What went right: For three quarters, CU played solid basketball and maintained the lead almost the whole time. The Buffs played solid defense and got contributions from several players offensively.
What went wrong: During the final nine minutes, the Buffs were a different team. They allowed Utah to dominate the game, and that cost the Buffs a chance at a win.
Star of the game: Jamee Swan. The senior had 24 points, seven rebounds and four blocks to keep the Buffs in the game all afternoon.
What's next: CU will play at No. 9 Oregon State on Friday at 8:30 p.m. MST.
The opportunity for a victory was there almost all afternoon for the Colorado women's basketball team.
In the end, though, Utah took that opportunity away and handed the Buffaloes another disappointing loss.
CU was dominated down the stretch Sunday and fell to the visiting Utes, 76-68, at Coors Events Center.
"You have to give Utah a lot of credit," CU head coach Linda Lappe said. "They did a nice job of capitalizing on our mistakes in that fourth quarter and really were the aggressors, and we stopped doing the things that made us so successful in the first three quarters."
CU (6-17, 1-11 Pac-12) was seeking its second consecutive home win, and had a five-point lead early in the fourth quarter before the Utes (14-9, 6-6) turned it on.
Jamee Swan, who had 24 points, scored on a put-back to give CU a 59-54 lead with 8 minutes, 39 seconds to play.
Over the next six minutes, Utah outscored the Buffs 18-4, including a 3-pointer from Paige Crozon that served as a dagger with 2:52 to go.
"I think it was more what we stopped doing," Lappe said. "We stopped doing all the things that made us successful in the first three quarters that gave us that lead. We stopped controlling the tempo. We let basically all of their players do what they're most comfortable doing."
It was a great start for CU, which closed the first quarter on a 10-0 run and led by as many as eight points in the second.
Utah got off to a slow start, but connected on 58.5 percent of its shots in the last three quarters.
The Buffs also lamented the opportunities they gave themselves, but didn't convert. They had 20 offensive rebounds, but only nine second-chance points. They also forced Utah into 20 turnovers, but scored only 20 points off of those.
"We didn't use our opportunities wisely," said freshman Alexis Robinson, who had 13 points. "I think we played really hard the first few quarters. It's frustrating to see it slip away like that, knowing we had it right in our hand."
Junior Lauren Huggins returned after missing three games because of a concussion. She had seven points and three rebounds off the bench. ... Freshman Makenzie Ellis had a season-high nine points. ... The Buffs fell to 5-2 on the season when leading at the half, and 6-3 when leading after three quarters. ... CU was swept by the Utes this season, also losing 71-55 on Thursday in Salt Lake City. ... The all-time series between the teams is now tied at 14-14.
Utah 76, Colorado 68
UTAH (14-9, 6-6 Pac-12)
Nawahine 4-8 2-3 10, Potter 5-11 3-3 13, Boclair 1-4 0-0 2, Crozon 3-8 1-2 10, Rodriguez 4-10 4-4 12, Bowie 0-0 0-0 0, Bean 3-3 1-1 7, Owens 0-0 0-0 0, Kuklok 2-2 4-4 10, Fatuesi 6-9 0-1 12. Totals 28-55 15-18 76.
COLORADO (6-17, 1-11)
Smith 2-7 2-2 6, Swan 10-17 4-5 24, Correal 0-1 0-0 0, Robinson 5-15 2-4 13, Leonard 2-11 0-0 4, Ellis 3-7 3-4 9, Watts 0-0 0-0 0, Thomas 2-4 0-0 4, Huggins 2-3 1-2 7, Beard-Fails 0-2 1-4 1. Totals 26-67 13-21 68.
Utah............9 21 21 25 - 76
Colorado ....16 16 23 13 - 68
3-point goals - Utah 5-9 (Crozon 3-6, Kuklok 2-2, Nawahine 0-1), CU 3-11 (Huggins 2-3, Robinson 1-3, Leonard 0-4, Thomas 0-1). Rebounds - Utah 36 (Crozon 8), CU 37 (Swan 7). Assists - Utah 12 (Nawahine 6), CU 14 (Leonard 7). Turnovers - Utah 20, CU 13. Total fouls - Utah 24, CU 23. Fouled out - Potter. A - 1,785.
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