Colorado Basketball

March 1st

… CU in the Arena … 

No. 13 Buffs hold off Washington, 68-62 – JR Payne: “I’m just proud and happy to be back in the win column”

Related … “No. 13 CU Buffs hold off Washington to snap losing skid” … from the Daily Camera

Related … “No. 13 Colorado women end 4-game skid beating Washington 68-62” … from ESPN

From CUBuffs.comThe No. 13 Colorado Buffaloes women’s basketball team got back on track after taking down the Washington Huskies 68-62 at the CU Events Center Thursday night.

After a four-game skid, the Buffs (21-7, 11-6 Pac-12) averted a late comeback bid made by the Huskies (15-13, 5-12 Pac-12) to return home with a win. Eight of nine Colorado players who saw game action converted at least one field goal in the 40 minutes.

“I’m just really happy to be back at home,” head coach JR Payne expressed. “I’m really happy with how we played in spurts. Certainly not 40 minutes, but we played really well in spurts on both sides of the floor. Pushing through fatigue and some injury. I knew we’d be tired. I was really happy with how we responded. A lot of different people came in and really contributed at different times. Playing through frustration and missing some shots we normally make, but we kept our heads in the game. When the game was on the line, we were able to execute and do some good things. I’m just proud and happy to be back in the win column. Excited to be home. Happy that Senior Day is coming up.”

Maddie Nolan led all players in scoring after cashing in on six 3-pointers (6-for-7), four of which came in the first half. She finished with a new CU career-high 20 points.

“It definitely felt nice,” Nolan expressed. “My teammates, as always, do a great job of finding me and you saw a couple times Jaylyn [Sherrod] kick ahead to me in transition and I passed it back but it’s nice to play with people that know where you are on the floor and are always looking for you.”

Frida Formann was also a big contributor offensively, catching fire in the second quarter with 10 points and helping the Buffs gain a comfortable lead in the first half. A big difference-maker was Colorado’s ability to share the ball, especially from Tameiya Sadler and Kindyll Wetta who combined for 10 of the team’s 13 assists. 

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February 29th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

No. 13 CU women looking to right the ship v. Washington (7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From the Daily Camera … For some teams, a four-game losing streak, especially late in the season, could dent the confidence.

Senior Quay Miller isn’t worried about the confidence level of the Colorado women’s basketball team, however, and neither is head coach JR Payne.

“I think having an older group allows you to have pretty good perspective on things,” Payne said. “These are kids that have been through life stuff and have faced adversity before, beyond basketball. And so having that perspective I think is really important.”

On Thursday, the 13th-ranked Buffs will host Washington to kick off the final weekend of the regular season. That’s followed by a Saturday afternoon matchup against Washington State.

CU has lost four in a row, all to top-20 ranked teams by only a combined 21 points, but Payne said the key to getting out of the slump is “being able to be rational about all of it.”

The bad news about the four-game skid is that it dropped the Buffs out of contention for the regular season Pac-12 title and damaged their chances for a first-round bye for next week’s conference tournament.

The good news is that CU’s main goals are still in play. The Buffs are talented and capable enough to finish strong this weekend, make some noise in Las Vegas next week and earn a hosting spot for the NCAA Tournament next month.

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CU win streak at three games after 88-78 win over Cal: “I thought our guys locked in as the second half wore on” 

Related … “Win streak up to three as CU Buffs men’s basketball takes down Cal” … From the Daily Camera

Related … “Colorado wins 3rd straight, beats Cal 88-78 behind Simpson’s 27 points and Da Silva’s 22” … from ESPN

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado put four players in double figures and the Buffaloes’ men’s basketball team hammered out an 88-78 win over Cal on Wednesday at the CU Events Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs won their third in a row to improve to 15-1 at home, 19-9 overall and 10-7 in Pac-12 play. The Bears dropped to 13-16, 9-9.

KJ Simpson led the Buffs with 27 points — 18 in the second half — and added seven rebounds and eight assists. Tristan da Silva tallied 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists; J’Vonne Hadley scored 13 and Eddie Lampkin Jr. chipped in 12.

Jaylon Tyson led Cal with 25 points.

The Buffs took the lead less than four minutes into the game and never trailed, but there were still some tense moments. Colorado had a 14-point lead at the half thanks to 18 points from da Silva, only to see the Bears shave that deficit to just five midway through the second half.

But Simpson then took control to help the Buffs push their lead back to double digits and the Bears never threatened down the stretch.

The Buffs shot 50% from the floor (29-for-58) and hit 23 of their 29 free throw attempts. CU held the Bears to 42 percent shooting (29-for-69), including just 9-for-31 from long range.

Colorado also held a 40-31 edge on the boards and the Buffs’ strategy of trying to push the pace all night paid off with a 22-8 edge in fast break points.

CU also collected the win without the services of starter Cody Williams and key reserve Julian Hammond III, both of whom were out with injuries.

“Cal’s a heck of a team but I thought our guys locked in as the second half wore on,” Boyle said. “I thought the pace of the game was key. We’re playing at altitude, we’re in good shape and it takes its toll. Tristan was phenomenal in the first half and I can’t say enough about KJ in that second half.”

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February 28th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

CU facing must win scenario (again) v. Cal (6:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From the Daily Camera

California, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024
CU Events Center, Boulder, Colo.
Tip: 6:02 p.m. MT
TV: Pac-12 Network (Jacob Tobey, Mike Montgomery)
Watch Online: Pac-12 Now App, Pac-12.com
Radio: KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM (Mark Johnson, Scott Wilke)
Satellite: Sirius XM 373 & SXM App (Pac12)
Listen Online: CUBuffs.com
Live Statistics:http://statb.us/b/483972

It didn’t save Colorado from a regrettable result, but Eddie Lampkin Jr. enjoyed one of his finest moments with the Buffaloes in Berkeley last month.

The CU men’s basketball team will look for a repeat performance in the rematch on Wednesday night at the Events Center (6 p.m., Pac-12 Network), as the Buffs try to keep assembling a possible late-season run against a California team enjoying its first three-game win streak within the conference in five years.

The Buffs fell 82-78 at Cal on Jan. 10 despite a huge game from Lampkin. The 6-foot-11 transfer from TCU went 7-for-11 against the Bears, finishing with a career-high 22 points along with 11 rebounds. It was one of Lampkin’s seven double-doubles this season.

Defensively, Lampkin held Cal forward Fardaws Aimaq in check as well as anyone this season. Aimaq went 3-for-8 with a season-low six points  (it remains tied for his season-low), and although Aimaq grabbed six of the Bears’ 14 offensive rebounds, he finished with 10 overall. Aimaq enters Wednesday’s game leading the Pac-12 while tied for fourth nationally at 11.3 rebounds per game.

While Aimaq was kept relatively in check, Cal guards Jaylon Tyson and Jalen Cone crushed the Buffs during the Bears’ second-half rally in Berkeley.

Tyson, the brother of former CU wide receiver Jordyn Tyson, scored 23 of his 30 points in the second half, finishing 10-for-15 from the floor and 7-for-7 at the free throw line. Cone finished just 4-for-17, but he hit three 3-pointers in the second half.

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ABOUT THE GOLDEN BEARS: California is 13-15 overall and  in sixth place in the Pac-12 at 9-8. The Golden Bears have won three-straight and coming off a home sweep of the Oregon schools last week.  California averages 74.9 points per game while shooting 42.7 percent from the field. The Golden Bears are second in the Pac-12 in 3-pointers at 8.8 made per game while ranking eighth in percentage (.345). Defensively, Cal allows 75.8 points per game while opponents shoot 44.4 percent from the field.

Guard Jaylon Tyson leads California at 20.1 points and 3.3 assists per game while grabbing 7.0 rebounds per contest and shooting 48 percent from the field. Forward Fardaws Aimaq leads the Pac-12 and ranks fifth in the nation in rebounding at 11.3 per game. He is second on the team in scoring at 14.7 points per game and his 18 double-doubles on the season lead the Pac-12 and rank fifth nationally. Guard Jalen Cone averages 13.5 points and has a team-best 80 3-point field goals made.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 42nd meeting between Colorado and California with the Buffaloes holding a 22-19 lead. California won the season’s first meeting, 82-78, in Berkeley on Jan. 10. The Buffaloes hold a 14-2 advantage in Boulder and have won the last six.

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February 27th

… CU in the Arena … 

Another rally, another loss: No. 13 CU falls to No. 8 UCLA, 53-45 – “I’m sure everybody’s pretty frustrated”

From CUBuffs.comNo. 13 Colorado women’s basketball fell 53-45 to No. 8 UCLA team here Monday night at Pauley Pavilion in what was a defensive battle for the Buffaloes from start to finish.

Despite the Buffs (20-7, 10-6 Pac-12) forcing the Bruins (22-5, 11-5 Pac-12) into committing 24 total turnovers on the night, Colorado struggled on the other end offensively, shooting just 28.6% (16-for-56) from the field.

“We are definitely a resilient group,” head coach JR Payne said after the tough loss. “No matter what, no matter when, no matter where, we’re going to compete and fight and continue to play hard and things like that. But again, it is frustrating.”

While Colorado’s offense was sluggish at times, there were some bright spots defensively. The Buffs racked up 15 steals which helped them to score 21 points off UCLA turnovers.

Guards Jaylyn Sherrod and Kindyll Wetta combined for eight of those steals and three blocks. Sherrod led all Colorado players in scoring with 10 points. She added seven rebounds and four assists before fouling out of the game with under 30 seconds remaining.

Frida Formann had a great first half, scoring nine points on three 3-pointers, however, she was held scoreless in the final two quarters. Quay Miller picked up the scoring with all nine of her points coming in the second half.

CU made several large scoring runs and stops to get back in the game time and time again, but the Buffs’ offense wasn’t able to fully capitalize on those opportunities.

“I’m sure everybody’s pretty frustrated,” said Payne. “You couldn’t not be. But that’s not a bad thing if it spurs you to work a little bit harder or to tinker a little bit more or be self-reflective on ways that individually we can be better. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.”

After its fourth straight loss, Colorado will look to get back on track at home against Washington on Thursday.

“Our only thought always is to figure things out,” Payne stated. “Put your head down and work and figure out how we can be better. That’s really the only solution.

“We have great players. We have great coaches. We just gotta be able to really put our heads down and figure out what’s not working and make some adjustments and get it working again.”

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February 26th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena …

KJ Simpson named Pac-12 Player of the Week

From CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado junior guard KJ Simpson has been named the Pac-12 Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for his efforts during the week of Feb. 19-25, the conference office announced on Monday.

Simpson, a native of Panorama City, Calif., had a game-high 28 points along with four rebounds, three assists and a steal to lead the Buffaloes to an 89-65 home win over Utah on Feb. 24 in the team’s only action last week. He hit 10-of-15 shots from the floor, including 5-of-8 from 3-point range, while going a perfect 3-of-3 from the free throw line. Simpson’s 10 field goals matched his own team season high.

The Pac-12 Player of the Week honor for Simpson is his first of the season and third overall, winning twice as a sophomore in 2022-23. Simpson was a two-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honoree in 2021-22. Monday’s weekly honor is Colorado’s third this season. Tristan da Silva was Player of the Week on Dec. 11 while Cody Williams was Freshman of the Week on Jan. 22.

A Pac-12 Player of the Year candidate, Simpson recorded his 16th 20-point game of the season, the most by a Buffalo since Alec Burks had 24 20-point games in 2010-11. He moved into 20th on Colorado’s single-season scoring list with 528 points and became the 26th player to reach 1,200 in his career.

A Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy candidate, Simpson leads the Buffaloes averaging 19.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. He is one of only two players in major conferences to average at least 19-5-4 an outing and one of five in NCAA Division 1.

Colorado is 18-9 overall and tied for fourth in the Pac-12 at 9-7. The Buffaloes close out the home portion of their regular season schedule this week hosting California on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 6 p.m. (Pac-12 Network/850 AM & 94.1 FM KOA) and Stanford for Senior Night on Sunday, March 3, at 7 p.m. (FS1/850 AM & 94.1 FM KOA).

No. 13 CU women try to break three-game losing streak at No. 8 UCLA (7:00 p.m., MT, ESPN2)

From the Daily Camera … CU could not have played much better than it did during a 90-57 rout of Oregon on Feb. 9 at the CU Events Center. The Buffs sat tied with Stanford for first place in the Pac-12 at that point, while owning the tie-breaker for the top spot.

Three games later, the 13th-ranked Buffs (20-6, 10-5 Pac-12) are fighting just to finish in top four and earn a first-round bye for the upcoming conference tournament.

Consecutive losses to No. 9 Oregon State, No. 18 Utah and No. 7 USC have all but ended CU’s hopes for the regular season conference title going into the final week of the regular season. A loss to the 12th-ranked Bruins would severely damage the bid for a top four finish, too.

Friday’s 87-81 loss to USC was the latest setback, but it left head coach JR Payne with some encouragement after fighting through foul trouble to nearly knock off the hottest team in the conference on the road.

UCLA, then No. 5 in the Associated Press poll, beat the then-No. 3 Buffs 76-68 in Boulder on January 19. To date, that’s still the only top-five matchup in the country this season.

Since then, however, UCLA is 6-4, while CU is 5-4 and they’re now tied for fourth place. Monday’s winner has the inside track on a first-round bye for the conference tournament, while the loser likely to has to get to Las Vegas a day earlier than it wanted.

Through Sunday’s action around the league, Stanford (13-3 in conference) has a two-game lead with two to play. The Cardinal can clinch the title with a win Thursday at Oregon State (11-5) or Saturday at last-place Oregon (2-14). OSU is tied with USC (11-5) for second. The winner of the CU-UCLA game will join that second-place tie, while the loser will join Utah (10-6) in a tie for fifth place.

Payne is less concerned about the result and the stakes than she is about how her team plays against the Bruins, however.

“We just have to work to play great basketball,” she said. “Execute both sides of the floor, execute the scout, play with good offensive movement, let the ball keep moving and things like that. So win or lose, that’s not really a point. We play great, we give ourselves a chance.”

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February 25th

… CU in the Arena … 

For Buffs, it’s all about Cal, not March: “We can’t focus on anything ahead right now”

From the Daily Camera … The win over Utah keeps CU squarely in the race for a top-four finish and the accompanying first-round bye at the Pac-12 Conference tournament, and it moved the Buffs up six spots to No. 35 in Sunday’s NET rankings heading into the penultimate week of the regular season.

Boyle understands the stakes. Yet he also believes the only thing truly within his team’s control is its focus on the next opponent, which in this case is a Wednesday night home date against California (6 p.m., Pac-12 Network).

In many respects, March has already begun for the Buffs, who might face the prospect of sliding off the NCAA Tournament bubble heading into each of the final four games of the regular season.

“I’ll be honest with you. I was talking to a coaching friend of mine who’s not in the business anymore (on Friday) and I think too much emphasis is put on the NCAA Tournament,” Boyle said following Saturday’s win. “They start talking about it November. I know our guys are aware of it. And I’m aware of it. We have KenPom ratings and NET ratings and all that stuff. I still don’t understand the NET, and it’s been favorable to us.

“I just think it’s talked about too much. We’ve got Selection Sunday. We know when it is. This is a long season. Everybody’s got 31 regular season games. We’ve got four left. How we play down the stretch is going to determine what our chances are. I’m not trying to be naïve and stick my head in the sand, but the key for me as a coach, you just want to make sure your players, you’re getting better, you’re improving.”

CU (18-9, 9-7 Pac-12) moved into a tie for fourth-place in the league standings with UCLA following the Bruins’ home loss on Saturday against USC, although UCLA owns the head-to-head tiebreaker with CU thanks to a win in the teams’ only matchup on Feb. 15. Both teams are just one game behind Oregon (10-6 Pac-12), which lost on Saturday at Cal and also lost in Boulder on Jan. 18.

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Buffs pick up “must-win” with an 89-65 rout of Utah: “It was just a great performance by our guys”

Related … Buffaloes Roll Past Utah … from CUBuffs.com

Related … “Simpson scores 28, Hadley 20 and Colorado blows past Utah 89-65” … from ESPN

From the Daily Camera … The Colorado men’s basketball team still can’t seem to shake the injury bug that has caused consistent roadblocks during the 2023-24 season.

It didn’t stop the Buffaloes from picking up a much-needed victory, however.

CU put together a hot start and never truly let Utah back in the game, as the Buffs steadily pulled away for an 89-65 victory on Saturday night at the CU Events Center. Combined with UCLA’s home loss against USC on Saturday, the Buffs moved into a fourth-place tie with the Bruins in the Pac-12 standings.

It was CU’s sixth win in their past seven home games against the Utes. And it was one of the Buffs’ top all-around performances of the season, as CU shot .542, held Utah to a 4-for-23 mark on 3-pointers, and committed a season-low four turnovers.

The Buffs played without backup guard Julian Hammond III, who suffered a knee injury at practice on Friday. CU also watched standout freshman Cody Williams exit the game with 7 minutes, 52 seconds left in the first half due to a right ankle injury. Williams remained in the locker room for the rest of the first half but returned to the lineup after halftime.

“It was just a great performance by our guys,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “KJ (Simpson) was KJ tonight. He was doing what he’s been doing all year for us. J’Vonne Hadley was phenomenal, both offensively and defensively.”

CU built a 17-point lead during the first half, but Utah used a 9-2 run before the break to cut the Buffs lead to 43-34 going into the second half. At that point, Utah guard Gabe Madsen, working predominantly against Williams, was 6-for-10 with three 3-pointers and 16 points. After halftime, Hadley drew the defensive assignment on Madsen and held the Utes guard to a 1-for-4 mark with just two points in final 20 minutes.

Continue reading story here

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February 24th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Do or die: Bubble team battle at the CEC – CU v. Utah (7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From CUBuffs.com

Utah, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024
CU Events Center, Boulder, Colo.
Tip: 7:10 p.m. MT
TV: Pac-12 Network (Ted Robinson, Sed Bonner)
Watch Online: Pac-12 Now App, Pac-12.com
Radio: KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM (Mark Johnson, Scott Wilke)
Satellite: Sirius XM 373 & SXM App (Pac12)
Listen Online: CUBuffs.com
Live Statistics:http://statb.us/b/498948

THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 17-9 overall and fifth place in the Pac-12 Conference at 8-7. The Buffaloes are one game out of that coveted top four position which receives a bye in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament and two out of third.

Colorado is coming off a road split in Southern California last week. The Buffaloes suffered 64-60 setback at UCLA on Feb. 15, but rebounded with a thrilling come-from-behind 92-89 double overtime win at USC on Feb. 17, snapping a two-game skid and giving CU its second true road win of the season.

The Buffaloes return home to the friendly confines for the next three contests. Colorado has been spectacular at home, winning 13 of 14 contests. The Buffaloes have averaged 85.1 points while shooting 52 percent from the field and 42 percent from 3-point range. Colorado has outscored the opposition by 16.4 points per game at the CU Events Center while enjoying a rebounding margin of plus-9.4.

Overall, Colorado is one of the top all-around shooting teams in the country, ranking in the top 11 nationally in all three percentage categories: overall field goal, 3-point and free throws. The Buffaloes are ninth in the nation in free throw percentage (.786) and 3-point accuracy (.390) while ranking 11th in overall field goal shooting (.494).

ABOUT THE UTES: Utah is 16-10 overall and seventh in the Pac-12 at 7-8. The Utes gained a split in Southern California last week, falling at USC 68-64 on Feb. 15, but picking up a thrilling 70-69 victory at UCLA on Feb. 18, snapping a three-game skid. The Utes average 78.3 points while shooting 46.5 percent from the field. Utah ranks third in the Pac-12 in 3-pointers with 8.7 made per game. Defensively, Utah allows 72.8 points while opponents shoot 42.2 percent. Utah is the second-best rebounding team in the Pac-12, grabbing 39.5 per contest.

Fifth-year senior center Branden Carlson leads Utah at 16.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Senior guard Gabe Madsen averages 12.8 points and leads the team with 69 3-point field goals.  Senior guard Deivon Smith averages 11.6 points and 6.2 assists per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 61st meeting between Colorado and Utah with the Buffaloes holding a 33-27 series lead. Utah took a 73-68 decision in Salt Lake City on Feb. 3. Colorado has 22-7 series lead in Boulder.

 

No. 11 Buffs fall to No. 7 USC, 87-80 – JR Payne: “I’m actually proud of the way we played”

From CUBuffs.com … No. 11 Colorado fell short in California, losing 87-81 to No. 7 Southern California at the Galen Center on Friday.

The loss is the Buffaloes’ second road loss in a row and their first three-game losing streak since January 2022, dropping the team to 20-6 overall and 10-5 in the Pac-12. USC (21-4, 11-4 Pac-12) splits the season series with CU while notching its seventh consecutive win.

USC led by as many as 15 in the fourth quarter, but Colorado hung around until the very end.

JuJu Watkins led the Trojan offense with a game-high 42 points. The USC freshman made 10 field goals and went 18-for-18 from the free-throw line. McKenzie Forbes posted a near double-double, going for 24 points and seven assists while shooting 5-of-6 (83.3%) from long range.

Colorado’s offensive efficiency edged out USC, going 57.1% from the floor. CU shot a staggering 72.7% (16-for-22) from the field in the first half, aided heavily by the Buffs’ 90.0% (9-for-10) effort in the second quarter.

Foul trouble plagued Colorado early and proved to be influential throughout the night. The Buffs saw both Jaylyn Sherrod and Aaronette Vonleh foul out of the game in the fourth quarter while sending USC to the line 25 times. Colorado missed 10 free throws on the night, while USC didn’t miss at the line until midway through the fourth quarter.

“I’m actually really proud of how we played,” head coach JR Payne emphasized. “We have to be able to adjust a little bit quicker to how they’re [officials] calling games because the foul trouble clearly hurt us throughout the entire game. I thought we played really good basketball – offensively, and at times, defensively.”

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February 23rd – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

No. 11 CU women at No. 7 USC (8:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks) – “We have to embrace the challenge”

From the Daily Camera … Frida Formann knows it’s a cliché to say a team can only control the controllables.

It’s cliché, however, because it’s true and it’s the focus of the Colorado women’s basketball team as it heads into a critical weekend trip to Los Angeles. The 11th-ranked Buffaloes visit No. 7 USC on Friday (8 p.m., Pac-12 Network). That’s followed by an equally important matchup at No. 12 UCLA on Monday (7 p.m., ESPN2).

“The game is gonna be big and important and all that no matter what you do,” said Formann, a senior guard for the Buffs. “There’s things that you can control and it’s a cliché, but that’s what helps. You can control how you practice and your approach and all that stuff. So that’s what we’re gonna have to do, I think.”

The Buffs are riding their first two-game losing streak of the season and although both losses – against current No. 9 Oregon State and No. 18 Utah – came by only a combined seven points, they were damaging to CU’s league title hopes.

Going into this weekend, the Buffs are two games behind league-leading Stanford and are now fighting to stay in the top four of the Pac-12 standings and earn a first-round bye for the Pac-12 tournament.

“I mean, we have to (embrace the challenge),” Buffs head coach JR Payne said. “That’s the only option is trying to figure things out and figure out, again, what we’re doing well, what we’re not doing well, how do we capitalize on our strengths, how do we minimize our weaknesses? I’m a pretty black-and-white person anyway, you know, so that’s my approach to most things.

“It’s making sure that we’re all together in this and how we’re processing and climbing our way back to playing great basketball.”

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Do the Buffs have a February push in them? “Our defense dictates the outcome of the games”

From the Daily Camera … There still is a fervent belief within the Colorado men’s basketball team that a February push is well within the Buffaloes’ reach.

Putting one together will almost certainly require a hot streak defensively.

Although the Buffs managed to escape last weekend’s two-game trip through Los Angeles with a split, CU’s unexpected struggles on defense continued. With a run of three consecutive home games that begins on Saturday against Utah (7 p.m., Pac-12 Network), CU hopes to discover some consistency at an end of the floor that has been largely inconsistent throughout the entire 2023-24 season.

“That’s been a challenge with this group, for whatever reason,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “I think we’ve got smart guys. I know they hear it from me. And I know they see it in film. The Utah game was the same way. Our backs were against the wall and then we turn it around defensively. It was good. We’ve got to play with a sense of urgency from the get-go.

“If I had the answer, it would be fixed. Part of it might be I’m playing guys too many minutes. I’ve thought about that. We’ve got a capable team. And I’ve told them we don’t have to get 100% better. We’ve just got to get 10 or 15 or 20% better and we’ll be fine.”

“You can see it, you can feel it, you can sense it when you’re out there on the court,” CU senior Tristan da Silva said. “Every time we play good defense and we finally get into transition and get to run on our opponents, that’s when we’re at our best. When we control the pace of the game. And that’s hard to do when you’ve got to get the ball out of the basket every time down. It’s kind of frustrating when people score on you every single time, because you don’t really feel like you’re in control of the game. We’ve talked about it enough to be aware of it. Our defense dictates the outcome of the games.”

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February 19th

… CU in the Arena … 

CBS Bracketology: CU last team into the field of 68

From CBS Sports … On Saturday, there weren’t any big winners among the bubble teams. It was really more about avoiding a calamitous defeat.

It took double OT, but Colorado won at USC to stay alive. The last team in Saturday’s bracket will get a shot at fellow Pac-12 bubbler Utah next. Opportunities to improve its case for selection get pretty thin after that.

Also in the Pac-12, Oregon won at Oregon State in a tight game that keeps the Ducks in the hunt. Unlike Colorado, they will have more chances to get the kinds of wins they need to get into the field, including a game at Arizona and visits from the Buffaloes and Utah to end the regular season.

From the Pac-12 … 

  • No. 1 seed … Arizona
  • No. 7 seed … Washington State
  • No. 11 seed … Utah (Last Four In)
  • No. 11 seed … Colorado (Last Four In)

bw-colorado.png

CU women fall out of Top Ten (to No. 11) for the first time in 14 weeks

… The 14 weeks in the Top Ten represents the third-longest run for the CU women’s team in school history … 

From CBS Sports … USC, which has won six straight games, climbed three spots to No. 7 in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll Monday while South Carolina remained a unanimous No. 1.

USC swept Oregon and then-No. 11 Oregon State over the weekend. The Trojans moved into a tie for second place in the Pac-12 Conference, two games behind Stanford. They host Colorado and Utah this weekend.

The six teams in front of USC didn’t change, with South Carolina leading the way, as it has since the regular season began. The Gamecocks received all 35 votes from a national media panel. South Carolina was tested in both its games last week, rallying to beat Tennessee and Georgia. Coach Dawn Staley’s team trailed at halftime at home against Georgia on Sunday before winning by 14 points.

Ohio State was right behind South Carolina, marking the first time in seven weeks that a No. 2 team held its place for two consecutive polls. No. 3 Stanford, Iowa, Texas and NC State followed the Buckeyes.

Virginia Tech climbed four spots to eighth after beating Duke and Louisville. The Hokies have won nine in a row and sit in first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference, a game in front of Syracuse.

Oregon State moved up to ninth despite the loss to USC after beating then-No. 9 UCLA.

Kansas State fell three places to No. 10, while Colorado and UCLA also dropped three places.

1. South Carolina (35)25-0
2. Ohio St.22-3
3. Stanford23-3
4. Iowa23-3
5. Texas24-4
6. NC State23-3
7. Southern Cal20-4
8. Virginia Tech22-4
9. Oregon St.21-4
10. Kansas St.22-4
11. Colorado20-5
12. UCLA20-5
13. LSU21-4
14. Indiana21-3
15. UConn22-5
16. Gonzaga26-2
17. Syracuse22-4
18. Utah19-7
19. Notre Dame18-6
20. Louisville21-6
21. Creighton21-3
22. West Virginia22-3
23. Oklahoma18-7
24. Baylor19-6
25. Princeton20-3

—–

February 18th 

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs erase 16-point second half deficit, take down USC in 2OT, 92-89

RelatedHollywood ending scripted by CU Buffs in stunning double-OT win at USC … from the Daily Camera

Related … Colorado rallies from 16 points down to beat USC 92-89 in double OT … From ESPN

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado erased a 16-point second half deficit to force overtime Saturday and the Buffaloes then fought through a second overtime to collect a 92-89 victory over Southern California at the Galen Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs improved to 17-9 overall and 8-7 in Pac-12 play while the Trojans slipped to 10-16, 4-11.

KJ Simpson led CU with 30 points — 24 coming in the second half — and nine rebounds as the Buffs collected a much-needed road victory. J’Vonne Hadley had a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double, his second of the season, Tristan da Silva tallied 18 points and Cody Williams chipped in 14.

Boogie Ellis led USC with 30 points.

The Buffs trailed by 16 with 9:52 to play in regulation but never quit, slowly chipping away at the lead. CU used a 9-0 run to narrow the deficit to single digits with just under six minutes to play, then whittled the USC lead to one with just more than a minute to play.

Colorado finally tied the game at 73-73 with 3 seconds remaining in regulation when Simpson dished a pass underneath to Luke O’Brien, who delivered a thundering dunk to force overtime.

USC then forced a second overtime with a layup to tie the game at 83-83 at the end of the first extra period but the Buffs outscored the Trojans 9-6 in the second overtime to collect the win. Simpson hit two free throws with 1:09 remaining to give the Buffs the cushion they needed.

The Buffs were once again hampered by turnovers, committing 21. But they made up for the miscues by shooting 52.5% from the floor (31-for-59) while also holding a commanding 47-22 edge on the boards.

USC shot 47% from the floor (34-73), but the Buffs held the Trojans to just 15-for-35 shooting over the last 17 minutes of regulation and 10 minutes of extra play.

“I’m not big on historical wins and stuff like that, but I know this was the grittiest, grittiest win I’ve experienced at Colorado in a long, long time,” Boyle said. “Our guys deserved it for all the things we’ve been through. All the injuries and just coming up short so many times. Tonight we figured out a way to come out a winner. Sometimes it’s not pretty but you find a way to win and our guys did that tonight.”

Continue reading story here

—–

February 17th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs facing a must-win game at USC (8:00 p.m., MT, ESPN)

From CUBuffs.com

Galen Center, Los Angeles, Calif.
Tip: 8:05 p.m. MT
TV: ESPN (Dave Pasch, Sean Farnham)
Watch Online: WatchESPN
Radio: KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM (Mark Johnson, Scott Wilke)
Satellite: Sirius XM 388 & SXM App (978)
Listen Online: CUBuffs.com
Live Statistics: https://statb.us/v/colo/496484

THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 16-9 overall and tied for fifth place in the Pac-12 Conference at 7-7. The Buffaloes are two games out of that coveted top four position which receives a bye in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.

Colorado is coming off a 64-60 setback at UCLA on Feb. 15, in the lone meeting between the schools this season. The Buffaloes have lost their last two and four of their last five overall. Colorado is just 1-7 in true road contests this season; 3-8 away from Boulder.

Overall, Colorado is one of the top all-around shooting teams in the country, ranking in the top 13 nationally in all three percentage categories: overall field goal, 3-point and free throws. The Buffaloes are seventh in the nation in free throw percentage (.790), 10th in 3-point accuracy (.387) and 13th in overall shooting (.493).

Colorado is the only program in NCAA Division I in the nation’s top 13 of all three categories (through games of Feb. 15). Colorado also sports top 50 marks nationally in rebound margin (+7.2, 18th), free throws made (16.7 mpg, 31st), assists (16.0, 39th) and scoring offense (79.8).

Colorado’s 60 points against UCLA was its second-fewest of the season and the 46 field goal attempts was a season low. The 46 field goal attempts were the Buffaloes fewest since having just 42 vs. Washington State on Jan. 22, 2023 (W, 58-55)

Colorado leads the Pac-12 in field goal shooting, free throw percentage and rebounding defense (30.1 rpg) while ranking second in 3-point shooting, scoring defense (72.0 ppg) and rebound margin, third in scoring and scoring margin (+7.8) and fourth in assists.

ABOUT THE TROJANS: USC is 10-15 overall and 4-10 in the Pac-12 coming off a 68-64 win against Utah on Feb. 15, snapping a two-game skid. USC averages 74.1 points while shooting 44.5 percent from the field. Defensively, the Trojans have allowed 74.9 points while opponents shoot 42.8 percent. USC leads the Pac-12 and ranks 15th in the nation in blocks at 5.3 per game.

Fifth-year senior Boogie Ellis leads USC at 16.1 points per game and has the third-most 3-pointers in the Pac-12 this season with 61. Freshman guard Isaiah Collier averages 15.7 points and leads the team in assists with 78. Kobe Johnson averages 10.2 points with a team-best 42 steals. Joshua Morgan averages 5.8 points on 58.4 percent shooting and is ninth in the country in blocks at 2.4 per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 28th meeting between Colorado and USC with the Buffaloes holding a 17-10 series lead. Colorado won the season’s first meeting, 68-58 in Boulder on Jan. 13, snapping a three-game Trojans win streak in the series. Colorado holds a 6-5 edge in Los Angeles.

Read full story here

—–

February 16th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Another furious comeback, but another loss: Buffs fall to No. 22 Utah, 77-76

From CUBuffs.com … No. 8 Colorado staged an incredible comeback late in the fourth quarter but fell 77-76 to No. 22 Utah at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on Friday.

The loss, just the third on the road this season for the Buffaloes, drops the team to 20-5 overall and 10-4 in the Pac-12. Utah (19-7, 9-5 Pac-12) splits the season series with CU, notching its second consecutive win and moving to 10-2 at home.

Utah led by as many as 18 to start the second half and Colorado stormed back in the fourth, outscoring the Utes 26-15 and took its first lead of the game with 19 seconds remaining. CU’s tenacious defense forced seven turnovers in the final frame including three critical turnovers in the last 60 seconds.

The Buffaloes outscored Utah 52-38 in the second half but the offensive struggles that plagued CU in the first 20 minutes proved to be too much to overcome.

“We just want to play great basketball and we didn’t” head coach JR Payne emphasized. “We totally did not execute the scout [report] collectively in the first half. Every possession is crucial so I don’t understand how we can just not do what we’re supposed to do for longer periods of time.

“We dialed up the pressure. The zone was great. The press was great.” Payne expressed when asked about their uptick in defensive tenacity in the fourth quarter. “We talked about being aggressive [and] getting downhill – attacking their feet. In the second half, we did that a lot. That got us free touches and good looks at the rim. I thought overall aggressiveness on both sides helped us.”

Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 candidate Jaylyn Sherrod and Frida Formann led Colorado with 15 points. Sherrod fought through adversity late in the game and tallied a team-high nine assists and two steals. Formann shot 3-for-44 from 3-point range with all three coming in the second half. Aaronette Vonleh was the only other Buff to get into double-figure scoring (14) while also blocking three shots.

Colorado shot 50.0% (32-64) on the day, helped by a 62.9% (22-35) effort in the second half. The Utes shot 29-of-56 (51.7%) from the field and shot 12-of-16 from the free-throw line, including 8-for-10 to secure the win in the final moments.

“We just have to be better at our basics – our execution at this point in the season”  Formann noted. “These games really matter. We’re going to have some good practices. We really have to dial in [for this final stretch of Pac-12 regular season games].”

Utah extended its lead to 13 early in the fourth quarter. Then the Buffaloes’ urgency kicked up as they narrowed the Utes lead to three with 50.7 seconds remaining in the game. CU forced four turnovers in the final 10 minutes and Formann had six points to lead CU in the 14-8 final-quarter run.

The Buffs mounted a 6-0 run in the final minute to achieve their first lead, 76-75, off a Vonleh put-back layup. Colorado’s valiant effort fell short as Utah hit the winner as time expired.

Continue reading story here

No. 8 CU opens tough stretch at No. 22 Utah 

The Game: Colorado and Utah meet for the first time in 2024. The Buffs closed the 2023 calendar year with an impressive 76-65 win over Utah in Boulder. A win would give CU its first two-game sweep over Utah since the 2014-15 season.

About the Utes: Utah comes in at No. 22 in the AP poll this week, having won three of its last four games. The lone loss was to then-No. 17 Oregon State. Utah is 2-6 this season against ranked opponents.

From the Daily Camera … With five games to play in the regular season, the eighth-ranked Buffs are technically in second place, but face a crucial stretch of road games, beginning Friday at No. 22 Utah.

No. 3 Stanford (11-2 in conference play) is a game ahead of the Buffs (10-3), while No. 11 Oregon State (9-3) is right there, too. The Beavers are 2-0 against the Buffs, however.

Behind that trio is No. 9 UCLA (8-4), No. 10 USC (8-4) and Utah (8-5). CU plays each of those three teams, all on the road, in the next three games.

Stanford has just one remaining game against a top 25 opponent (at Oregon State). The other five contenders all have three upcoming games against top 25 foes, but CU is the only one of the group that has all of those games on the road. (OSU’s three are all at home).

That’s why it doesn’t do much good to look at the standings right now. The CU players are aware of the standings, but plenty can happen between now and March 2 – the last day of the regular season – and the only thing CU can control is itself.

“There’s always been that rumbling (among players) of like, ‘Oh, we need to win these next three games and we need Stanford to lose’ – that type of thing,” guard Sara-Rose Smith said. “We know what needs to happen for us to walk away with a championship. We’re aware of it, but it still doesn’t take away from the next game. The next game is the most important thing and that’s all there really is to it.”

To win the regular season conference title, CU needs Stanford and Oregon State to both lose at least once. Yet, even if that happens, it won’t matter if the Buffs don’t take care of business themselves.

Continue reading story here

First NCAA tournament Top 16 reveal: CU women a No. 1 seed

From the Daily Camera … If the college basketball season ended today, Colorado would be one of four No. 1 seeds for the NCAA women’s tournament.

On Thursday night, the NCAA Division I women’s basketball committee announced its first top-16 early reveal of the season, with South Carolina, Stanford, Ohio State and CU listed as the No. 1 seeds, in that order.

Top-ranked South Carolina, which won at Tennessee 66-55 on Thursday to remain the only unbeaten team in the country, is the top overall seed.

CU, ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll, is slotted as the No. 4 overall seed and the top seed for the Portland Regional 4. The Buffs (20-4, 10-3 Pac-12) visit No. 22-ranked Utah on Friday night.

“The only obvious choice in this first reveal was South Carolina as the top overall seed, with the other 15 seeding decisions being a significant challenge,” Lisa Peterson, senior associate commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference and chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee said to NCAA.com. “The race is on for teams to provide clarity over the next 32 days before Selection Sunday with a lot of big games upcoming for all of the teams involved.”

The committee will have one other top-16 reveal, on Feb. 29 at 4:30 p.m. MT on ESPN2. The tournament Selection Show will take place March 17 at 6 p.m. MT on ESPN.

NCAA DI Women’s Basketball Committee Top 16 Ranking

1. South Carolina

2. Stanford

3. Ohio State

4. Colorado

5. Iowa

6. NC State

7. UCLA

8. Texas

9. USC

10. Virginia Tech

11. Oregon State

12. UConn

13. Kansas State

14. LSU

15. Indiana

16. Louisville

Regional Assignments

Albany Regional 1 – 1. South Carolina; 2. UCLA; 3. UConn; 4. Louisville

Portland Regional 2 – 1. Stanford; 2. Texas; 3. Oregon State; 4. Indiana

Albany Regional 3 – 1. Ohio State; 2. NC State; 3. Southern California; 4. LSU

Portland Regional 4 – 1. Colorado; 2. Iowa; 3. Virginia Tech; 4. Kansas State

—–

February 15th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs rally comes up short, CU falls on the road to UCLA, 64-60: “First half turnovers cost us this game”

Related … Buffs Rally Falls Short At UCLA … from CUBuffs.com

Related … Streaking UCLA wins 6th in a row, edging Colorado 64-60 for 8th win in 9 games … from ESPN

From the Daily Camera … The frustrations continued for the Colorado men’s basketball team. And the hole the Buffaloes have dug for themselves in terms of a potential NCAA Tournament bid continues to get deeper.

A second-half comeback went for naught on Thursday for the Buffs, as UCLA held on down the stretch to hand CU a 64-60 defeat in the final Pac-12 Conference visit to Pauley Pavilion.

It was CU’s fourth loss in the past five games and was UCLA’s sixth consecutive victory against the Buffs, who have lost nine of their past 10 games against the Bruins.

The Buffs shot a robust .571 in the first half (12-for-21) but couldn’t get out of their own way, committing nine first-half turnovers. UCLA took advantage of the generosity to post a 15-2 advantage in points off turnovers in the first half alone while building a 38-29 lead at the break.

It was the sixth consecutive win for the surging Bruins and their eighth in the past nine games.

“First half turnovers cost us this game,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “I don’t say this after losses very often, but I’m very proud of this team for how the way they fought and scratched and clawed. Because I thought our competitiveness and our defense, even our offense, was really good in the second half. You shoot 52% from the floor, but they have 19 points off our turnovers and it’s a one-possession game. That’s all you need to know right there.”

Two more turnovers by CU in the first two minutes of the second half helped the Bruins push their lead to 14 points at 43-29 before the Buffs finally started chipping away. UCLA went over five minutes without a field goal while the Buffs combined continued strong shooting with a sudden remedy for the turnover problems.

CU tied the game at 51-51 on a KJ Simpson-to-Tristan da Silva dunk with a little less than 7 minutes remaining, and the game was tied again at 54-54 on a da Silva 3-pointer with about 4:50 to play. UCLA, however, responded with a 9-2 run, giving the Bruins a 63-56 lead with 2:06 remaining.

The Buffs remained within 63-60 on a driving basket by freshman Cody Williams, and a defensive stop gave CU a final chance after taking a timeout with 17 seconds remaining. But a driving attempt from da Silva was off the mark, and UCLA’s Lazar Stefanovic knocked down a free throw with 2.1 seconds left to seal the win for UCLA.

Continue reading story here

Buffs taking on history and diminished momentum at UCLA 

Tip: 7:01 p.m. MT
TV: ESPN (Dave Pasch, Cory Alexander)
Watch Online: WatchESPN
Radio: KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM (Mark Johnson, Scott Wilke)
Satellite: Sirius XM 384 & SXM App (974)
Listen Online: CUBuffs.com
Live Statistics: https://statb.us/v/colo/488227

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado is 16-8 overall and tied for fifth place in the Pac-12 Conference at 7-6, just one game out of third and two  games out of second. One of those teams sitting in third just above the Buffaloes in the standings is Thursday’s opponent, UCLA, as the two conference rivals are set to meet for the first and only time this season.

Colorado is coming off a home split with the Arizona schools. The Buffaloes defeated Arizona State 82-70 on Feb. 8 before falling to then No. 8/8 ranked Arizona, 99-77 on Feb. 10, putting an end to Colorado’s 13-game home winning streak. The Buffaloes have won five of eight, but have dropped three of four heading out on the road where they’re just 1-6 this season.

Overall, Colorado is one of the top all-around shooting teams in the country, ranking in the top 14 nationally in all three percentage categories: overall field goal, 3-point and free throws. The Buffaloes are sixth in the nation in free throw percentage (.793), 10th in 3-point accuracy (.387) and 14th in overall shooting (.492).

ABOUT THE BRUINS: UCLA is 13-11 overall and tied for third in the Pac-12 at 8-5. The Bruins have won five straight and seven of their last eight after a 1-4 start to league play. UCLA averages 66.2 points while shooting 41.7 percent from the field, ranking last in the Pac-12 in both categories. Defensively, the Bruins allow opponents 64.0 points per game on 41.1 percent shooting with both figures ranking first in the Pac-12.

Freshman guard Sebastian Mack leads UCLA at 13.3 points and 1.6 steals per game. Sophomore forward Adem Bona is second on the team in both scoring (12.2 ppg) and rebounding (6.0 rpg) while leading the Bruins in blocks (46) and field goal percentage (.590). Sophomore guard Dylan Andrews averages 11.2 points while leading UCLA in assists at 3.7 per game. Lazar Stefanovic tops the Bruins in rebounding at 6.3 per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 27th meeting between Colorado and UCLA with the Bruins holding a 19-7 lead. UCLA has won the last five and eight of nine overall. The Bruins have won 12 of 14 all-time meetings in Los Angeles.

Read full story here

—–

February 12th 

… CU in the Arena … 

CU women fall to No. 8 in latest AP poll; five Pac-12 teams in Top 11

From CBS Sports … South Carolina remains the No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 poll for the 14th consecutive week despite missing star center Kamilla Cardoso. The Gamecocks once again showed off their depth with a dominant 83-65 win against then-No. 11 UConn on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Ohio State Buckeyes have risen to No. 2, matching the best ranking in program history. They are on an 11-game winning streak and are the outright top team in the Big Ten. The No. 2 spot has been changing on a weekly basis in 2024. Iowa had it last, but the Hawkeyes dropped two spots after collapsing in the fourth quarter in an upset loss to Nebraska this past weekend.

Stanford is No. 3 this week, while the Texas Longhorns continue climbing the rankings and are now at No. 5. NC State fell three spots to No. 6 after losing to Virginia Tech last Thursday.

Oregon State had one of its best weeks, collecting wins over Utah and Colorado, to rise six spots to No. 11. The Beavers have some big tests ahead, as they will host UCLA and USC this week.

No new teams cracked the AP Top 25 poll this week, which has not happened since Week 9 of last season. If anyone slips, the UNLV Rebels seem to be first in line with 41 points.

1South Carolina23-08751
2Ohio State21-38215
3Stanford22-37886
4Iowa22-37262
5Texas22-37087
6NC State21-37033
7Kansas State21-36318
8Colorado20-46254
9UCLA19-45659
10USC17-455510
11Oregon State20-351417
12Virginia Tech20-450916
13LSU21-447213
14Indiana20-343214
15UConn20-539811
16Notre Dame18-534012
17Gonzaga24-230019
18Louisville20-529915
19Syracuse20-422323
20Creighton20-320021
21Baylor18-517218
22Utah18-714220
23Oklahoma17-613524
24West Virginia20-38522
25Princeton18-37125

Others receiving votes: UNLV 41, Fairfield 29, North Carolina 4, Duke 4, Saint Joseph’s 4, Nebraska 1, Mississippi State 1, Tennessee 1, Michigan State 1

—–

February 11th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Furious fourth-quarter comeback not enough as No. 4 Buffs fall to No. 17 Oregon State, 65-59

From CUBuffs.com … No. 4 Colorado mounted a late-fourth-quarter comeback but fell 65-59 to No. 17 Oregon State at the CU Events Center on Sunday.

The loss, just the second at home this season for the Buffaloes, drops the team to 20-4 overall and 10-3 in the Pac-12. Oregon State (20-3, 9-3 Pac-12) completes the season-sweep over CU, notching its fifth consecutive win.

OSU led by as many as 25 in the third quarter and Colorado stormed back in the fourth, outscoring the Beavers 21-5. But the offensive struggles that plagued the Buffs throughout the afternoon proved to be too costly.

“I’ll start with the end of the game. I’m really proud of how we battled, competed and fought down the stretch of the game,” head coach JR Payne expressed. “I’m also equally frustrated with how we started the game. I thought we got decent looks, but I also thought we went back to talking ill-advised early shots, which we know doesn’t work for us. We weren’t prepared to execute the offense how it needed to be executed.

“I’m certainly proud of how we competed and fought down the stretch,” Payne emphasized. “There is much to learn from this game and we must learn it and move on to the next one quickly.”

Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 candidate Jaylyn Sherrod led Colorado with 14 points to go with her six rebounds and three steals. Aaronette Vonleh was the only other Buff to get into double-figure scoring (10), finishing a rebound shy of a double-double.

Colorado shot 36.9% (24-65) on the day, helped by a 52.9% (9-17) effort in the fourth quarter. CU totaled 21 of its season-low 59 points in the final frame to climb back into contention. The Beavers shot 22-of-51 (43.1%) from the field and used 10 3-pointers to keep Colorado from striking distance for most of the contest.

“To hold a really good team to 65 points is not a bad thing,” Payne noted. “That’s pretty good. You should be able to win games if you hold people to 65 points. It’s the percentages. 10-for-21 from 3. Those were the daggers you spoke about.”

Talia von Oelhoffen led the Beavers’ offense with 18 points, hitting two key 3-pointers in Oregon State’s 27-point second quarter. Colorado native Raegan Beers posted a double-double, going for 12 points and 12 boards.

Continue reading story here

No Mas: Buffs no match for No. 8 Arizona, falling 99-79: “We didn’t play well enough tonight to beat a really, really good Arizona team”

From CUBuffs.com … Arizona’s offense proved to be too much for Colorado on Saturday as the Buffaloes saw their 13-game home win streak come to an end with a 99-79 loss to the No. 8 Wildcats at the CU Events Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs fell to 16-8 overall and 7-6 in Pac-12 play while the Wildcats improved to 19-5, 10-3.

KJ Simpson and Tristan da Silva each scored 20 for Colorado and J’Vonne Hadley added 13.

Caleb Love led five Wildcats in double figures with 19 points.

After trailing by 12 midway through the first half, the Buffs cut the deficit to seven at intermission, 47-40. But the Wildcats hit two quick 3-pointers to open the second half and Colorado never came within single digits again the rest of the night.

Colorado didn’t have a bad night on the offensive end, shooting 26-for-54 (48%), but the Buffs hit just five of their 17 3-point tries. Arizona shot 36-for-68 (53%), including 10-for-22 from long range.

But the big difference came in points off turnovers and second-chance buckets. Arizona turned 16 Colorado turnovers into 23 points and also scored 23 points off 12 offensive rebounds. CU had 12 points off turnovers and 15 second-chance points.

“Sometimes you have to tip your cap to your opponent,” Boyle said. “They were really good. They played well, they shot well, they made plays offensively and they were solid defensively …  But our guys battled, they competed, they fought. I have no issues with our team in terms of our effort, in terms of our grit, in terms of our toughness. It’s just we didn’t play well enough tonight to beat a really, really good Arizona team.”

Continue reading story here

—–

February 10th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Which will it be: 14-0 at home, or outside the bubble? CU v. No. 8 Arizona 

Related … Big opportunity on deck for CU Buffs men’s basketball against No. 8 Arizona … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com

Tip: 8:05 p.m. MT
TV: ESPN (Dave Pasch, Sean Farnham)
Watch Online: WatchESPN
Radio: KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM (Mark Johnson, Scott Wilke)
Satellite: Sirius XM TBA & SXM App (TBA)
Listen Online: CUBuffs.com
Live Statistics: http://statb.us/b/498951

THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 16-7 overall and tied for fourth place in the Pac-12 Conference at 7-5, just two games out of first. The Buffaloes kept pace with the league leaders with their 82-70 win over Arizona State last night as the top three in the Pac-12 standings all won their games and setting up Colorado’s showdown with first place Arizona on Saturday.

Colorado is 13-0 at home for the first time in team history after defeating the Sun Devils on Feb. 8, eclipsing previous best of 12-straight to begin a season last achieved by the 1968-69 Big Eight Championship team which won all 12 of its games in that title season. Overall, the 13-game home winning streak is the program’s best since a 14-game span over two seasons from Feb. 17, 2010 to Jan. 15, 2011.

Colorado has won seven-straight home games over Pac-12 teams dating back to last season, its most since a similar seven-game stretch over two seasons from Feb. 2, 2019 through Jan. 2, 2020.

In its 13 home games this season, Colorado is averaging 85.6 points and winning by a margin of nearly 20 per game. The Buffaloes are shooting 52.3 percent from the field, including 43.0 percent from 3-point range, while enjoying a plus-10.2 advantage on the boards.

Overall, Colorado is one of the top all-around shooting teams in the country, ranking in the top 13 nationally in all three percentage categories: overall field goal, 3-point and free throws. The Buffaloes are seventh in the nation in free throw percentage (.791), 10th in 3-point accuracy (.391) and 13th in overall shooting (.493).

Colorado is one to two programs in the nation’s top 15 of all three categories (through games of Feb. 8) joining Indiana State. Colorado also sports top 50 marks nationally in rebound margin (+7.9, 16th), assists (16.2 apg, 35th), free throws made (16.9 mpg, 24th), scoring offense (80.7 ppg, 39th) and defensive rebounding (27.6 drpg, 44th).

ABOUT THE WILDCATS: No. 8 ranked Arizona is 18-5 overall and is in first place in the Pac-12 at 9-3. The Wildcats have won four in a row and six of their last seven, including a 105-99 triple overtime thriller at Utah on Feb. 8. Arizona leads the Pac-12 at 89.7 points per game, shooting 48.7 percent from the field. Defensively, the Wildcats have allowed opponents 73.2 points and 42.5 percent from the field.

Guard Caleb Love leads Arizona at 18.9 points per game and has a team-best 57 3-point field goals. Center Oumar Ballo tops the Wildcats in rebounding (9.7 rpg) and field goal percentage (.607) while averaging 13.2 points per contest. Pelle Larsson averages 13.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 42nd meeting between Colorado and Arizona with the Wildcats holding a 25-16 series lead. The Wildcats have won the last three in the series including a 97-50 decision in Tucson on Jan. 4. Colorado has a 12-3 advantage in Boulder and has won the last five at the CU Events Center.

In the Pac-12 era, the teams have met 28 times with the Wildcats holding a 20-8 edge. In a scheduling quirk, only nine of those games have been in Boulder, where CU has a 7-2 advantage. The teams have met 12 times in Tucson during that span (Arizona 12-0) and seven times in a neutral setting at the Pac-12 Tournament (Arizona 6-1).

Read full story here

—–

February 9th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Preliminaries over – No. 4 Buffs roll Oregon, 90-57; No. 17 Oregon State up next

Related … No. 4 Colorado records season-high 32 assists in cruising to 90-57 win over Oregon … From ESPN

Related … Nolan’s Hot Hand Lifts No. 4 Buffs Over Oregon … from CUBuffs.com

From the Daily Camera … Maddie Nolan yelled and pumped her fist after another bucket by the Colorado Buffaloes, but while she was the leading scorer on Friday night, this celebration came after one of her passes resulted in points for someone else.

The unselfish nature of the No. 4-ranked CU women’s basketball team was on full display Friday as it raced past Oregon, 90-57, at the CU Events Center.

“I think everyone is buying into that idea of sharing the ball until we find the best team shot,” CU head coach JR Payne said.

It happened a lot on Friday. Nolan had a season-high 19 points but also a season-high six assists. That was part of an eye-popping 32 assists on 36 baskets for the Buffs (20-3, 10-2 Pac-12), who continue to sit atop the conference standings after sweeping the regular season set from the Ducks (11-13, 2-9) for the first time in 11 years.

“Really proud of our preparation all week long,” Payne said. “I thought our team, we’re striking a great balance of focus, keeping things light, making sure we’re prepared. We were in a really good place tonight.

“It thought we played like we’re feeling really good.”

The Buffs posted just the 15th 30-assist game in program history, but only the second since the mid-1990s. Their 32 assists were the most in a game since recording 35 against St. Francis (Pa.) on Nov. 28, 1994.

CU had 19 of those in the first half, setting a school record for assists in a half. By the time the final buzzer sounded, eight different Buffs had assists, led by Kindyll Wetta’s seven. Jaylyn Sherrod matched Nolan’s six, while Frida Formann had five.

True to the Buffs’ nature, they genuinely seemed to enjoy each of those 32 dimes.

“Because we know we’re going to make the shots,” forward Quay Miller said when asked why the Buffs get so much joy out of assists. “And if we’re not going to make it, we know we’re going to get the rebound.”

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No. 4 CU women taking on Oregon (7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

Setup …  Colorado and Oregon faceoff for the second time in 12 days on Friday. The Buffaloes got the upper-hand, 61-48, in Eugene. A win on Friday would give CU its fourth straight win over the Duck and its second two-game season sweep.

From CUBuffs.com … No. 4 Colorado returns home for the first time since Jan. 21, following its four-game road swing through the Pacific Northwest. The Buffaloes will take on Oregon (Friday, 7 p.m. MT) and No. 17 Oregon State (Sunday, Noon MT).

Colorado (19-3, 9-2 Pac-12) moved up two spots to No. 4 his week in the Associated Press rankings, following its weekend sweep in Washington. CU has been in the rankings for 14 straight weeks and inside the top 10 for 13 consecutive polls. The Buffs will play four of its final seven games at the CU Events Center.

Oregon (11-12, 2-8 Pac-12) has lost its last five games, including a 61-48 result to the Buffs in Eugene to close January. Ducks are 0-7 this season against AP-ranked opponents. Friday’s game will be the fourth consecutive game for UO against a top-25 opponent.

Oregon State (18-3, 7-3 Pac-12) has won three straight contests, starting with its upset of the then No. 3 Buffs on Jan. 26. OSU sits third in the Pac-12 standings behind CU and Stanford. Colorado native Raegan Beers is ninth in the NCAA with 13 double-doubles this season.

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February 8th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs race to 21-3 lead, push through to an 82-70 win over Arizona State

Buffs Hold Off ASU To Improve To 13-0 At Home … from CUBuffs.com

From the Daily Camera … Throughout the run of inconsistent play sparked in part by continuing injury issues, the Colorado men’s basketball team has remained formidable at home.

On Thursday, the Buffaloes made a little history at home.

Cody Williams returned to the starting lineup and the Buffs returned to the win column after back-to-back losses on the road, topping Arizona State 82-70 at the CU Events Center.

With the victory, the Buffs became the first CU men’s basketball team to start 13-0 at home.

“Conference wins in February are like gold. They’re really valuable,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “Our guys did a good job tonight. We didn’t play our best offensively. We had a few breakdowns defensively. But we did what we had to do and put away a really competitive, hard-playing Arizona State team. They do not make it easy.”

It might have looked too easy early for the Buffs, who sprinted to a 21-3 lead while ASU missed its first seven shots. CU’s lead remained 18 points at 31-13 when ASU rallied behind 11 consecutive points, eventually cutting the Buffs’ lead down to four before seven straight points from CU helped the Buffs take a 44-35 lead into halftime.

CU committed five of its eight first-half turnovers in the final 8 minutes, 31 seconds of the frame, providing a little juice for the Sun Devils’ comeback. After CU’s 31-13 lead, the Sun Devils outscored the Buffs 22-13 over the remainder of the first half.

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Buffs face crucial contest v. Arizona State : “We’ve played them before and we came up short”

Tip: 6:01 p.m. MT
TV: FS1 (Drew Goodman, Casey Jacobsen)
Watch Online: Fox Sports App, Fox Sports.com
Radio: KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM (Mark Johnson, Scott Wilke)
Satellite: Sirius XM 382 & SXM App (972)
Listen Online: CUBuffs.com
Live Statistics: http://statb.us/b/483974

From CUBuffs.com … February is separation month in college basketball.

Every team with an eye on an NCAA Tournament berth is aiming to strengthen its resumé, improve its potential bracket seed and take its overall performance up to the next level.

Teams that steadily improve in February and early March are the teams that achieve those goals and hear their names called on Selection Sunday.

Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes want to be one of those teams — and they have a big opportunity in front of them this weekend with home games against Arizona State on Thursday (6 p.m., FS1) and No. 8 Arizona on Saturday (8 p.m., ESPN).

The weekend is a critical one for the Buffs for a number of reasons.

One, it’s a chance for Colorado (15-7 overall, 6-5 Pac-12) to at least stay within striking range of the top spot in the conference standings. CU is currently in a four-way tie for fourth place but just one game out of the second spot and two games behind league-leading Arizona. Even a top-four finish in the league is valuable as it yields a first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament.

Two, it’s an opportunity for the Buffaloes to continue to improve their 12-0 home record. That’s the best home mark by a CU team since the 1968-69 Big Eight champion Buffs won all 12 of their home games en route to the conference title.

But perhaps most importantly, it’s a chance for the Buffs to improve their current NET ranking, a critical factor in the NCAA Selection Committee’s process. Currently at No. 30, Colorado can’t afford a loss to No. 136 Arizona State, while a win over No. 3 Arizona would be a big boost to CU’s ranking.

But Boyle isn’t looking ahead to Saturday’s contest against the Wildcats. He’s focused solely on Thursday’s game with the Sun Devils, a team that dealt Colorado a 76-73 loss in Tempe in early January.

That loss came on the heels of a 97-50 rout at the hands of Arizona in Tucson.

“We’ve played them before and we came up short,” Boyle said. “Slightly short against Arizona State and we got run out of the building in Arizona. So it’s always about the next game and that’s Arizona State on Thursday. I don’t look at this as a weekend series. It’s about trying to win on Thursday. And then Friday, we’ll worry about Arizona.”

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—–

February 7th

… CU in the Arena … 

Tad Boyle “encouraged” about Cody Williams’ status for Arizona games

From the Daily Camera … Cody Williams still didn’t practice on Monday. Yet Colorado men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle expressed optimism regarding the status of the Buffaloes’ standout freshman.

The Buffs got back to work on Monday, two days after suffering a five-point loss at Utah that dropped them to 6-5 in the Pac-12 Conference, beginning the week in a muddled four-way tie for fourth-place in the league standings.

On the bright side, the Buffs also began the week in a favorable spot nationally despite their inconsistent run through league play so far, coming in at No. 29 in Monday’s NET rankings. CU also has home wins to its credit against two of the three teams ahead of it in the standings (Washington State, Oregon), plus games remaining against each of the other three teams the Buffs are tied with (Utah, Stanford, UCLA), in addition to the looming Saturday showdown against Arizona.

Still, the most pressing issue for the Buffs ahead of Thursday’s home date against Arizona State  (6 p.m., FS1), will be to get the rotation fully healthy. CU has played just 11 of 22 games this season with its top seven rotation players in the mix, with multiple players absent in five of those 11 games. That included Saturday’s loss at Utah, which saw Williams and senior reserve Luke O’Brien sidelined by injuries.

“We’ll see. I’m encouraged with Cody, even though he didn’t practice (Monday),” Boyle said. “I don’t know about Luke right now.”

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—–

February 5th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU women back into Top Five; in at No. 4 in AP Poll (top Pac-12 team)

From ESPN … Caitlin Clark and Iowa climbed back to No. 2 in The Associated Press Top 25 women’s basketball poll Monday as the star guard moved within striking distance of the NCAA career scoring record.

It’s the second time in a few weeks that the Hawkeyes have been second in the poll, a spot that hasn’t been kind to teams the past month. UCLA, Iowa and Kansas State all took turns in the second position since Jan. 8 and none of the schools could hold that ranking for more than a week at a time.

While No. 2 has been a revolving door lately, South Carolina has maintained a strong grip atop the poll, once again the unanimous No. 1 team from a 35-member national media panel.

The Gamecocks (21-0) will host Missouri and No. 11 UConn this week. Dawn Staley’s squad will play those games without star center Kamilla Cardoso, who left for a week to play with the Brazilian national team at an Olympic qualifying tournament.

Iowa has held the No. 2 spot twice before this season, including the week of Jan. 15 when the Hawkeyes lost to Ohio State.

Clark, who is only 66 points away from becoming the leading scorer in NCAA women’s basketball history, will try and make it a longer stay this time around. She will lead the Hawkeyes against Penn State and Nebraska this week with Kelsey Plum’s record in view.

No. 3 North Carolina State, No. 4 Colorado and No. 5 Ohio State followed Iowa. It’s the Buckeyes’ best ranking this season.

Stanford fell two spots to sixth after losing to JuJu Watkins and USC. The phenomenal freshman scored 51 points in that game.

Texas vaulted up five places to seventh after beating Baylor and then-No. 2 Kansas State last week. The Wildcats fell to eighth after also losing to Oklahoma, which entered the poll at No. 24. UCLA was ninth and USC climbed five spots to 10th.

Associated Press poll … 

First-place votes in parentheses
TEAMRECORD
1. South Carolina (35)21-0
2. Iowa21-2
3. NC State19-2
4. Colorado19-3
5. Ohio State19-3
6. Stanford20-3
7. Texas21-3
8. Kansas State20-3
9. UCLA17-4
10. USC16-4
11. UConn19-4
12. Notre Dame17-4
13. LSU19-4
14. Indiana18-3
15. Louisville19-3
16. Virginia Tech18-4
17. Oregon State17-3
18. Baylor17-4
19. Gonzaga22-2
20. Utah17-6
21. Creighton18-3
22. West Virginia19-2
23. Syracuse18-4
24. Oklahoma15-6
25. Princeton17-3

—–

February 4th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

No. 6 Buffs toy with Washington, complete road sweep with an 80-57 win over the Huskies

From CUBuffs.com … The No. 6 Colorado women’s basketball team dominated from start to finish in an 80-57 victory over Washington here Sunday afternoon to close out the weekend 2-0.

“Every game, every team is so good, and every game is so hard that if you’re not really really focused almost every possession of every game it can go the other way,” head coach JR Payne stated after the sweep. “I thought our team did a great job again of learning the scout very quickly, understanding and executing the game plan very quickly and we just played well tonight.”

The Buffaloes (19-3, 9-2 Pac-12) locked down the Huskies (13-8, 3-7 Pac-12) defensively, forcing Washington into taking tough shots throughout the game. The Huskies shot 31.8% from the field and tried a whopping 30 3-pointers while making only six.

After tying her career-high in points with 27 vs Washington State, Frida Formann showed off her passing skills this afternoon, dishing out a career-high nine assists. Her ability to share the ball helped teammates Aaronette Vonleh and Quay Miller put up big numbers for the Buffs.

“I tell everybody the best thing about this team is our unselfishness,” said Payne. “No one cares who scores, who gets the rebounds. We just want to play great basketball and feel good about what we’re doing, and I think those numbers show it better than I could say that we were doing that.”

Vonleh scored 20+ points for the second straight game leading Colorado with 21 on 10 of 13 shooting. Her 12 first-half points helped the Buffs to gain a comfortable lead early on which Washington was just unable to come back from. With her performance today she surpassed 800 career points.

Continue reading story here

—–

February 3rd – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs rally comes up short against Utah, 73-68

From CUBuffs.com … A late Colorado rally came up just short Saturday and the shorthanded Buffaloes dropped a 73-68 decision to Utah at the Huntsman Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs, playing without Cody Williams and Luke O’Brien (both injured), fell to 15-7 overall and 6-5 in Pac-12 play while the Utes improved to 15-7, 6-5.

The Buffs trailed by as much as 13 in the second half before narrowing the deficit to three in the final minutes. But that was as close as they could come as CU fell to 1-6 on the road this season.

KJ Simpson led the Buffs with 25 points, J’Vonne Hadley added 15, Eddie Lampkin Jr. had an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double and Tristan da Silva scored 10.

Gabe Madsen led Utah with 21.

HOW IT HAPPENED: The two teams were tied 31-31 at intermission, but the Utes slowly pulled away in the opening minutes of the second half when Colorado’s offense went cold.

A 6-0 Utah burst pushed Colorado’s deficit to 10 at the 12:32 mark before the Utes extended their edge to 13 when a Hunter Erickson 3-pointer left the Buffs trailing 55-42.

Colorado missed nine field goal attempts in a row in the stretch before Julian Hammond III ended the drought with a 3-pointer.

But the Buffs didn’t go away quietly. CU put together a 6-0 run following a timeout, getting a KJ Simpson steal and dunk, a Hammond offensive rebound and basket and another putback from Eddie Lampkin Jr. With 6:27 still to play, Colorado trailed by just seven, 55-48.

But the Buffs couldn’t maintain the momentum and Utah answered with a 7-2 surge and with 4:02 to play, the Utes’ lead was back in double digits, 62-50.

CU did manage to whittle the deficit back down to seven with just more than two minutes still to play. J’Vonne Hadley hit two free throws, Simpson scored inside and Tristan da Silva hit a free throw and with 2:12 to play, CU trailed 62-55.

Colorado then cut the deficit to just three when Simpson sandwiched a pair of treys around a Utah basket to pull CU to within 66-63 with 51 seconds remaining.

But the Buffs couldn’t completely close the gap in the final seconds and Utah held on for the win.

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Buffs (15-6, 6-4) on the road v. Utah Utes (14-7, 5-5) (3:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From CUBuffs.com

Tip: 3:06 p.m. MT
TV: Pac-12 Network (Guy Haberman, Earl Watson)
Watch Online: Pac-12 Now App, Pac-12.com
Radio: KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM (Mark Johnson, Scott Wilke)
Satellite: Sirius XM 385 & SXM App (975)
Listen Online: CUBuffs.com
Live Statistics:https://statb.us/v/colo/495312

THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 15-6 overall and tied for third place in the Pac-12 Conference at 6-4, just one game out of first. The top five teams in the Pac-12 are separated by one game and it’s only a two-game spread for the top eight.

Colorado will close out its second three-game conference road swing in the last month with its annual trip to Utah. The Buffaloes are coming off a road split in the Pacific Northwest last week. Colorado snapped a five-game road losing streak with its 98-81 win at Washington on Jan. 24. The Buffaloes weren’t able to keep that momentum going though, as Washington State put an end to Colorado’s four-game overall winning streak with a 78-69 decision on Jan. 27.

Overall, Colorado is one of the top all-around shooting teams in the country, ranking in the top 10 nationally in all three percentage categories: overall field goal, 3-point and free throws. The Buffaloes are fifth in the nation in free throw percentage (.787) and ninth in both 3-point accuracy (.395) and overall shooting (.500).

Colorado is the only program in the nation’s top 10 of all three categories (through games of Feb. 1). Colorado also sports top 50 marks nationally in rebound margin (+7.8, 20th), assists (16.5 apg, 30th), free throws made (16.7 mpg), scoring offense (81.3 ppg, 34th) and scoring margin (+10.1, 45th).

ABOUT THE UTES: Utah is 14-7 overall and tied for sixth in the Pac-12 at 5-5. The Utes were swept by the Washington schools on the road last week. Utah is 11-0 at home this season. The Utes average 78.7 points while shooting 47.3 percent from the field. Utah ranks second in the Pac-12 in 3-pointers with 8.9 made per game. Defensively, Utah allows 71.4 points while opponents shoot 42.3 percent. Utah is the second-best rebounding team in the Pac-12, grabbing 39.1 per contest.

Fifth-year senior center Branden Carlson leads Utah at 16.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Senior guard Gabe Madsen averages 12.6 points and leads the team with 58 3-point field goals.  Senior guard Deivon Smith averages 10.8 points and 5.0 assists per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 60th meeting between Colorado and Utah with the Buffaloes holding a 33-26 series lead. The teams split their season series last season, each winning at home. Utah took a 73-62 decision in Salt Lake City on Feb. 11 with the Buffaloes earning a 69-60 decision on Senior Day, Mar. 4, in Boulder. Overall, Colorado has won six of the last nine meetings. Utah holds an 18-10 series lead in Salt Lake City.

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—–

February 2nd – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs rally to post gritty 63-57 road win over Washington State: “Road games are going to be like that”

What you need to knowCU trailed most of the game … Buffs never led by more than four points until the final minute of play … Frida Formann went 6-for-9 from three-point range – the rest of the team went 0-10 … CU trailed 36-30 in the third quarter before Formann hit three straight three-pointers to give the Buffs a 39-38 lead … CU went on a 6-0 run in the final minute of the third quarter (made free throw; missed free throw; rebound; basket and foul; made free throw; steal and foul; two made free throws) to turn a 42-39 deficit into a 45-42 lead heading into the fourth quarter … 

From CUBuffs.comBeasley Coliseum traditionally is a tough place to get a result for Colorado and Friday night was no different. The sixth-ranked Buffaloes had to battle from behind to closeout Washington State by a score of 63-57 in the last regular-season Pac-12 visit to the Palouse. 

It’s Colorado’s (18-3, 8-2 Pac-12) second win in a row in Pullman, improving to 4-8 on the road against WSU. Washington State falls to 15-7 overall and 4-5 in the Pac-12. 

It was all Frida Formann and Aaronette Vonleh for Colorado, combining for 47 of the team’s 63 points. Formann accounted for all six of the Buffs’ 3-pointers, knocking down 6-of-9 on the night. She tied her career-high with 27 points, totaling 20 points in the second half alone. Vonleh tallied 20 points along with eight rebounds, her fourth game this season in which she has scored 20 or more.

“Road games are always going to be like that,” Formann said following the win. “But I think also, we made it a little tougher for ourselves than we probably needed to, especially in the first half. But I’m proud of us for digging ourselves out of it and playing a really gritty team. They lost one of their best players [Leger-Walker] and we knew they were going to come out and play for her. So just proud that we got out with a dub.”

Colorado trailed by as many as six in the third quarter before getting the offense back on track. CU shot just 35.5% (22-62), its third straight game under 40.0%.

“I don’t want us to start overthinking anything,” head coach JR Payne said postgame. “We have a great team. We have great point guards. We have great shooters with great post play. We have a ton of veterans. We have everything we need to be as good as we want to be but sometimes, are we thinking about it too much? Sometimes that’ll mess with you more than missing shots. Everybody just simplify and do your job and I’ll keep it simple and I’ll make sure I’m doing what I can to be prepared and we’re good.”

Colorado had nearly double the amount of turnovers as Washington State did (14-8) but outrebounded the Cougars 50-38. Quay Miller was huge for the Buffs on the boards, snagging a season-high 15 rebounds. 

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45 Replies to “Colorado Basketball”

  1. The Women ate falling apart at the wrong time
    The men are playing kind of average ball (excluding the win over Utah)
    Come on Buffs let’s get on a roll heading into the tournament

  2. they finally showed the can do it….like a well oiled machine. A complete game. I didnt get to watch dang it but I did look at the box score. Only 4 turnovers!!! against 19 assists. That has to be a record for a Tad team. All those assists led to balanced scoring with 4 guys in double figures and Luke close behind with 8. Makes it hard on the opposing D. Buff’s D was excellent as well…a happy Tad.
    Gotta sit back and hope the roller coaster (Rooney’s word) keeps on the uphill grade and doesnt take the usual dive.

  3. Jay Billis ranks his top 68 teams:

    No. 36 Colorado Buffaloes: It’s been a bit of a roller coaster in Pac-12 play for Tad Boyle’s team. They are just 1-5 on the road in conference play and have struggled with consistency. KJ Simpson has been outstanding, posting career bests across the board in his junior season.

    1. Please beat Utah for a change
      and what should be 2 more bunnies at home …Stanford and Cal. Please don’t lose to them.
      That will give Tad his perennial 20 win suit of armor but it still wont get the Buffs in the dance.
      Looks like Buffs have to win out (5) to get that first round bye.
      I imagine they could lose one at home and one on the road and maybe squeak in to the dance but win 4 including Oregon and it should be a lock. Beating Oregon on the road wont be easy for these guys….and if they do, no letdowns against the worst team in the conference on the road. That might be enough to kill an invite.
      It shouldn’t have to be down to the wire with this team. Bottom line get some momentum at home and dont take your foot off the gas. …and that includes at least the first game at the dance…please? Don’t let Dr. Hyde in the door anymore.

      Mr. Hyde has been showing up way too much the past few years.

  4. Well, at least some good news for Colorado basketball… Mr. Big Shot (Chauncey Billups) just got elected to the NBA HOF +++

    1. Nominated, but not yet selected.
      Billups is on the list announced at the NBA All-Star game, but the electees won’t be announced until the Final Four in April.

  5. Buffs paying out of control on offense…as usual ,,,,and against a UCLA team that always plays with Cronin control. Tad might as well tell everyone to get Cody the ball and clear out. Doesnt seem like he can get them to work together otherwise.
    Horrible game in the paint at both ends. Absolutely no answer for UCLA’s point guard who could drive to the basket at will and shoot over the taller Buff defenders…and I use the term defenders loosely. Lampkin was real slow on D and must have dropped at least 4 passes for turnovers.
    I was surprised they were able to close the gap at the end but a 4 point UCLA lead is more like am 8 point lead compared to other teams.

  6. Is it time to start talking about a change at Mens BB. As much as TB has done for CU BB we are talking a different challenge in the Big 12. It may be time to talk about what it takes to not only recruit but coach in a new situation.

  7. Talk about stating the obvious….

    ” It’s just we didn’t play well enough tonight to beat a really, really good Arizona team.”

    Used to be a TB supporter, but at his point CU should be a solid NCAA tournament team. When you have talent that isn’t meeting potential then that is on the coach. Great coaches have teams that perform beyond the talent they have.

  8. tuned in with 15 to go and the Buffs up by 17. The it started getting scary. ASU oitworked the Buffs on D. They were too intense, though, racking up a bunch of fouls which helped the Buffs win. Still, the ASU pressure had the Buffs getting that deer in the headlights look on offense. ASU was doubling up and sometimes tripling up the Buff with the ball in his hands. Only one time did I see a Buff move to an open area for a pass and a bunny.

    1. I’m not sure they will do that, but CU has to start winning again or this will be viewed as a lost season. Tad is recruiting well and this team looked good on paper. Certainly, if CU is 6th or worse and bows out of the conference tournament early, his seat will get very warm, and he could look elsewhere too. Once Cody Williams goes Pro plus the graduations, CU will not have a ton coming back.

    2. Also, I’d add although this season may be blamed on injures; I think more of the focus will be on coaching. DeSilva, the SR has been all over the place in his games. IMO, even without Williams, CU has got enough out of their other players to win more in-conference games. Simpson has been great overall. I think Tad has got what he wanted out of Lampkin. Hadley has been a pleasant surprise. O’Brien and Hammond have played as expected. They just seem out of sync both on O and D.

  9. Whew
    One down and two to go. WSU obliterated Utah. They might be the toughest of the three. Hadley may not get drafted but I bet he gets a contract somewhere.

  10. I was sky high on this team early on. We had da Silva, Simpson, Williams, a huge upgrade in the post with Lampkin and a solid experienced bench. Add to that Tad tweaked his somnolent O scheme.
    With the road losses and the continuation of the never ending turnovers it appeared to be ground hog year all over again. When one of the players admitted the road crowd got on their nerves it pretty much played into my doubts about the dance.
    So
    the upcoming road stretch is against 3 middle of the pack teams they will have to beat to stay in contention If they can manage that maybe they can carry that momentum and attitude through the next road schedule and make me a believer again.
    If you dont already have some ice in your veins you better find some quickly.

  11. Tad: Cody really grew up tonight….”
    I would consider that a back handed compliment.
    How bout?
    Cody really showed what he can do tonight?
    ?\

  12. Rooney, and quoting Tad, went off on Defense again, which is necessary. The first half against USC the D could be described as timid. Buffs were ushering them to the basket on drives. Add to that they were hitting threes as well. Thankfully Dr. Jekyll returned in the 2nd half.
    On O in the first half Buffs poor shooting included a bunch of missed bunnies. And of course there are the turnovers. The glaring ones for me are the lazy, ill advised and picked off passes.
    They obviously weren’t ready to play. Is Tad encouraging enough concentration, aggressiveness etc.?
    Very few teams rarely play a perfect game. 40 minutes of hell is hard to do. The Starters have to rest a little bit. It may take 35 minutes of hell night in and night out to win a conference championship or get to the dance. Will we see that the rest of the season?

  13. Well CU is now officially on the bubble (and on the outside looking in). I hate to say it but with possibly TWO first round draft picks on the roster (Tristan and Cody) you have to look at coaching and why this team is underperforming with the talent they have.

    1. Hey man, was going to ask this before tonight’s game, but asking now: you think not having two of your best players for a month made a difference?

      They manhandled uo tonight.

      Was that coaching g or players playing? Both?

      Go Buffs

  14. On the bandwagon, and finally was able to see the Women’s last two games. What is fascinating about this team is they are usually less ‘athletic’ than the opposing team, yet come 4th quarter, they are rock solid and the opposing teams make mistakes. Outside of Sherrod, every other matchup on the floor favored the Wildcats athletically (they look real good). Switch to the zone made the difference last night.
    One negative observation…not sure why many WBB coaches dress like they are going clubbing vs. coaching a game, generally don’t care about things like that, but to me it seems they aspire to be bigger than the team (I will remember the coach from last night, more than anything else).

  15. Sounds like Williams will be back soon. Anyone know how serious Da Silva’s ankle is? Get rid of the turnovers and this should be a sweet 16 team.

    1. Tad Boyle on senior forward Tristan da Silva’s injury –>

      “Five minutes to go in practice yesterday, nobody is around him and he just rolled his ankle. It is just a freak deal.”

      Boyle on his timetable for a return –>

      “I don’t know. Ankles are finicky. Sometimes when you’ve sprained an ankle multiple times, you can get back a little sooner than later. A lot of it depends on the swelling and the pain. That’s the biggest thing with that.

      “I know one thing, Tristan will be back as soon as he can be back. People don’t realize this last year he came down on a guy’s foot in the UCLA game late in the year and he was not 100 percent down the stretch last year. But he played through it. He didn’t use it as an excuse.

      “Tristan has got a high level of toughness about him. He’s a team guy. He wants to be there for his teammates. He loves his teammates, his teammates love him. So, he’ll be back as soon as he can be back. But I don’t know when that’ll be.”

      1. Thanks Stuart
        if it happened outside the heat of action it might not be too bad.
        The fact it was a freak deal might mean it could be chronic. Hope not. This team has me drinking more kool aid than any time before.

  16. IT’S EARLY FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD.

    RESERVES WILL GET MORE EXPERIENCE AND – AS THE SEASON GOES ALONG – TAD, PERHAPS, WILL GET THE ABSENTMINDEDNESS OUT OF THE TEAM….AND THERE WILL BE MORE COORDINATION BETWEEN PLAYERS, THEREFORE ELIMINATING T/O’s…TAD’S NEMESIS.

    HAVE FAITH IN THE BENCH AND KEEP PLAYIN’ THE “HOT-HANDS.”

    ROLL HERD…….

  17. You have to wonder how Miami is #24 and CU is #26 with identical records and CU running Miami off the floor on a neutral court.🙄

    1. I’ve heard there’s this thing. ECB. East coast bias. Could be?

      Oh, and that beatdown was without Cody. I expect some ups and downs still for this team, it’s college basketball, after all. But, Pac 12 play should be pretty fun.

      Go Buffs

    2. Actual results on the court or field sometimes don’t matter to these voters. Ask FSU. Plus Buffs are ranked higher by KenPom than CSU.

    1. Tad looks like a good coach with a good set of players, huh?

      Oh, and his evolution to positionless basketball. Chicken or egg?

      Either way, long season ahead but the early returns are pretty positive. And today was without Cody.

      Go Buffs

  18. Tristan has played poorly in the FSU and now CSU games. He needs to be among the best 3 players during every game if the Buffs are going to meet the preseason expectations. Something seems off with him recently and I hope it gets sorted out soon.

  19. CSU played the D of Tad’s dreams. Of course they had help from the Buff’s inept team work on offense. Tad was supposedly installing new offense but if it had a method the players werent executing it. Still plenty of standing around, zero picks away from the ball, which would spring a player like Williams for an and open shot resulting in one on one ball.
    On O the Rams were much better coached. They used quick efficient passing more than the dribble to find open players inside as well for the 3. …especially open for the 3 in the first half. Down inside the Buffs didnt have much of answer. The refs and Lampkin didnt help much there either.

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