarter, Colorado fell behind as the Ducks took a 42-36 lead with 5:20 left before the final quarter. At one point in the third quarter, the Buffaloes failed to score a basket for 2:55. Leonard drained a three-pointer, bringing her to 16 on the night with just under 20 seconds left in the third quarter, keeping Colorado alive. The Buffs trailed 49-45 at the end of three quarters of play.
The Buffaloes came close multiple times in the final ten minutes of play but were unable to take command of the game. The Buffs trailed 56-50 with a bit over six minutes remaining in the contest. Senior guard and forward Haley Smith and Ellis capitalized with some three-pointers, bringing the Buffaloes within one with just 4:56 left in the game. Smith finished with 10 points, good for second on the team.
The Ducks managed to maintain a lead of more than one possession for much of the remaining time on the clock. A layup by Correal got Colorado within four with 1:20 left and the Buffs trailed 68-64 after an Oregon timeout with 27 seconds left.
The Ducks converted some free throws, giving them a 71-64 edge while a tip in basket by the Buff’s guard Robinson was not enough, as the they fell, 71-66. The loss surely leaves a bitter taste in the mouth for the Lady Buffaloes, who for the third straight game led at halftime only to falter in the second half.
Colorado will next take on No. 11 Oregon State on the road. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. MST this Sunday.
Contact CU Independent Head Sports Editor Justin Guerriero at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo