The Colorado Buffaloes entered Friday night’s late matchup as the highest remaining seed in the Pac-12 Tournament, but they were unable to take advantage of the golden opportunity that lay before them.

The offense never managed to find its rhythm, outside of one late spurt in the third quarter, which was an immense shame considering how well the Buffaloes’ defense performed.

In the first quarter, the driving factor was the combined struggles of Jaylyn Sherrod and Quay Miller. For the second-consecutive game, Miller was colder than a shivering polar bear. Meanwhile, Sherrod got off to a sluggish start from the field and converted just one of her five first-quarter attempts.

Aaronette Vonleh was the only force that CU had on offense in the first quarter, and really, for the first half. As a result, Washington State was able to cruise to a double-digit lead, despite being far from impressive themselves offensively. The Buffs forced nine turnovers in the first 18 minutes of the game, and yet, over that span, they were outscored 24 to 14.

While Miller and Sherrod remained absent on offense in the quarter No. 2, which contributed to Colorado’s struggles on that end again, the second frame was defined by the Buffaloes’ carelessness with the basketball.

In the first nine minutes of the quarter, the Colorado Buffaloes turned the ball over eight times — a blistering rate.

That helped waste a marvelous first half from Vonleh, who scored 10 of the Buffaloes’ 16 points. Sherrod and Frida Formann both contributed three, but the rest of the team, including regular-season leading scorer Miller and the entire CU bench, scored zero.

Whatever JR Payne preached during halftime immediately appeared to take hold though, as the Colorado offense suddenly started rolling, ultimately finishing the third quarter with 22 points.

The quarter opened with the two teams exchanging barbs, and Washington State’s lead ballooning ever so slightly — from 11 points to 16.

But it didn’t take long for the Buffaloes’ to return the defensive pressure that has become their team identity under Coach Payne, ratcheting up the heat, and forcing numerous Cougar mistakes.

Vonleh got the run started, with some excellent footwork in the post, which was a staple of the night. Then, on the next two possessions, Frida Formann connected on a ridiculous off-balance three-point attempt, and Vonleh dominated the offensive glass to get some second-chance points.

That 7-0 run was soon followed by an entirely separate 12-0 run, as Sherrod’s shot began to fall, and Wazzu found themselves on their heels.

As a result of those two runs, the game entered the final quarter knotted up at 38, and Colorado possessed all the momentum.

The Cougars hadn’t scored in over five minutes, and the Buffaloes were riding the aforementioned 12-0 run as the period began.

Unfortunately, CU’s offense went the way of a comet — disappearing from view just as quickly as it had arrived.

Suddenly, Formann’s three-point attempts stopped falling, just as Washington State’s offense caught fire, and the game quickly got out of hand for CU.

With 2:35 to go, down 53-43, Tameiya Sadler clanked a three-point shot off the back iron, and the Colorado Buffaloes were out of opportunities.

The one narrative that will hang over the Buffaloes’ solid, yet, ultimately disappointing, tournament run is the wild cold streak of Quay Miller. In the tournament, Miller was 0-for-16 from the field and scored just two points in total.

That level of postseason production from your leading scorer is just untenable.

If the Buffs have any interest in taking advantage of their high tournament seed, and their potential right to host the first two rounds of the tournament, Miller will have to snap out of it.