At the conclusion of a second half that couldn't have resembled the first half less, Jamee Swan knocked down a banker from the left block to force overtime, where the Buffs outscored Arizona 12-7 to snag a 61-56 win after trailing by as many as 20 points in the first half.
"Overall, our demeanors here at the start of the game, we can leave those in Tucson," head coach Linda Lappe told AM-760. "We can take our second half demeanors, and the attitudes, and the competitiveness, the togetherness, the fire, we can take that back to Boulder and finish out the year."
In a first half where the Buffs were on the verge of getting blown out, Colorado fell behind by 20 points after UA's LaBrittney Jones hit a free-throw to led 36-16. The Wildcats shot 57% from the floor in the first half, while the Buffs handed Arizona easy looks by turning the ball over 12 times in the first 20 minutes.
Colorado started to get their feet under them at the conclusion of the first half, as the group of Arielle Roberson, Jamee Swan, Haley Smith, Lexy Kresl and Ashley Wilson sparked CU, cutting the lead of 20 to 16 at halftime.
That same group, along with senior center Rachel Hargis off the bench, brought CU roaring back in the second half. The Buffs held Arizona to just ten second half points - a Colorado women's basketball record - and limited the Wildcats to just 2-of-20 (5 percent) from the field in the second half.
Swan cut the lead to seven with 12:50 to play as Ashley Wilson found the sophomore out of nearby Marana, streaking down the floor on a fast break. Wilson lofted an alley-oop pass for the athletic Swan, who finished with a reverse layup, for one of the most impressive plays of the season.
Two Roberson free-throws tied the game at 45 with 3:22 remaining. After a Lappe timeout with 1:59 to play and the score still gridlocked at 45, Smith found a cutting Roberson for a wide-open layup to give CU their first lead of the afternoon.
Arizona's Jones hit a pair of free-throws on back-to-back possessions to reclaim the lead. With six seconds to play and the ball, Roberson found Swan posting up on the left block. Swan turned and banked in a 10-footer with .9 seconds to play, sending the game into overtime.
CU stretched their momentum into overtime. With her sister Brittany in Boulder dealing with a concussion, Ashley Wilson scored the first five points of overtime, a lead Colorado would never relinquish. Wilson and Jen Reese hit free-throws down the stretch to seal CU's fifth conference win of the season.
The 20-point deficit was likely the largest deficit Colorado has ever overcome.
"Oh, just the history that we made!" said a wry Lappe after being told about the record comeback. "You don't need to make that history, but I'm really proud - really disappointed at halftime, and I told our team, as disappointed as I was at halftime, I was ten times more proud of them by how we came back in the second half."
Colorado concludes the regular season portion of the schedule this weekend in Boulder against UCLA on Friday, and USC on Sunday.