For three quarters of Thursday night's opening-round Women's National Invitational Tournament game at Colorado, BYU played like a team poised to pull an upset.
But in the final 10 minutes of the contest, the Cougar offense disappeared, and BYU fell to the Buffaloes 70-53.The Cougars saw their season end with a 16-13 record overall. Colorado improved to 15-13 and will meet Drake Saturday in round two of the WNIT.
Poor field goal shooting doomed BYU, which shot 33 percent for the game and only 24 percent in the second half. The Buffaloes, meanwhile, shot 46 percent for the game.
The Cougars jumped to a quick start at Coors Event Center, taking an early 18-9 lead as center Jill Adams scored eight points.
Then came an 11-2 spurt by Colorado that pulled the Buffaloes into a 20-20 tie. Colorado eventually claimed 32-31 halftime edge.
The two squads played evenly through the first 10 minutes of the second half. BYU went up 46-45 after guard Amanda Covington sunk a 3-pointer.
From there, Colorado dominated the Cougars, outscoring BYU 25-7 the rest of the way.
Leading the way for the Buffaloes was Mandy Nightingale, a freshman guard who scored 16 points. Adams was BYU's top scorer with 14.
Though disappointed that the season is over, BYU coach Trent Shippen was not disappointed in his team's performance.
"I'm proud of the girls," he said. "We really battled tonight. The shots didn't fall, but we battled. It was really exciting for the opportunity to play in the postseason."