This was the battle that everyone expected and both Colorado (14-4, 3-2) and UCLA (14-3, 3-1) did what they needed to do to make game go their way. The Buffaloes tried to fill the void of their recently injured leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie by having other guys step up, while the Bruins tried to continue their up-tempo game. The Bruins were the ones to prevail as they won, 69-56.
UCLA Men’s Basketball beats Colorado 45-23 #GoBruins!
— UCLA Spirit Squad (@UCLASpiritSquad) January 17, 2014
At times, both teams were really sloppy. The defenses had something to do with it, but for the most part, it was a game that both teams were trudging through. Colorado was out of sorts because their leader was out and UCLA was trying to get use to all the pressures of playing on the road.
Surprisingly, UCLA actually played some effective defense in this game. The Bruins had five steals by halftime, compared to one for Colorado. It is the small things like this that which helped the Bruins to assert themselves. This game was the perfect time to do it.
UCLA even won the rebounding battle, 41-37. When was the last time that happened… against a good team?
As for Colorado, they were lucky to have Askia Booker who was one of two Buffalo out of the entire herd that needed to step up and did he ever. Time and again he would hit a three that would keep Colorado in this game. He finished with 21.
Josh Scott was the other Colorado player that tried to get the Buffs going. He ended his night with 19 points and 9 rebounds. There were six other Buffaloes that scored, but they all combined for 16 points. That is not going to help when you need to score points and your leading scorer has a season-ending injury.
Although, Dinwiddie was not entirely absent from the game. Several times throughout the contest, he could heard off the bench, coaching it up for his guys. Unfortunately, his physical presence was missed.
UCLA was in control in the second half, so it was basically them trying to out run the wounded Buffaloes.
Just under five minutes, Norman Powell received an outlet pass from Kyle Anderson and finished with a dunk that was more of a dagger to put UCLA up on Colorado, 58-46. That play started when Powell poked the ball away to a stealthy Anderson. UCLA won the “steals” battle, 12-5. Powell ended with a team-high 19 points.
Colorado, down, would not go out. They tried to stay in the game, but when your shots are not falling, it is quite hard to accomplish that feat. They finished their game shooting 20-of-50 (40%). The Buffs really missed Dinwiddie in this one.
One man was on a mission for UCLA. That man is Jordan Adams. He was grabbing rebounds and putting back as many baskets as he could. He just could not be stopped in the last five minutes. The Bruin that is mostly known for his scoring, pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds and added 14 points to his efforts.
Overall, a great effort for the Bruins and a good road win. On to Utah.