The Colorado women's basketball team had some lofty goals to start the season. The Buffs and coach Linda Lappe weren't shy about saying they thought they could compete for a Pac-12 Conference title and make a second straight trip to the NCAA tournament.

It would be premature to say those goals are no longer attainable, but if the Buffs don't fix whatever is ailing them quickly, they will be in big trouble.

The Buffs lost their fourth consecutive game 81-71 Sunday night at Washington. It was the sixth loss in the past eight games CU has played dating back to a nonconference game at Louisville on Dec. 21.

"I think for us it's about finishing, finishing games, finishing halves," Lappe said during her postgame interview with KKZN radio. "...We just have to work on getting better. If you're not winning games you're definitely not good enough for some reason and you have to go back and keep working at it."

No. 21 CU is now lingering near the bottom of the Pac-12 standings at11-6 overall and 1-5 one-third of the way through conference play. Just three weeks ago, it was ranked No. 11 in the nation.

Unless something strange happens, it seems unlikely the Buffs will be ranked come Monday afternoon.


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Lappe was looking for answers to her team's recent slump and shook up the starting lineup inserting Jen Reese and Ashley Wilson in place of Jamee Swan and Lexy Kresl. It didn't seem to make much of a difference.

The Huskies came into the game with a 9-7 record, including a 2-3 mark in the Pac-12, but led nearly the entire game and played more aggressively earning more than twice as many free throw opportunities as the Buffs.

The Huskies made 38 of 46 free throws while the Buffs hit 15 of 22. Washington's 38 made free throws were the most ever by a CU opponent.

Sure some of those attempts came late as the Buffs were trying to foul to extend the game, but Washington attempted 25 free throws in the first half, which was the third most by a CU opponent in a game this season.

"We put them to the free throw line way too much," Lappe said

The Washington backcourt dominated. Guard Kelsey Plum scored 35 points, 18 of which came at the foul line. Fellow guard Jazmine Davis added 20.

CU guard Brittany Wilson said she was disappointed in herself for allowing an opposing back court to score at such a high rate.

"I just think we've got to find a way to win games," Wilson said. "Find a competitive fire or something cause right now we don't have it."

The Buffs were decisively outrebounded 45-33 and every time they have come up short in that area this season they have lost. CU is 0-6 when losing the rebounding battle and 11-0 when it outrebounds its opponents.

But it wasn't as simple as that Sunday and it never is. The Buffs went 6 minutes, 23 seconds at one point in the first half without making a field goal. They scored just two points at the free throw line in the span.

Washington used the CU dry spell to establish a double-digit lead with a 13-2 run and the Buffs spent the rest of the half and the first 10 minutes of the second half trying to catch up.

CU finally caught the Huskies and briefly held the lead, before Washington came storming back to re-establish a 13-point lead.

"We just didn't make enough plays when we needed to make plays," Lappe said.

Forward Arielle Roberson led the Buffs with 20 points before fouling out late, Brittany Wilson added 16 and Reese scored 13. Guard Haley Smith led CU with seven rebounds.

Contact BuffZone.com Writer Kyle Ringo at or ringok@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/kyleringo