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UCLA Bruins Lose Pac-12 Basketball Opener to Colorado, 62-56

Steve Alford's UCLA squad was unable to overcome a Josh Scott-less Colorado squad, losing their Pac-12 opener to the Buffaloes, 62-56 in Boulder.

'Bryce, so what if you are 2-16 from the field tonight, shoot more'
'Bryce, so what if you are 2-16 from the field tonight, shoot more'
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The UCLA Basketball team has just wrapped up their Pac-12 regular season opener against Colorado in Boulder. The Bruins were unable to overcome a Colorado team missing all-conference forward Josh Scott, losing to the Buffs' 62-56 despite the best efforts of Norman Powell to pull off a late comeback after the Bruins fell behind in the final few minutes.

The first half was a close, if not memorable performance by either team. Just as well, given that nearly everybody here was likely watching the 4th quarter of the Alamo Bowl. Colorado went to the locker room with a 28-27 lead, on 38% shooting from the floor but 9-11 from the line. UCLA shot 31% from the floor and only shot 5 FT's in the half (making 2). The Bruins did outrebound the Buffs' 23-17 - Looney and Welsh each grabbing 5 -including 11 offensive boards. Alford and Hamilton shot a combined 4-14 (1-8 from behind the arc, 11 points total).

Issac Hamilton scored a quick 5 points as the Bruins opened the 2nd half on a 7-0 run to take a lead before the Buffs' got back on the scoreboard and regained the advantage. The game remained within a 2-possession margin until the final two minutes, thanks in large part to Bryce Alford's ugly attempt to play HEROBALL (2-16, 0-9 from 3pt range) and Steve Alford's unwillingness to reign him in. The fouls and empty Bruin possessions eventually took their toll, as the game ended with Kevon Looney, Tony Parker, Thomas Welsh and Gyorgy Golomon all in foul trouble as UCLA attempted a late comeback.

Powell and Hamilton were the offensive forces tonight for UCLA: Norman scored a game high 22 points (on 9-20 shooting) while Issac contributed 16 points. Despite Scott's absence, the big men could not take advantage, with Parker and Looney struggling to make an impact, though Welsh did grab 9 rebounds off of the bench. Overall, the Bruins shot 31% from the floor, and 23% from behind the arc (21-70, 6-26 from 3pt range). Thanks to a 22-14 foul disadvantage, Colorado took 25 shots from the line (making 21) while UCLA went 6-10.

UCLA's next game comes on Sunday afternoon at Utah, who come off of a scrimmage conference opening victory over Southern Cal.