Fast break

What went right: CU's energy and effort was great from the start. The Buffs also kept turnovers down and crashed the boards against one of the Pac-12's better rebounding teams, holding a 40-39 advantage in that category.

What went wrong: Long scoring droughts and poor shooting killed the Buffs, and the talented Ducks took advantage each time to pull away.

Star of the game: Kennedy Leonard. The junior guard came within an assist of a double-double (16 points, 9 assists) and kept her team in the game for three quarters.

What's next: CU will host No. 17 Oregon State on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Coors Events Center.

Colorado's women's basketball team brought the energy it needed to compete with No. 7 Oregon on Friday night.

The Buffaloes just didn't have the offense to match that energy in a 74-55 loss to the Ducks at Coors Events Center.

CU (11-9, 2-7 Pac-12) hit just 33.9 percent of its shots (21-of-62) in suffering its fifth straight defeat.

"I'm really proud of our effort tonight and our competitive on the glass," Buffs head coach JR Payne said. "It was a game of runs. They went on a run, we got back in, they went on another run. In the end, we didn't get enough stops or enough scores."

Kennedy Leonard led the Buffs with 16 points and nine assists, and the Buffs won the battle of the boards, 40-39, but inconsistency on offense cost them. CU had scoring droughts of 5 minutes, 18 seconds, 4:02 and 4:22.


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"It kills you," Payne said. "Especially when you're giving up pretty easy buckets on the other end."

Despite that, CU walked away encouraged by how it played against one of the top teams in the country.

Still a young team that's learning to play together, the Buffs gave the Ducks (19-3, 8-1) all they could handle for three quarters.

Led by Alexis Robinson hitting a pair of 3s, the Buffs jumped to a 14-9 lead in the first 4:40.

Colorado’s Janea Bunn, right, tries to get past Oregon’s Ruthy Hebard on Friday.
Colorado's Janea Bunn, right, tries to get past Oregon's Ruthy Hebard on Friday. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

"It was huge," Leonard said of the start. "Our energy in warm-ups was probably the best it's been all season. We were just fired up."

The Ducks responded, however, with a 24-4 run that gave them a 33-18 lead. That could have been a back-breaker for the Buffs, but Leonard wouldn't allow it.

CU's floor general, Leonard had 10 of her points in the final 4:33 of the half to pull the Buffs within 39-32 at the break. Then, a quick start to the third quarter got them within 39-36.

"I think we've proven we fight back," Leonard said. "We don't really ever give up."

CU's emphasis on rebounding helped, too. Guard Quinessa Caylao-Do was one of many who battled on the boards, finishing with a career-high seven.

"This whole week and last week we've been talking a lot about rebounding," she said. "I knew that if I rebounded, we could get our transition going, so that really helped us out."

In the end, Oregon's superior talent took over. Ruthy Hebard (20 points, nine rebounds) and Sabrina Ionescu (14 points, eight assists, seven rebounds) paced the Ducks, who pulled away in the second half.

Still, this is back-to-back games that CU has played tough against a Top-25 opponent.

"I'm not worried about wins and losses," Payne said. "I'm worried about how are we playing? Where is our team from an emotional standpoint, as far as work ethic, toughness, discipline?

"As long as we're continuing to play hard, compete, never back down from anybody, continue to execute scouts, that' where our focus has to be, as far as growing as a ball club."

Notable

Leonard moved into 20th on CU's career scoring list, with 1,214 points. ... Forward Janea Bunn returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games for personal reasons.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33

Oregon 74, Colorado 55

At Coors Events Center

OREGON (19-3, 8-1 Pac-12)

Sabally 3-11 5-7 12, Hebard 9-14 2-3 20, McGwire 1-4 0-0 2, Cazorla 2-6 2-2 7, Ionescu 5-16 0-0 14, Hall 2-3 0-0 6, Giomi 0-0 0-0 0, Maley 1-3 0-0 2, Ayuso 2-3 0-0 4, Gildon 2-2 1-2 5, Campisano 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 27-62 12-16 74..

COLORADO (11-9, 2-7 Pac-12)

Jank 1-9 1-2 4, Correal 1-3 0-0 2, Caylao-Do 4-8 1-3 9, Robinson 4-13 0-0 11, Leonard 6-16 1-2 16, Bunn 3-6 2-4 8, Carter 0-1 1-2 1, Thomas 0-0 0-0 0, Hollingshed 1-3 0-0 2, Knight 1-2 0-0 2, Castro 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-62 6-13 55..

Score by quarters:

Oregon 15 24 17 18 — 74

Colorado 16 16 11 12 — 55

3-point goals — Oregon 8-23 (Ionescu 4-9, Hall 2-3, Sabally 1-5, Cazorla 1-4, Maley 0-1, Ayuso 0-1), Colorado 7-20 (Robinson 3-7, Leonard 3-6, Jank 1-4, Hollingshed 0-2, Castro 0-1). Rebounds — Oregon 39 (Hebard 9), Colorado 40 (Caylao-Do, Jank 7). Assists — Oregon 15 (Ionescu 8), Colorado 11 (Leonard 9). Steals — Oregon 10 (Hebard, Cazorla 4), Colorado 4 (Jank, Knight 2). Turnovers — Oregon 8, Colorado 14. Total fouls — Oregon 13, Colorado 9. Fouled out — None. A — 1,525.