Colorado’s Arielle Roberson (32) drives past UCLA’s Markel Walker (23) in the first half of Friday’s game in California.
Colorado's Arielle Roberson (32) drives past UCLA's Markel Walker (23) in the first half of Friday's game in California. ( Reed Saxon )
LOS ANGELES - The Colorado women's basketball team that had proven itself as a legitimate top-25 team through 19 games didn't show up in game No. 20.

CU, ranked 22nd in the country, was dominated in a 62-46 loss to No. 18 UCLA on Friday at Pauley Pavilion.

"We were really a shell of ourselves," CU head coach Linda Lappe said on AM-760 radio after the game. "We didn't rebound, we didn't play defense, we didn't play together. There are a lot of things you can point to in this game. Now it's going to be back to the drawing board."

CU (15-5, 4-5 Pac-12) has lost three in a row for the first time this season and lost for the 20th time in a row when facing a ranked opponent on the road.

Brittany Wilson scored a team-high 12 points for the Buffs, while Chucky Jeffery added 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Markel Walker, however, was brilliant for the Bruins (16-4, 7-2), compiling 17 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. She was 6-for-6 from the floor. Alyssia Brewer added 10 points and seven boards for the Bruins.

CU came into the game with an average rebounding margin (plus-10.4) that ranked ninth in the country and a defense that ranked among the nation's best in points allowed (52.1) and opponents' field-goal percentage (34.8).

UCLA blew all of that away. The Bruins out-rebounded the Buffs 44-29 and made 55.6 percent of their shots (25-for-45).


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"We didn't do anything that we've done all season long and that's probably the most disappointing part," Lappe said. "I'm really just disappointed."

CU got off to a good start, coming out aggressive and taking a quick 8-2 lead. The game turned in a hurry, though.

The Buffs' Rachel Hargis snagged defensive rebound with 15:47 to go, but her pass near the basket was picked off by Walker, who put it in for an easy bucket. After the ensuing inbound pass, Hargis again was picked off by Walker, who again scored to pull the Bruins within 8-6.

The Buffs were then whistled for a foul on the next possession and UCLA responded with Walker scoring again to tie the game.

"We were not obviously ready to go," Lappe said. "We let three plays hurt us for the rest of the game. We didn't have any mental toughness tonight."

After CU's 8-2 lead, UCLA outscored the Buffs 27-7 during the final 15:45 of the half.

Lexy Kresl did have a steal and layup to give the Buffs a 10-8 lead with 14:20 to go in the half, but CU's offense shut down after that. The Buffs went 1-for-21 from the floor during the final 14 minutes of the half, while UCLA pulled away, taking a 29-14 lead into the half.

UCLA never allowed the Buffs to get back into the game, despite a whopping 29 turnovers.

"They gave us plenty of opportunities," Lappe said. "Obviously they weren't really ever threatened by us and therefore threw away some passes that they probably wouldn't have if the game was closer."

CU cut the deficit to 49-37 with 9:35 to go, but Walker hit an improbable shot and got fouled. She missed the free throw, but the Bruins got the rebound and called a timeout. After the timeout, Jasmine Dixon scored, extending the lead to 16 points.

UCLA led by as many as 19 points in winning its third in a row.

Notable

CU had its second-lowest scoring half of the season. The Buffs had 14 in the first half against Stanford on Jan. 4. ... Wilson had her highest-scoring game in Pac-12 play. ... The Buffs shot a season-low 28.6 percent (18-for-63) from the floor, including 2-for-13 from 3-point range. ... The Buffs got a season-low nine points from its bench. ... Freshman Arielle Roberson had just four points for the Buffs on 2-for-7 shooting. She has struggled of late, going 4-for-23 in the past three games. ... CU's last road win against a ranked opponent came on Dec. 9, 2007, at No. 20 Vanderbilt.

Fast break

What went right

The Buffs rallied in the second half to try to get back into the game, but didn't have enough to catch up to UCLA.

What went wrong

CU's offense disappeared during the final 16 minutes of the first half. After taking an 8-2 lead, the Buffs went 2-for-22 from the floor and turned the ball over 11 times in those 16 minutes.

Star of the game

Chucky Jeffery. She had 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the loss.

What's next?

The Buffaloes will visit Southern Cal on Sunday at 11 a.m.