Arizona women’s basketball (5-22, 1-15) fell in an overtime heartbreaker to Colorado (15-12, 5-11), 61-56 on Sunday at McKale Center.
Freshman LaBrittney Jones led the Wildcats with 13 points and six rebounds, including four-of-four free-throws and the last six points in regulation.
Arizona’s three seniors, Carissa Crutchfield, Erica Barnes and Kama Griffitts, accounted for 29 of UA’s 56 points and 11 of the team’s 32 rebounds.
Crutchfield and Griffitts each had 10 points, while Barnes finished with nine.
“It’s a tough way to go out for our seniors,” Arizona Head Coach Niya Butts said. “It was certainly disappointing, but I thought the game should never have gotten in the situation that it did.”
All seven players on Arizona’s roster scored at least two points and posted at least one steal.
The Wildcats came out blazing in the first half, hitting 16-of-28 shots for 57 percent and led, 39-23.
The second half was a different story, as the Buffaloes shot 42 percent and limited Arizona to only 2-of-20 from the field. Colorado tied the game with 3:22 left in the game, but Jones made four of her four free throw attempts to lead, 49-47 with six seconds left in the game. The Buffaloes tied it at 49 and didn’t look back, outscoring UA, 12-7 in overtime.
Arizona will close out its regular season on the road, taking on Oregon State on Friday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. and Oregon on Sunday, March 2 at 2 p.m. Sunday’s game will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks.
“(We need to) play like we played in the first half,” Butts said. “We need 40 minutes. We need some consistency there, some emotion, some energy, on all fronts.”
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Head Coach Niya Butts
On the game:
“It’s a tough way to go out for our seniors. It was certainly disappointing, but I thought the game should have never got in the situation that it did. But credit to Colorado for doing enough to close it out and get the win.”
On what happened in the second half:
“I have no idea. If I knew, we wouldn’t do it. Simple as that.”
On if it’s more frustrating on her players’ effort or the execution:
“We didn’t execute. But there was much more to the ball game than that. Our execution wasn’t there and we just didn’t have any energy in the second half. We allowed them to have life and get into the ball game and we were playing catch-up after that.”
On looking forward and what the team needs to do moving forward:
“(We need to) play like we played in the first half. Play like we played in the first half. We need 40 minutes. We need some consistency there, some emotion, some energy, on all fronts.”
On if there was any player that stood out:
“No, I thought Keyahndra (Cannon) came in and gave me some positive things on the defensive end. We needed her to make some plays there at the end that I thought she made. She did what she was supposed to do. Got in, got a couple charges, things like that, but nothing really stood out to me except for our play in the first half. We were aggressive, we were making plays. Came out flat in the second half and the rest is history.”
Senior forward Erica Barnes
On what went wrong:
“I think we were flat, more flat in the second half. Like Coach Butts said, we came out hard in the first half… I feel like we fought, but just couldn’t get it together in the end.”
On finishing the season:
“We just need to pull ourselves together and stay mentally tough.”
Senior guard Kama Griffitts
On areas that need improvement:
“At times, we will have really good defensive moments and at times we will have really good offensive moments, so we just need to learn how to balance them both out.”
Senior guard Carissa Crutchfield
On the game:
“We couldn’t get a bucket when we needed it. We need to come together and know how to punch back in those key times. We will get there and make fixes in practice.”