Colorado's Janea Bunn didn't care too much for a hit to the mouth she took from Arizona's Destiny Graham in the third quarter on Sunday afternoon.
Bunn responded with an aggressive steal, a strong bucket near the hoop and some trash talking that led to her getting hit with a technical foul.
It was a sequence that sparked the Buffaloes to pull away and rout Arizona 79-60 at Coors Events Center.
"Janea's toughness and willingness to stand up for herself and stand up for her teammates is really important for this team," head coach JR Payne said. "We feed off of that."
Bunn's toughness epitomized how the entire team responded two days after getting punched in the mouth by Arizona State with a 25-point loss.
Sunday, the Buffs (10-3, 1-1 Pac-12) were in control most of the way and led by as many as 26 against the Wildcats (4-9, 0-2).
"Really proud of the way we bounced back," Payne said. "With such a young team and such a defeat two days ago, we could have easily hung our heads and cried about it and said, 'Oh, this is just going to be a long season.' I think our approach to this game, we were able to take a lot of criticism, a lot of film work in between Friday and today and we were able to put those changes into action and come out confident and aggressive and did our job."
Nobody did their job better than junior point guard Kennedy Leonard, who finished with 16 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds and just one turnover — on a questionable offensive foul.
Leonard was taken out of her game against ASU, scoring a career-low three points, but set the tone against Arizona.
"Friday, everybody has those type of nights and I just happened to have one," she said. "Today, I came out with an aggressive mentality. At first, we pushed in transition, attacked, and we rebounded at the guard spots, which helped us a lot in transition.
"I have to be able to do that every night."
Fellow junior Alexis Robinson also had a quiet night against ASU, but finished a season-high 18 points against Arizona, teaming with Leonard to play with the urgency the Buffs need from their leaders.
"Every game, we have to go in with that mentality that we have to win this game," Robinson said. "It was definitely a huge confidence builder and I think this win is really going to help us a lot."
Led by the two guards, the Buffs raced to a 42-26 lead at halftime.
Arizona quickly cut the CU lead to 42-34 in the third quarter, but that's when Bunn stepped up.
Bunn's steal against Graham led to a CU bucket. She then scored six consecutive CU points to push the lead back to 11, and the Buffs cruised from there, outscoring the Wildcats 31-14 during a 10-minute stretch of the second half.
"That was pretty big," Robinson said. "I have to give a lot of credit to Janea. She's the one that gave us that spark to play hard (down the stretch)."
Bunn finished with nine points and eight boards and helped the Buffs avoid a fourth consecutive 0-2 start to conference play.
"We're all better than we showed on Friday, so to be able to get back to the drawing board and get to practice ... and to come out today and do it was the biggest thing," Leonard said.
The Buffs improved to 16-4 all-time against Arizona, including 10-1 since joining the Pac-12. ... Leonard's double-double was the sixth of her career. ... For just the third time the last two seasons, Leonard did not attempt a free throw. ... Center Zoe Correal missed her fifth consecutive game with a knee injury.