February 13, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins guard/forward Kyle Anderson (5) moves to the basket against the Colorado Buffaloes during the second half at Pauley Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Colorado gave UCLA all it could handle for 26 minutes Thursday night. Then, led by sophomore Kyle Anderson and freshman Bryce Alford, the Bruins played perhaps their best basketball of the season and the Buffaloes had no chance.
Anderson had 22 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists, Alford scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half on four 3-pointers in a five-minute span, and UCLA outscored Colorado 42-21 in the final 14 minutes for a 92-74 victory over the Buffaloes.
"The second half we put together was really good basketball," said UCLA coach Steve Alford, whose team trailed 53-50 before taking command. "It was a good basketball team that we beat. Hats off to our guys, they worked really hard tonight."
Jordan Adams had 17 points and seven rebounds and Travis Wear shot 6 of 6 for a season-high 13 points for the Bruins (19-5, 8-3 Pac-12), who remained in second place in conference action behind Arizona (23-1, 10-1), which plays at Arizona State on Friday night.
The Bruins shot 20 of 32 (62.5 percent) and had 15 assists and just four turnovers after halftime. In addition, they were 8 of 12 from 3-point range in the second half.
"We had 25 assists and 11 turnovers, that's really efficient offense," Steve Alford said.
Referring to his son, the senior Alford said: "You make four 3's in the second half coming off the bench, that really gives you a spark."
Overall, UCLA shot 35-of-62 (56.5 percent) including 11-of-22 from beyond the arc and outrebounded the Buffaloes 37-27.
"All of their 3's were contested," Colorado's Askia Booker said. "But they were at home where they feel most comfortable. It was just one of those nights. UCLA made more adjustments in the second half."
Josh Scott led Colorado (18-7, 7-5) with 20 points, but scored just six in the second half. Booker added 16 points and a career-high 12 assists and Xavier Johnson had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Buffaloes, who shot 12 of 32 (37.5 percent) after halftime after going 16 of 29 (55.2 percent) in the opening 20 minutes.
"We did a better job of sharing the ball in the second half," Anderson said. "We have to bring out the same intensity like we did in the second half when the ball tips off. By this time of the year, we should be clicking on all cylinders."
The Bruins certainly did just that down the stretch against the Buffaloes. Bryce Alford made three 3-pointers and Adams added five points during an 18-5 run that gave the Bruins a 68-58 lead with 10:21 remaining, and they were on top the rest of the way. Alford's last 3-pointer, with 7:33 left, extended UCLA's lead to 76-66.
The Buffaloes scored the next five points before Anderson scored five straight to make it 81-71 with 5:01 left. Colorado wasn't closer than seven points after that and the Bruins pulled away by scoring the game's final 11 points.
"You let a team shoot 66 percent from the three and 62 percent from the field in the second half, you are not going to beat many teams unless you are ultra-efficient offensively," Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. "We were ahead in the first half because we executed offensively and shot the ball well. In the second half, holy cow, the flood gates opened."
The Bruins have an 8-1 record in their series with Colorado. UCLA is 5-1 at home against Pac-12 opponents and 3-2 on the road while Colorado is 6-1 at home and 1-4 on the road.
Colorado entered having won three straight and was 4-3 since losing Spencer Dinwiddie for the season with a knee injury last month. The Buffaloes are 15-1 at home with their only loss a 69-56 setback to UCLA on Jan. 16 in the Buffaloes' first game without Dinwiddie, the team's leader in scoring, assists and steals when he was injured.
The Bruins shot 7 of 10 to begin the game and led by as many as eight points before Scott scored nine points during a 28-8 run that gave the Buffaloes a 33-21 lead.
Four straight points by Anderson triggered a 15-5 spurt that enabled UCLA to draw within two points before a dunk by Scott as the first half ended put the Buffaloes on top 40-36.
Anderson, the only Division I player in the country averaging at least 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists, had nine points, six assists and three rebounds in the half. The 6-foot-9 sophomore entered averaging 15.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists.
Colorado's Wesley Gordon, averaging 6.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and a team-leading 1.7 blocked shots, sat out his second straight game because of an injured ankle. The freshman forward has started all 21 games in which he's played.
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