What went right: Once again, the Buffs played with great effort against a top team. They rebounded well, especially early, and kept turnovers down.
What went wrong: The Buffs were unable to slow down the 3-point shooting of Oregon State. The top 3-point shooting team in the country, OSU, went 13-for-28 against the Buffs.
Star of the game: Mya Hollingshed. The freshman had a season-high 22 points and five rebounds, going 6-for-10 from 3-point range.
What's next: CU travels to Salt Lake City to take on Utah on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Eventually, playing hard figures to pay off with wins for the Colorado women's basketball team.
Right now, however, all it's producing is silver linings.
On Sunday at Coors Events Center, the Buffaloes went toe-to-toe with a Top 25 opponent for the third game in a row, but once again came up short.
No. 17 Oregon State pulled away in the second half for an 86-71 victory to send the Buffs (11-10, 2-8 Pac-12) to their sixth straight loss.
Despite the losing streak, the Buffs have shown better effort, and played better overall, in the last three games, all against ranked teams.
"There's a lot of really great things our team is doing right now," CU head coach JR Payne said. "Ultimately we need that reward, the victory, and we will; we'll get there, but we have to stay the course. It takes that extra effort to get it done."
Extra effort by freshman Mya Hollingshed certainly paid off. Playing a season-high 27 minutes for the short-handed Buffs, she scored a season-high 22 points and also had five rebounds. She went 6-for-10 from 3-point range.
"The coaches tell me if I'm open to shoot it without hesitating, so that's what I'm doing," said Hollingshed, who went 3-for-3 from beyond the arc in the first six minutes of the game. "I've been putting up extra shots on my free time, so that translated to the game. I'm grateful that helped us get in the game, but it still wasn't enough for the win."
Hollingshed and junior point guard Kennedy Leonard (19 points, seven assists) sparked a sensational first half for the Buffs, who led 38-37 at the break.
After another Hollingshed 3 - her fifth of the day - with 5:36 to play in the third, the Buffs were within one. Over the next 95 seconds, however, Oregon State (16-5, 7-3) went on an 8-0 run to pull away and cruised from there.
"I don't think we folded, but it definitely was a sucker-punch," Payne said of OSU's 8-0 surge.
The Beavers, which rank No. 1 in the country in 3-point shooting percentage, went 13-for-28 from long range for the game, including 8-for-13 in the second half, leading by as many as 20.
"Second half, they were getting a little bit more open looks, but the bottom line is they can shoot it," Payne said.
The Buffs, meanwhile, struggled again with their shooting, hitting just 35.2 percent.
Hollingshed's performance, however, is one that the Buffs hope can be a spark — for her and the team.
"She was incredible and did a lot of things that we know she's capable of," Payne said.
After scoring just 17 points in the previous four games combined, Hollingshed said she needed this.
"It was definitely a great confidence boost," she said. "This makes me want to get going to practice ready to work; ready for the next game."
Forward Janea Bunn missed the game for personal reasons, while guard Mathilde Diop and center Jaimie Curtis both sat out with injuries. ... Leonard went 7-for-8 at the free throw line and has now made 297 free throws in her career — passing her former coach, Linda Lappe, for 14th place on CU's career list. ... The Buffs matched their season-best with only 10 turnovers.
No. 17 Oregon State 86, Colorado 71
OREGON STATE (16-5, 7-3 Pac-12)
Corosdale 2-5 0-0 5, Gulich 4-7 4-4 12, Pivec 3-8 0-0 6, McWilliams 5-9 0-0 15, Tudor 8-16 4-4 23, Goodman 1-4 0-0 3, Washington 1-4 1-2 3, Grymek 4-5 0-0 8, Thropay 0-0 0-0 0, Kalmer 3-7 2-2 11. Totals 31-65 11-12 86.
COLORADO (11-10, 2-8 Pac-12)
Jank 1-7 0-0 3, Correal 1-4 0-0 2, Caylao-Do 0-4 2-4 2, Robinson 4-18 2-3 10, Leonard 6-13 7-8 19, Carter 0-2 0-0 2, Thomas 2-4 0-0 4, Hollingshed 8-14 0-0 22, Knight 2-4 2-2 7, Castro 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 25-71 13-17 71.
Oregon State 18 19 29 20 - 86
Colorado 21 17 19 14 - 71
3-point goals - OSU 13-28 (McWilliams 5-8, Tudor 3-9, Kalmer 3-5, Goodman 1-4, Corosdale 1-1, Pivec 0-1), Colorado 8-19 (Hollingshed 6-10, Jank 1-3, Knight 1-2, Robinson 0-3, Caylao-Do 0-1). Rebounds - OSU 43 (Gulich 10), Colorado 37 (Jank 8). Assists - OSU 24 (Pivec 10), Colorado 13 (Leonard 7). Steals - OSU 5 (Gulich 2), Colorado 3 (Leonard, Hollingshed, Knight). Turnovers - OSU 13, Colorado 10. Total fouls - OSU 17, Colorado 16. Fouled out - None. A - 3,781.