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Buffaloes Struggle Defensively In Second Half, Lose To UCLA 78-75

Colorado could not stop Travis Wear and UCLA today falling to the Bruins 78-75

Tad Boyle needs to get more production offensively from Colorado
Tad Boyle needs to get more production offensively from Colorado

The Colorado Buffaloes could not match the UCLA Bruins today as they were outworked for a majority of the game, especially in the second half, and lost 78-75. Travis Wear, Jordan Adams and Shabazz Muhammad were too much for the Buffaloes making sure Colorado could not get critical defensive stops down the stretch. Spencer Dinwiddie was key for the Buffaloes adding 23 points and Josh Scott had another strong performance with 18 points. Colorado had the ball down three points with under 15 seconds to play in the game and got an open look from Askia Booker from three, but he failed to send the game to overtime. After today's game, the Buffaloes have now lost three of their last four and are 11-5 on the season and 1-3 in the Pac-12. UCLA is a very good team and they are starting to play like they were expected to, yet it seemed like Colorado could have won this game.

Things the Buffaloes did well: Considering how strong the Bruins are offensively, the Buffaloes played well on defense in the half court in the first half, limiting UCLA to 35 points. Spencer Dinwiddie had a good game driving into the lane and attacking when the Buffaloes' offense became stagnant. Josh Scott had another efficient game and managed to get 6 offensive rebounds adding to his total of 9 and also shot well from the free throw line going 6-6. As a team, the free throw shooting improved for Colorado's standards as they went 20-27 from the line. Although Askia Booker shot 6-16 in the game, he managed to score 18 points and with the offense struggling, it was necessary at times for Booker to take so many shots.

Things the Buffaloes struggled with: The Buffaloes were never able to stop UCLA in transition and also couldn't get consecutive defensive stops to cut into UCLA's lead in the second half. The defense had no answer for the entire UCLA offense as the Bruins shot 51 percent from the field and 50 percent from the three point line. After the loss to Arizona, Colorado has looked lost on offense in the half court. Aside from Josh Scott, the Buffaloes are struggling scoring in the paint and are shying away from contact and relying on jumpers. Part of it could be the fact that they seemingly do not have a bench and starters could be getting tired. Without a doubt, the bench has not proved it should be in the game, and Tad Boyle has had no other choice than to play the starters heavy minutes. However, opponents seemingly have an advantage every game at least thus far in the conference season due to having competent bench players. Besides Sabatino Chen, the only bench members that played today were Jeremy Adams and Shane Harris-Tunks, who played 10 and 7 minutes respectively and they did not help out Colorado at all. Another thing to note is that Andre Roberson has been lacking offensively for a while now. It's clear that Roberson cannot create his own shot, yet it seems like there have been less and less of his easy layups and put backs in the conference season. With Josh Scott continuing to excel, teams are starting to key on him and Roberson has to pick up the slack. Roberson had 5 turnovers today, which matched his point total.

Up Next: The Buffaloes will travel to play the Washington Huskies at 9:30 p.m. MT on Wednesday and will need to get a win on the road, something Colorado is not familiar with, in response to this home loss to UCLA. Washington played poorly in non-conference play, but are playing much better as of late evident by their road victory over Cal and could cause matchup problems for Colorado with the size of Aziz N'Diaye.