Heartache has become too common for the Colorado women's basketball team this season.
On Saturday, the spirited Buffs had all the energy they needed to win a game, but Utah walked out of Coors Events Center with a 61-56 overtime win.
"Our team has great heart and we had great effort today, it's just ..." freshman Jen Reese said.
She finished the sentence with a sigh.
With Saturday's loss, the Buffs (16-9, 5-9 Pac-12) dropped to 2-5 at home in Pac-12 play. This was the second loss suffered in overtime. In another one, the Buffs lost a double-digit second-half lead.
CU women's basketball schedule
Nov. 6 - CU 78, Regis 40, exhibition
Nov. 11 - CU 84, Northern Arizona 60
Nov. 16 - CU 71, Texas A&M 58
Nov. 20 - CU 72, CSU 53
Nov. 25 - CU 60, Valparaiso 32
Nov. 26 - CU 58, Wisconsin 48
Nov. 30 - CU 84, San Francisco 66
Dec. 4 - CU 68, Idaho 59
Dec. 8 - CU 71, Denver 36
Dec. 17 - CU 77, Weber State 59
Dec. 20 - CU 67, Texas-Pan American 49
Dec. 21 - CU 52, Creighton 49
Dec. 31 - CU 58, Utah 52
Jan. 5 - Washington 75, CU 67
Jan. 7 - CU 57, Washington State 56
Jan. 12 - California 68, CU 55
Jan. 14 - Stanford 80, CU 54
Jan. 19 - Arizona 64, CU 43
Jan. 22 - CU 56, Arizona 54
Jan. 26 - CU 69, USC 67
Jan. 29 - UCLA 62, CU 54
Feb. 2 - Oregon State 65, CU 45
Feb. 4 - Oregon 67, CU 62
Feb. 9 - CU 69, Arizona 59
Feb. 11 - Arizona State 60, CU 47
Feb. 18 - Utah 61, CU 56, OT
Feb. 23 - CU at Stanford, 8 p.m.
Feb. 25 - CU at California, 3 p.m.
Mar. 1 - Oregon at CU, 6:30 p.m.
Mar. 3 - Oregon State at CU, 4 p.m.
Overall, the Buffs are 1-5 in their last six games and dropped below the Utes (13-12, 6-8) in the standings.
"They're worse at home, because you never want to give anything up on your home floor," said junior Chucky Jeffery, who led the team with 15 points. "You're supposed to protect your home floor at all times. It's definitely worse."
Utah scored six unanswered points in the final 31 seconds of overtime. CU took a 56-55 lead on two Jasmine Sborov free throws with 56.8 seconds left, but Utah's Iwalani Rodrigues answered with a 3-pointer and the Utes made 3-of-4 free throws in the final 17 seconds.
CU made just 1-of-8 field goals in overtime, while Utah hit 3-of-4.
"In the overtime, we gave up too many points," CU coach Linda Lappe said. "You want to make sure you give up four points max in overtime. We had a couple of key letdowns defensively where we weren't just very smart and that really hurt us."
To get to overtime, CU needed a late rally. It was the second time this season the Buffs clawed out of a big hole late against the Utes.
Utah took a 48-40 lead on a Rodrigues 3-pointer with 7:09 to go in regulation.
That matched the eight-point deficit CU faced with 8:33 to go in Salt Lake City on Dec. 31. On that day, the Buffs outscored the Utes 14-0 the rest of the way to win.
History almost repeated itself Saturday, as CU went on a 10-0 run to take a 50-48 lead with 2:04 to play.
CU couldn't score after that, however, and the Utes buried a pair of free throws with 49.8 seconds left to tie the game at 50.
Despite Utah not hitting a field goal in the final 7:09 of regulation, a CU turnover and a Utah missed shot in the final seconds sent the game into overtime.
CU had plenty of chances in regulation, but missed six of their first seven free throws before going 6-for-6 in the final 7:04 of the game.
"The difference was free throws," said Jeffery, who was 0-for-3 at the line. "I didn't hit any of my free throws, so that's disappointing to know especially because the game can be won or lost by free throws. That's ultimately what it came down to, because we had effort. We played the entire time."
Lappe said she had no problem with what her players put forth.
"All in all, I thought we played Colorado basketball tonight and I haven't been able to say that for a while in terms of just our energy and enthusiasm and our effort," she said. "I was really happy with our team in those regards."
In the end, the great effort wasn't enough.
"That was a disappointing game for sure," Lappe said. "I thought we did work a lot harder. We didn't always work smarter.
"We're disappointed, but we've got to get back to work."