What went right: The Buffs played good enough defense during the first three quarters and kept their turnovers down to stay in the game.
What went wrong: CU's offense once again fell apart, especially in the fourth quarter.
Star of the game: Haley Smith. The junior led the team in points (16) and rebounds (eight) and kept them in the game for three quarters.
What's next: The Buffs host No. 20 UCLA on Friday at 7 p.m.
For three quarters on Sunday, the Colorado women's basketball team did all it could to hang with one of the top teams in the country.
In the fourth quarter, the Buffaloes couldn't get out of their own way.
No. 11 Oregon State took advantage of CU's miscues down the stretch to hand the Buffs a 61-47 defeat at Coors Events Center.
"You have to give Oregon State credit," Buffs head coach Linda Lappe said. "They stuck with it and kept at us and they have great depth."
Haley Smith scored 16 points to lead the Buffs (5-14, 0-8 Pac-12), who lost their ninth consecutive game.
It was Smith who had the Buffs within striking distance. She had a six-point flurry late in the third quarter and then buried a jumper nine seconds into the fourth to pull the Buffs within 49-43.
Oregon State (16-3, 7-1) held the Buffs to four points the rest of the way. CU went 1-for-9 from the floor with six turnovers during the last 9:50. The Buffs had five turnovers through the first three quarters.
"That's been a habit of ours," Lappe said. "In the fourth quarter we seem to have had too many in the last few games. Really that's when you want your turnovers to be nothing or next to nothing."
It was another frustrating game for the Buffs, who continue to struggle offensively.
They came into the night shooting just 34.6 percent from the floor in conference play, and they hit 34.4 percent (21 of 61) of their shots against Oregon State. Smith was the lone bright spot, hitting eight of 13 shots.
This was the third game in a row that CU had a win in sight during the fourth quarter, but in all three they faltered down the stretch.
"We're working on being able to finish games and to be able to take what the defense is giving us and know that they're going to make mistakes and that we're going to be able to get back in games," Smith said. "I think we just kind of lost that focus there at the end."
It hasn't helped that senior forward Jamee Swan continues to battle through back pain. Swan missed a pair of games early in the month with a back injury and in the four games since, she is 10-for-50 (20 percent) from the floor, including four for 16 on Sunday. Swan made 49.7 percent of her shots before the injury.
Lappe, however, downplayed the impact of Swan's injury on her performance.
"I don't think if you're hurting it affects your shot, necessarily," Lappe said. "It might affect your ability to move and do some different things like that. I feel like Jamee is moving really well. I'm sure her back bothers her, but probably not a whole lot more than it did prior. She has to get back in the flow and let the game come to her."
Junior Lauren Huggins left the game after a physical play late in the fourth and was "shaken up" after that play, Lappe said. ... OSU centers Ruth Hamblin and Marie Gulich combined for 28 points and 15 rebounds. They helped the Beavers out-rebound the Buffs 47-32 and out-score them 30-18 in the paint. ... The nine-game losing streak is CU's longest since an 11-game skid during the 2004-05 season.
Oregon St. 61, CU 47
At Coors Events Center
OREGON ST. (16-3, 7-1 Pac-12)
Hunter 0-4 0-0 0, Hamblin 8-12 4-8 20, McWilliams 0-3 3-4 3, Hanson 2-8 4-4 9, Weisner 5-9 2-4 14, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Siegner 0-3 2-2 2, Orum 1-3 2-2 4, Gulich 4-6 0-0 8, Hill 0-0 0-0 0, Wiese 0-3 0-0 0, Kalmer 0-3 1-2 1. Totals 20-54 18-26 61.
COLORADO (5-14, 0-8)
Swan 4-16 0-1 8, Robinson 1-5 2-2 4, Leonard 2-11 1-2 6, Smith 8-13 0-0 16, Huggins 2-7 0-0 4, Ellis 1-2 0-0 2, Thomas 1-2 0-0 2, Correal 1-3 0-0 2, Beard-Fails 1-2 1-2 3. Totals 21-61 4-7 47.
Score by quarters:Oregon State 20 12 17 12 — 61 Colorado 14 13 14 6 — 47
3-point field goals — Oregon St. 3-15 (Weisner 2-2, Hanson 1-4, Hunter 0-1, Siegner 0-1, McWilliams 0-2, Wiese 0-2, Kalmer 0-3), Colorado 1-7 (Leonard 1-2, Smith 0-1, Thomas 0-1, Huggins 0-3). Fouled Out — None. Rebounds — Oregon St. 47 (Gulich 10), Colorado 32 (Smith 8). Assists — Oregon St. 12 (Siegner 3), Colorado 11 (Leonard 5). Total Fouls — Oregon St. 9, Colorado 22. A — 1,711.