Fast break

What went right: The Buffs played an exceptional first half, building a 12-point lead and taking a four-point advantage into halftime.

What went wrong: CU forgot to play defense in the second half, giving up 56 points after the break.

Star of the game: Askia Booker. He had 16 points and a career-high 12 assists - and just two turnovers - for the Buffs.

What's next?: The Buffs will play at USC on Sunday at 6 p.m. MDT.

LOS ANGELES — — Tad Boyle glanced at the scoreboard at the end of the game on Thursday night with a look of disgust.

Knowing that the Colorado men's basketball team needs as many wins as possible down the stretch, the Buffaloes' head coach felt the 92-74 loss to UCLA at Pauley Pavilion was an opportunity lost.

"It's disappointing, because this was a winnable game and we didn't take care of business and they did," Boyle said.

It was a deceiving final score, but that didn't make the Buffs (18-7, 7-5 Pac-12) feel any better.

CU, which had a three-game winning streak snapped, held a 12-point lead at one point, but got outscored by 22 points in the second half by the Bruins (19-5, 8-3).

"We didn't defend and we didn't rebound," CU junior Askia Booker said of the second half.


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Booker recorded the first double-double of his career, finishing with 16 points and a career-high 12 assists. He was one of four Buffs to score in double figures, led by Josh Scott's 20 points.

Nevertheless, the Buffs couldn't stop the barrage of points by the UCLA offense during the final 20 minutes.

"Second half, holy cow, the flood gates opened," Boyle said.

UCLA hit 14 of its first 19 shots of the second half (73.7 percent) and made 62.5 percent of its shots (20 of 32) overall after the break.

"Our second half I just thought was really good basketball," UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. "Hats off to our guys, they played hard tonight."

Kyle Anderson had 22 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds to lead the Bruins. Jordan Adams had 11 of his 15 points after the break and Bryce Alford had 14 off the bench, going 4-for-4 from 3-point range in the second half alone.

"Defensively I didn't think any of our guys played well," Boyle said.

CU took a 12-point lead on a 3-pointer by Xavier Talton with 5 minutes, 42 seconds to play in the first half.

UCLA responded with a 13-3 surge, but CU closed the half with a dunk by Scott at the buzzer, and the Buffs went into the locker room with a 40-36 lead.

The lead was still three, 53-50, after a bucket by Xavier Johnson with 14:15 to play, but then UCLA dominated.

Bryce Alford hit back-to-back 3s to cap an 11-0 run that gave the Bruins the lead for good.

CU pulled with 76-71 on a three-point play by Scott with 6:35 to go, but UCLA outscored the Buffs 16-3 the rest of the way.

The Buffs went 3-for-15 from 3-point range in the second half, while UCLA was 8-for-12 from beyond the arc.

"At the point that they were extending the lead, they were making their 3s and we were missing our 3s," Boyle said.

In addition to Alford, UCLA got big buckets from Anderson and Adams in the second half.

"This is their home floor, so of course they're going to shoot lights out here and they're going to do what they're supposed to do to win," said Johnson, who had 14 points and nine rebounds for CU. "We weren't able to contain that. That's how we ended up with the loss."

CU fell to 1-6 in out-of-state games this season, including 1-4 in Pac-12 road games. The Buffs will visit Southern Cal on Sunday night.

Contact BuffZone.com Writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/brianhowell33.