Just a few weeks ago the Colorado women's basketball team was flirting with a top-10 national ranking, but January has been cruel and suddenly the Buffs aren't looking like they belong in the rankings at all.

 No. 21 CU dropped its third consecutive game Friday night 70-60 at Washington State to fall to 11-5 overall and 1-4 in the Pac-12 Conference. The Buffs have lost five of their past seven games.

 Another loss Sunday at Washington and coach Linda Lappe's team will be officially in freefall.

 “Players got to really come together when this happens and it's another opportunity to bounce back,” Lappe said in a postgame interview with KKZN (AM 760) radio. “I wish we wouldn't have so many opportunities, but we won't take it for granted and we'll see if we can do it again on Sunday.”


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CU held a one-point lead at halftime thanks to a strong first half from forward Jen Reese, but it  scored just 15 points in the first 15 minutes of the second half to fall behind by double-digits.  

Reese had 13 points at halftime and finished as CU's leading scorer with 15. Arielle Roberson was the only other CU player to score in double digits with 13.

Surprising WSU (11-6, 5-0) remained perfect in the Pac-12 Conference and tied for the conference lead. Guard Tia Presley and Lia Galdeira each scored 17 points.

CU made just three of 18 3-point attempts facing a Washington State zone defense for long stretches. The Buffs also played zone and both teams had relatively few opportunities to score in transition.

“I think you always have to give the defense credit,” Lappe told KKZN. “They made shots tough. I thought we were a little hesitant on our shots maybe with our feet not being set. You have those bad shooting nights and when you have those bad shooting nights you have to find other ways to score.”

The Buffs have lost three straight for the first time since late January and early February last season. CU hasn't lost four in a row since a five-game skid late in the 2011-12 season.

Contact staff writer Kyle Ringo at ringok@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/kyleringo.