Skip to main content

Buffs Prep for Final Two on the Road

Feb 17, 2022

LOS ANGELES – JR Payne and the Colorado Buffaloes jet back to California for the final two road contests of the season. CU closes out its current four-game road trip with stops at UCLA (Friday) and Southern California (Sunday).

Colorado (16-7, 5-7 Pac-12) picked up a road split in the first leg of the California trip. The Buffs opened with a wire-to-wire 73-56 win over Cal and then fell to No. 2 Stanford. CU was clicking on all cylinders in Berkeley and had the lead at halftime against the Cardinal, but just couldn't get to the finish line ahead of Stanford. 

The Buffs left the court disappointed at Maples Pavilion, but by the team got back to Colorado Sunday night the focus had already shifted towards this coming weekend and the new task at hand. 

"We have prioritized being in the moment and taking it one day at a time," Payne explained. "We are excited to play against a very good UCLA team and have poured all of our effort into that."

The Buffs will need to be the team that made 28 field goals and short nearly 50% from the field against the Golden Bears opposed to the team that made half the field goals (14) and shot a season-low 25.9% at Stanford. 

Colorado is averaging 18.7 field goals made and is shooting 33.7% in its seven losses this season. CU is scoring just 56.4 points per game in its losses, down from its season average of 66.4 points and 61.8 in Pac-12 play. 

"We understand the importance of having a heightened sense of focus in this final stretch of the season," Payne added. "Focus on the scout, on doing our job and on bringing great energy."

The Buffs have already found success against the Bruins this season. CU snapped a 10-game losing streak to UCLA with its 71-63 win earlier this season in Boulder. Colorado had season-highs in free-throws made (25) and attempted (33) in the win. The Buffs trailed after the first quarter for the first time this season and got down by as many as seven early on against the Bruins. 

A win on Friday would give Colorado its first season-sweep of the Bruins since the 2013-14 season. It would also go a long way as far as seeding for the Pac-12 Tournament. 

UCLA (11-9, 6-6 Pac-12) currently occupies the sixth spot in the conference standings, with the Buffs sitting in ninth but just one game back of the Bruins. The Bruins have lost six of its last eight, including the team's forfeit to Oregon. The Bruins had a mid-week non-conference game against the Ducks on Wednesday, resulting in a 67-53 loss. 

The Buffs will remain in LA to close the trip on Sunday, driving down the road to USC. The Trojans are behind CU in the standings with a 3-10 Pac-12 record. CU defeated USC, 71-58, in Boulder. Mya Hollingshed head 18 points and eight rebounds in the win. 

Both games will be on the Pac-12 Network this weekend. 

Friday's contest (8 p.m. MT) will be called by Tammy Blackburn and Anne Marie Anderson. Cory Lopez and CU Hall of Famer Shelley Sheetz will be on the call for the Colorado Radio Network, with pregame coverage starting at 7:30 p.m. MT.