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Colorado falls to UCLA in premier college women’s basketball matchup

The first top-five matchup of the college women’s basketball season delivered as the visiting No. 5 UCLA Bruins pulled away late from the No. 3 Colorado Buffaloes, 76-68.

UCLA guard Charisma Osborne led all scorers with 22 points, and Bruins center Lauren Betts returned to her home state and chipped in 20 points and 13 rebounds.

The Buffs led for most of the first half, going up by nine at one point in front of an all-time program record 11,338 fans at the CU Events Center. Point guard Jaylyn Sherrod led all Colorado scorers with 17 points despite battling foul trouble for most of the night.

Neither team was able to pull away for most of the second half. With the game tied at 60 midway through the fourth quarter, UCLA produced a 16-8 run marked by hot shooting, made free throws and strong rebounding. After shooting only 16-for-51 from the field in the first three quarters, the Bruins went 8-for-10 from the field and 10-for-13 from the stripe in the fourth quarter.

The Bruins dominated the Buffs on the glass all evening, finishing with a 44-27 advantage. CU head coach JR Payne addressed the rebounding discrepancy in her postgame press conference:

“Very disappointed and frustrated with our rebounding because I do think that determined the outcome of the game,” Payne said. “But it was two heavyweights, two of the best teams in the country (in the) first top-five matchup. I thought we competed on every single possession.”

The loss dropped Colorado to 15-2 overall and 5-1 in Pac-12 play.

To close the weekend, Colorado hosts No. 6 USC on Sunday at 1 p.m. MT.

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Story originally appeared on Buffaloes Wire