It might not have been the way Colorado women's basketball would have drawn up the final game of what has been one of the most successful regular seasons in school history.
After falling behind by as many as 18 points in the first half, the Buffs stepped up, claimed the lead in the second half, only to see OSU punch back, sending the game into overtime with a three-pointer in the waning seconds of regulation. Colorado outscored the Beavers 10-7 in the overtime period to win their ninth-straight game, 66-63, ending the regular season with an impressive 24-5 record.
"I knew we were going to have to gut one out," head coach Linda Lappe told AM-760. "That team (Oregon State) is solid. They play everybody within five points. They took (No. 6) Cal down to the wire, lost by two. They're a good team. They're playing really well right now."
The Buffs started the game slowly on both the offensive and defensive end. CU wouldn't hit a field goal until Ashley Wilson grabbed an offensive board and converted a layup at the 14:48 mark. By that time OSU had already raced out to a 14-6 lead.
Oregon State would keep their foot on the gas pedal, responding to Wilson's layup by going on a 17-7 run, taking an 18 point lead at the 6:30 mark in the first half. Colorado, a team that rarely concedes over 30 points in a half, would hold OSU to only two points for the remaining 6:30 of the half. CU's defense would lead to high percentage shots, as Jen Reese, Jamee Swan, and Rachel Hargis each stole the ball at the top of the key and had run outs resulting in layups or free throws. Colorado would enter halftime on a 15-2 run, trailing only by five, 33-28.
Colorado came within one point of grabbing their first lead of the game of the second half when OSU responded with a 11-2 run, putting the Beaver lead back at ten, forcing Lappe to call a timeout. Out of the break, Colorado would launch another run, this time of the 17-4 variety, finally grasping a lead with 7:09 remaining.
Oregon State would whether the storm and remain within striking distance. With just six seconds remaining in regulation and her team down by three, OSU's Jamie Weisner hit a three-pointer to send the game into overtime.
Brittany Wilson hit the first shot of overtime, hitting a three-pointer to put CU up by three. Chucky Jeffery (who had 25 points) and Arielle Roberson both hit huge shots to extend the lead to six. Weisner would respond, hitting another three to bring the Colorado lead to three. Needing to stop the clock, the Beavers fouled Jeffery with 22 seconds left. Jeffery hit one of two, putting the Buffs up four.
OSU's Ali Gibson hit a three pointer from near half-court, bringing OSU within one with seven seconds on the clock. The Beavers sent Roberson to the line, where she iced the game, hitting both shots.
Colorado's 24 regular season wins are tied for the most from a CU team since the AIAW/NCAA transition. To put that in perspective, Lappe played on Colorado teams that went to the Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen, but she never played on a Colorado team that notched 24 regular season wins.
Postseason play will begin on Friday for Colorado, as the Buffaloes travel to Seattle for the Pac-12 tournament. The Buffs will play Washington or Oregon in the second round at 3:30.