BOULDER - The Colorado Buffaloes improved to 14-4 with a 91-87 win over conference foe Oregon. CU's offense came to life behind a big outburst from their bench and they found a way to finish off a second straight Buffs win.
The Oregon Ducks started off fast, getting three early buckets off offensive rebounds while Geroge King had seven points before the first media timeout. Those first four minutes were a serious indication of what was to come, a lot of back and forth basketball with both offenses firing and all cylinders.
The game featured seven ties and 15 lead changes with no team leading by more than nine points. Each team shot over 50% from the field, it was the first time since conference play started that the Buffs shot over 50% over the course of an entire game. It wasn't just Josh Scott that propelled the Buffs offense, they got team-wide contributions in the form of the bench. Tre'Shaun Flecther, Xavier Talton and Tory Miller all factored into the scoring, getting, at least, a dozen a piece.
Oregon had a lead in the game with less than six minutes to go, thanks to some hot shooting from Dwayne Benjamin, who hit three straight threes. The Ducks also got great efforts from Dillon Brooks who scored 21 points on nine of 13 shooting and former Colorado recruit Tyler Dorsey who hit four three-pointers and finished with 19 points.
Although Oregon was efficient on offense, they got outrebounded 39 to 25 by Colorado. CU also forced UO into some bad foul trouble as key interior defender Chris Boucher was limited to 15 minutes before fouling out and Dillion Brooks fouled out when the Ducks could've used him down-the-stretch.
A few small runs, as well as some big plays and good activity, kept the Buffs afloat in this game where Oregon tried to sink them several times with big shots. For the Buffs, a trio of their own steered them to a win, that being guards Dominique Collier, Xavier Talton and Thomas Akyazili. That combination made up a three-guard lineup that played big minutes at the end.
Akyazili had seven points, four steals, three assists and one block as he helping to crack the complex case that was the Ducks, Talton finished with a season-high 13 points on a slick shooting night for the senior and Collier came up big with two three-pointers and a smooth stat line of six assists and zero turnovers.
Overall, the Buffs held serve this weekend at home which is something Tad Boyle categorized as a need. Boyle also commented on how his team did against the high level of competition that was Oregon.
"That was a big-time win for our program," he said. "Against a quality team I have a lot of respect for. When you put this one in the win column you feel like you've done something. I've been telling the team all year that I didn't think we've beaten a bona fide legitimate NCAA tournament team yet, but tonight we did."
"Fletch" had 14 points in 24 minutes of action. He made some key plays down-the-stretch including fetching a loose ball and putting it up for a layup right before the shot clock had expired. He also nailed some huge free throws to ice the game as he was seven of eight from the stripe.