What went right: The Buffs played well in the second half, rallying to keep the game from getting out of hand. They got several good individual contributions along the way.
What went wrong: In the first half, CU committed 18 turnovers and gave up 12 offensive rebounds. All of that led to 28 UCLA points.
Star of the game: Haley Smith. The junior had 17 points, seven rebounds and a career-high five assists.
What's next: On Sunday, the Buffs will host Southern California at 7 p.m.
It would be easy for the Colorado women's basketball team to focus on its lack of success in the win column.
The Buffaloes are striving to find the positives, however, despite a losing streak that is now at 10 games after Friday's 82-64 loss to No. 15 UCLA at Coors Events Center.
"Obviously everyone is aware of (the losing streak), but that's something we're trying to avoid thinking about and focusing on so much, because that's not going to do us any good," said junior Haley Smith, who led CU with 17 points. "Being able to take the positives out of every game and being able to not rely so much on what the scoreboard said, but in how the game was played."
It was a game in which the Buffs (5-15, 0-9 Pac-12) were unable to overcome a first half that saw UCLA (15-5, 7-2) dominate the offensive glass and force CU into 18 turnovers to build a 45-30 lead at the break.
"It really came down to rebounding, turnovers and fouls," CU head coach Linda Lappe said. "It was a big difference in the first half. They're a high-powered team, so any time you dig yourself a hole like that, it makes it really tough to come back."
Nevertheless, the Buffs rallied. They committed just five turnovers in the second half, cut the UCLA lead to 10 at one point and never allowed the Bruins to blow them out.
It's a moral victory, for sure, but the Buffs will take it.
"Just knowing that you're getting better and knowing that you have increased in certain areas of your game, as a whole and as individuals (is a positive)," said senior Jamee Swan, who had 16 points and five rebounds. "I think we have a lot of Ws to take out of how we played and how we came back, but we still have a couple things we need to work on."
Defense is one of those things, as the Buffs allowed an opponent to hit the 80-point mark for the first time November. Missing junior Lauren Huggins, who is day to day with a concussion, didn't help.
"I knew that's where we were going to miss Lauren the most," Lappe said. "She's been one of our better defenders this year."
The Buffs are hoping Huggins can return Sunday when they host Southern California and continue their quest to end their losing streak.
After hitting just 20 percent of her shots the previous four games, Swan went 6-for-9. ... Freshman Alexis Robinson had 14 points. ... UCLA finished with 16 steals. ... UCLA point guard Jordin Canada, the Bruins' scoring leader and the Pac-12's leader in assists, was carried off the court in the third quarter and did not return. Coach Cori Close said it appeared to be Canada's left ankle, but the injury is not believed to be serious.
Swain 2-3 2-4 7, Billings 3-9 4-6 10, Korver 0-3 6-8 6, Canada 1-6 2-2 4, Fields 6-15 4-8 17, Hearn 0-0 0-0 0, Drummer 5-9 6-6 16, Burke 1-5 2-2 4, Hayes 5-7 2-2 13, Hersler 1-1 3-4 5, Baird 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-58 31-42 82.COLORADO (5-15)
Swan 6-9 4-7 16, Correal 0-1 0-0 0, Robinson 5-12 2-2 14, Leonard 1-11 1-1 4, Smith 4-12 9-9 17, Ellis 0-1 1-2 1, Watts 0-0 0-0 0, Thomas 2-5 0-0 5, Beard-Fails 3-3 1-2 7. Totals 21-54 18-23 64.UCLA 22 23 14 23—82 Colorado 16 14 14 20—64
3-Point Goals — UCLA 3-10 (Swain 1-1, Hayes 1-1, Fields 1-3, Canada 0-1, Burke 0-1, Korver 0-3), Colorado 4-18 (Robinson 2-5, Thomas 1-3, Leonard 1-8, Smith 0-2). Fouled Out — Ellis. Rebounds — UCLA 37 (Billings 8), Colorado 33 (Smith 7). Assists — UCLA 14 (Canada 5), Colorado 12 (Smith 5). Total Fouls — UCLA 20, Colorado 25. A — 2,252.