Colorado is trying to recover from much more than just its first conference defeat.
With leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie out for the season, the No. 21 Buffaloes hope to regroup and beat No. 25 UCLA for the first time in Pac-12 play Thursday night.
Off to the program's best start, Colorado (14-3, 3-1) is faced with some adversity after Dinwiddie tore his ACL in the first half of Sunday's 71-54 loss at Washington. The junior guard averaged team highs of 14.7 points, 3.8 assists and 1.5 steals.
"They're hurting," coach Tad Boyle told Colorado's official website. "We've got great chemistry on this team. Guys care about each other. From that standpoint, the team's hurting.
"We're going to control what we can control, which is our attitude and effort every day in practice. That's all you can do in life."
Dinwiddie also was the Buffaloes' top 3-point threat, having made 26 of 63 (41.3 percent).
Boyle wants the focus solely on UCLA (13-3, 2-1), which re-entered the Top 25 after beating Arizona State 87-72 on Sunday for its fourth win in five games.
"What I told the team is that we don't have to beat every team without Spencer," he said. "We have to figure out a way to beat UCLA without Spencer. That's all we've got to do. Nothing changes in our preparation and in what we're going to try to do. We're down a man and everybody else has to step up."
Sunday's loss also saw freshman reserve Tre'Shaun Fletcher hurt his knee. He'll undergo surgery and miss six to eight weeks.
Colorado is trying to open 12-0 at home for the first time since 1968-69, but is 1-6 against the Bruins and has lost both matchups since joining the Pac-12. UCLA won 78-75 in Boulder last season despite Dinwiddie's 23 points.
Josh Scott and Askia Booker each added 18 in that loss for the Buffaloes, and they'll be counted on to help fill the offensive load in Dinwiddie's absence.
The 6-foot-10 Scott has averaged 16.0 points and 10.3 rebounds in the last six games. Booker, averaging 13.1 points, must bounce back after going scoreless on 0-of-9 shooting Sunday as the Buffaloes shot 34.5 percent and were outscored 49-29 after Dinwiddie's injury.
"I just want our players to realize they're here for a reason: they're capable as well," Boyle said.
The Bruins want to show they're capable of winning a true road game. They've only played one, falling 80-71 at Missouri on Dec. 7 to spoil their 8-0 start.
Their only losses since that one came to ranked Duke and Arizona teams, including 79-75 to the No. 1 Wildcats last Thursday.
UCLA came back three days later to roll past the Sun Devils, leading by as many as 23 points and no fewer than nine over the final 30 minutes. Freshman Zach LaVine scored 19 and Kyle Anderson added 17 with 13 rebounds and seven assists.
"They had a lot of pressure on them (Sunday) to win, and they executed well on both ends of the floor," coach Steve Alford said. "Our effort in practice has been incredible all year. They are a fun team to coach and effort has never been an issue."
Anderson has averaged 18.7 points and 12.0 boards in conference play.
He had 12 points, 10 rebounds and five assists at Colorado last season while Jordan Adams scored 18 - about his team-leading average this season (18.1) - and hit two key free throws with 7 seconds left. Teammate Travis Wear had a career-high 23 points but is averaging 5.9 this season.
Colorado is 2-2 against Top 25 teams, beating then-top 10 opponents Kansas and Oregon, and has won five straight home contests against ranked foes.
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