Early in Pac-12 play, Linda Lappe was looking for a sense of urgency from her Colorado Buffaloes.
She seems to have found that sense of urgency in Tucson. Colorado couldn't quite hold their opponent to ten points or less in the second half Friday night, like they did on Sunday against Arizona. But the 12 points CU did allow in the second half was good enough to throttle a depleted UCLA squad, 62-42.
"Definitely," said Arielle Roberson, when asked if her team had developed a strong sense of urgency. "Especially in the second halves we've had the past two games have really felt that way. It's a mindset, but we can feel it, and I feel like it really gets our crowd into it. It makes things much more fun, and then you want to play harder. We're definitely finding it, and everyone can feel it."
Colorado didn't quite resemble the team that held Arizona to 2-of-20 shooting in the second half in the first 20 minutes against UCLA. Colorado let the Bruins shoot 48 percent from the field in the first half, which led to a 30-27 Bruins' lead.
The halftime deficit was exacerbated by the loss of forward Jen Reese, who took a charge and injured her shoulder at the end of the first half.
Out of the locker room, Colorado scored 12 of the first 14 points of the second half. Haley Smith knocked down a jumper with 18:03 to play to give the Buffs a 31-30 lead - a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
When the Bruins lunched a mini-run to cut the lead to four, Jamee Swan made what Lappe called "the turning point," when she grabbed the ball from UCLA's Corinne Costa's hand at the top of the key and ran the length of the floor - only to miss the layup. Roberson corralled the miss, and got fouled.
Colorado held UCLA to just 3-of-25 (12 percent) in the second half. The 12 second-half points given up by Colorado is good enough for the third lowest opponent point total for a half in CU women's basketball history.
"We told our team at halftime to play like we were 20 down again," said Lappe. "I felt like that's what they did. They had that sense of urgency."
Roberson finished with 14 points and 11 boards. Swan also added 14 points. Smith scored a career high 11 points.
Colorado wraps up the regular season on Sunday against USC. Colorado will see UCLA again next week in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament.