Typically after a tough loss, a coach’s postgame press conference is somber and awkward. For example, there were a couple of Deion Sanders pressers this season that felt akin to funerals (after that disgusting Stanford loss and Oregon State). However, Colorado’s women wouldn’t let Saturday’s loss to fifth ranked UCLA at home get them down. Head coach JR Payne was in great spirits after the game and was so grateful for the support from the Boulder community.
“How about 11,000 people showing up to support these guys? You guys did that.” said Payne while gesturing to her star players, Jaylyn Sherrod and Quay Miller.
Despite being in good spirits, Coach Payne didn’t waste any time addressing the outcome of the game. The Bruins worked the Buffaloes off the boards in the second half, which was something that wasn’t lost on Payne. The Bruins claim to fame this season has been their rebounding, as they’re easily the conference’s top rebounding team. The Buffs knew what was coming, but ultimately couldn’t stop it.
“I’m very very disappointed and frustrated by our rebounding because I do think that determined the outcome of the game,” said Coach Payne. “They have 100 more offensive rebounds than their opponents for a reason; they’re really good at it. If we weren’t exceptional in our disciple and boxing out, this is what they do to people. Gotta be better next time.”
The Pac-12 is the top women’s basketball conference in the country this season, as they claim four of the top 10 teams in the nation. The Buffs got a taste of how brutal and unforgiving playing in such a talented conference can be against UCLA, but they aren’t phased by it. Everyone knew what was coming when they signed up to play in Boulder, so they’re fully prepared.
“I always say that we all chose this. We chose the Pac-12 where we knew it would be a top 10, top 15 matchup every night because ultimately we are that competitive, so we love it,” said Payne. “I said early on that nobody is going to run the table in this league, everyone is just too darn good. Now, clearly nobody is going to run the table. It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s awesome, it’s awful, all in one. It’s tough, but we signed up for it.”
Going forward, the Buffs are going to use this frustrating loss as motivation. Colorado’s women are an extremely competitive bunch and love to play with a chip on their shoulder, which they now have after losing control of the top of the conference.
“Even though we didn’t come away with the win, I think at the end of the day that we’re going to be better from this. I think there’s a lot to learn from this. I know this left a bad taste in everybody’s mouth and we honestly play better when there’s a bad taste in our mouths,” said point guard Jaylyn Sherrod postgame.
Colorado doesn’t have to wait long for their chance to bounce back. A very humble and pissed off Buffaloes team will be looking for vengeance when #6 USC comes to town on Sunday. The Buffs have a golden opportunity to put themselves right back into national title contender discussions if they can beat the Trojans at home. Fans can watch the Buffaloes and Trojans duke it out at 1:00 pm on Sunday on Pac-12 Network.