Fast break

What went right: The Buffs shot the ball well, took care of the basketball much of the night and held their own in rebounding.

What went wrong: A tough start put the Buffs in catch-up mode throughout the first half, and they struggled defensively, as Cal made 47.7 percent of its shots.

Star of the game: Zoe Correal. Playing near her home in San Francisco, she had a career-high 20 points, along with five rebounds.

What's next: CU visits No. 17 Stanford on Sunday at 4 p.m.

BERKELEY, Calif. — Despite a valiant effort as a group and a career night for center Zoe Correal, the Colorado women's basketball team lost a heartbreaker on Friday night.

Kennedy Leonard's desperation layup at the buzzer was off the mark and the Buffaloes came up short, 78-76, against host California at Haas Pavilion.

Correal, a native of San Francisco, scored a career-high 20 points, while also pulling down five rebounds. The previous career high for the senior was 16 points in the Buffs' visit to Haas Pavilion a year ago.

CU (12-12, 3-10 Pac-12) lost for the eighth time in nine games, while Cal (15-8, 7-6) snapped a three-game skid.

Led by Correal, Alexis Robinson (19 points) and Leonard (16 points, nine assists), the Buffs went down to the wire with a chance at the upset.

Robinson scored five points in a row, including a 3-pointer, to give the Buffs their biggest lead of the night, 68-63, with 6 minutes, 32 seconds to play.


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Cal responded, however, with an 8-0 run to regain the lead, setting up a back-and-forth finish. There were four lead changes in the final 2:30.

CU took its final lead, 76-75, on a Robinson 3 with 1:25 to play, but didn't score again. Cal went 3-for-4 at the free throw line down the stretch.

Playing one of its best games of the season, CU shook off a rough first quarter, in which it made just 25 percent of its shots (four of 16) and committed seven turnovers. During the final three quarters, the Buffs hit 56.5 percent of their shots (26 of 46) with seven turnovers.

Leonard had 13 points in the second half, while Correal had 12, but the Buffs had a tough time containing Cal's Asha Thomas and Mikayla Cowling.

Thomas, who finished with a team-high 18 points, didn't score until a go-ahead 3-pointer just before the half. She then added 15 points after intermission. Cowling had 13 of her 17 points after the break.

Notable

Leonard passed Chucky Jeffery and Mandy Nightingale to move into third on CU's career list for assists, with 490. She is just 24 behind Shelley Sheetz, who is second. ... Leonard also moved into sole possession of 17th on the career scoring list, with 1,288 points. ... Correal, averaging a career-high 5.4 points per game coming in, scored in double figures for just the 10th time in her career.

 

California 78, Colorado 76

COLORADO (12-12, 3-10 Pac-12)

Caylao-Do 2-5 1-1 5, Robinson 7-19 3-4 19, Leonard 5-12 4-5 16, Correal 10-14 0-0 20, Jank 0-3 3-4 3, Carter 0-0 0-0 0, Thomas 2-3 0-0 5, Hollingshed 3-5 0-0 6, Knight 0-0 0-0 0, Curtis 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 30-62 11-14 76.

CALIFORNIA (15-8, 7-6)

Thomas 4-9 8-8 18, Cowling 8-14 1-3 17, Davidson 4-9 2-2 10, Smith 3-14 0-0 6, Anigwe 6-8 2-2 14, Styles 0-1 0-0 0, West 0-1 0-0 0, Brown 6-9 0-0 13. Totals 31-65 13-15 78.

Colorado 9 20 27 20 -- 76
California 12 20 24 22 -- 78

3-point goals - Colorado 5-17 (Robinson 2-9, Leonard 2-5, Thomas 1-1, Caylao-Do 0-1, Jank 0-1), Cal 3-13 (Thomas 2-5, Brown 1-1, Smith 0-4, Cowling 0-3). Rebounds - Colorado 33 (Jank 8), Cal 34 (Davidson 9). Assists - Colorado 17 (Leonard 9), Cal 16 (Thomas, Smith 5). Steals - Colorado 5 (Robinson 3), Cal 6 (Cowling 3). Turnovers - Colorado 14, Cal 12. Total fouls - Colorado 16, Cal 14. Fouled out - Jank. A - 1,774.