Proper perspective helped the Colorado women's basketball team to an 11-0 start.
The Buffaloes are hoping the right perspective will help them rebound from their first defeat, too.
On Sunday, the 20th-ranked Buffs will host No. 7 California at Coors Events Center. That's a quick turnaround from Friday's 57-40 loss to No. 4 Stanford.
"For us to be one of those top competitive teams, we have to be able to regroup quickly and be able to bounce back," senior point guard Chucky Jeffery said after Friday's loss. "We have to let this one go; we can't dwell on it."
As disappointing as Friday's defeat was, the Buffs realize that it didn't ruin their season. At 11-1 (0-1 Pac-12), the Buffs still have all their goals in front of them.
"It definitely hurts to lose, but it's always good in some ways to just kind of keep everything in perspective," CU sophomore Lexy Kresl said. "I think we'll respond well. Obviously we're upset that we didn't win, but nobody is going to take it personally and we're going to use it as a learning experience and we're going to just use it to grow and build."
Against Stanford, the Buffs were beat up in the paint and got off to a miserable start. It was the first time all season they were pushed around by an opponent. On a positive note, they also battled with the Cardinal during the final 30 minutes and never gave in.
"This only hurts you if you let it," coach Linda Lappe said. "I think we can take a lot more positives out of this game than there are negatives."
The trick now for the Buffs is to take what it learned from Stanford and apply it against Cal (11-1). The Bears present some similar challenges, in that they are big and physical like Stanford.
Gennifer Brandon, a 6-foot-2 forward, averages 13.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, while Talia Caldwell, a 6-3 center, posts 10.3 points and 6.6 boards per game. Off the bench, 6-3 Reshanda Gray averages 9.7 points and 5.3 rebounds. CU needs to handle that size better than it did against Stanford.
"Every experience is always a learning experience," said Buffs forward Arielle Roberson, who was limited to 10 points and three rebounds in her 32 minutes against the Cardinal. "In this game, we learned a lot of ourselves and the way we should react or shouldn't react. If anything we should believe more in ourselves.
"The second half (against Stanford) is a great example of our ability. Once we finally bought into the belief of 'We've got this,' that's when everything turned around, and we can take that into Cal and Utah."
As good as Cal is in the paint, they are probably better on the perimeter. Guards Layshia Clarendon (13.7 points) and Brittany Boyd (13.5 points, 4.8 assists) are two of the best players in the Pac-12.
In fact, Cal might be the best team the Buffs face this season -- including Stanford. But, CU believes the most important team to worry about is its own.
"This will be good for us," Lappe said. "It'll be a good test to see how we bounce back. Cal is a really good team. We've just got to make sure that we do a better job coming out of the gates and being ready to play.
"I think it'll show a lot about our character as a team, who we are as a team and what we're all about."
Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.
CU women's hoops preview
TODAY: The No. 20 Colorado Buffaloes (11-1) host the No. 7 California Golden Bears (11-1) in a Noon game at Coors Events Center in Boulder.
BROADCAST: TV -- Pac-12 Network. Radio -- KKZN AM-760, with Mike Rice on play-by-play and Carol Callan providing color commentary.
STORYLINES: Colorado is looking to rebound from its first loss of the season, 57-40 on Friday against No. 4 Stanford. ... California is 9-2 in its last 11 Pac-12 games away from Berkeley, with both losses coming against Stanford. ... Both teams rank among the bottom half of the Pac-12 in free-throw percentage. ... In four career games against the Bears, CU senior Chucky Jeffery has averaged 16.5 points and 7.0 rebounds. ... CU is 9-39 all-time against teams ranked in the top seven, including 0-18 since its last win against a top-seven team (March 23, 2002, against Stanford). ... Cal came into the week as the top scoring team in the Pac-12 (78.0 points per game), while CU came into the week at No. 2 (74.3). On Friday, both teams were held way below their averages, with CU scoring 40 points and Cal beating Utah 55-50. ... Both teams have played good defense this year. CU is allowing just 54.8 points per game, and Cal is allowing 55.9.
KEY STAT: CU is 1-9 the last 10 times it has been out-rebounded, dating back to last season. Cal out-rebounded the Buffs in all three meetings last year, but CU has lost the rebound battle just eight times in its other 44 games since the start of last season. Coming into the week, Cal led the conference with a plus-14.5 rebounding margin and CU was second at plus-14.3.
COACHES: Linda Lappe is 50-31 in her third season at CU and 100-67 overall. Lindsay Gottlieb is 37-11 in two years at Cal and 93-50 in her career.
PROBABLE STARTERS: Colorado -- G Chucky Jeffery, 5-10, Sr. (12.6 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 4.5 apg, 2.5 spg); G Brittany Wilson, 5-7, Jr. (8.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.4 apg); G Lexy Kresl, 5-11, So. (5.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg); F Arielle Roberson, 6-1, Fr. (15.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.5 spg); C Rachel Hargis, 6-4, Jr. (5.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg). California -- G Layshia Clarendon, 5-9, Sr. (13.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.9 spg); G Brittany Boyd, 5-9, So. (13.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.8 apg, 3.1 spg); F Gennifer Brandon, 6-2, Jr. (13.4 ppg, 10.3 rpg); C Talia Caldwell, 6-3, Sr. (10.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg); G Afure Jemerigbe, 6-0, Jr. (7.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg).
SERIES: CU leads the series 5-3, but all three losses came last season -- twice in the regular season and once in the Pac-12 Tournament. The Buffs are 3-1 against the Bears in Boulder.
UP NEXT: CU hosts Utah on Tuesday in the finale of a six-game home stand.