Following a shocking home court loss to their rival Colorado State on Wednesday, the Colorado Buffaloes were back at in Portland on Saturday. And just like the in their contest against the Rams, the Buffs struggled mightily against the Pilots. But after a rough take off, eventually, the Buffs calmed down mid-trip, finding autopilot in the second half to win 76-63.
Both teams came out flat, but eventually the Pilots flew to a 12-4 run on the back of several three pointers. Colorado was able to descend Portland’s lead to two before the break.
Keeping the game close at the end of the half the Buffaloes were able to finally penetrate, both getting layups and finding their way to the line. George King and Xavier Johnson were instrumental as both had eight in the first period. And the visitors’ rebounding abilities woke up as they entered the second.
A Johnson three-pointer for the Buffs gave them the lead a few minutes into the second segment. It woke the troops from long range as they non-stop connected the next few minutes, hitting four long balls in six minutes. They had only hit on three three-pointers in the last game in a half before Johnson found the bottom of the net. That stretch roamed the Buffaloes out to a five-point lead.
The Pilots stalled the Buffaloes run and kept Colorado to just a two-possession lead, at least momentarily. Soon CU took flight on the back of solid free throw shooting as they extended to a double-digit difference.
Derrick White turned it on for the Buffs and deplaned the Pilots efforts. From there it was over as Colorado drastically improved throughout the course of the flight, landing the Pilots on 40% shooting and ascending to a final number of plus 10 on the boards.
The Buffs avoided a devastating loss and they’ll face a stellar Xavier Musketeers squad on Wednesday.