FORT COLLINS – The Colorado Buffaloes beat their rival Colorado State Rams 88-77. The Buffs were down 13 at halftime, but everything changed when CU came out for the second half. Behind a 15-1 run, CU outscored CSU in the second half 49-25.
The Buffs started off hot from deep nailing a trio of threes in the first two minutes. However, they cooled off quickly and were outscored 50-30 for the rest of the half. Colorado State put up a slick 52 point in the first half, shooting the rock at 59.4% from the field and 70% from behind the arc. The Rams were outplaying the Buffs in every facet of the game.
All that changed when each team came back from the locker rooms at halftime.
Colorado State was held to just 21.9% shooting in the second half. Led by the frontcourt duo of Josh Scott and Wes Gordon, Colorado climbed back into the game with the help of steady guard play from Dominique Collier who had five assists in the second period. The Buffs offense was once again flowing like it did during their five-game homestand, getting efficient offense by way of 14 layups and 11 free throw opportunities (they hit on nine) in the second stanza.
Coach Tad Boyle attributed the halftime change in play to adjustments made defensively. The team switched every screen, with a goal in mind to make the Rams take contested shots inside of the three point line. It worked too, with Wes Gordon showing his defensive prowess inside and the Buffaloes tightening everything up on the perimeter.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
The redshirt Junior from Colorado Springs had a double-double in the second half alone with 12 points and 10 boards. He finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, also adding three blocks. Gordon was economical shooting 3-4 from the field and 7-9 from the stripe. The big man even showed his touch nailing two three-pointers. It was arguably the best game of his Colorado career; he put on a defensive exhibition keeping Colorado State outside of the paint in the second half and forcing the opponents into bad shots. And he was right there to clean up on the glass for his team with five of his 12 rebounds coming on the offensive side. He also stayed out of foul trouble which let Tad Boyle stick to a lineup that included him for 18 of the 20 minutes in the second period.
Colorado went on a 25-6 run the first 7:41 of the second half. CU went from down 13 to up six before the second media timeout of the half. Gordon made two threes and Colorado’s wing combo of King, Fortune and Fletcher had 14 points while the Buffs were streaking through the Rams at Moby.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
Tad Boyle: Coming back is easy, coming back and winning is hard.
— Jake Shapiro (@Shapalicious) December 6, 2015
BY THE NUMBERS
3-1: Josh Scott’s record against CSU in his career.
3: The number of times the score was tied
5: The number of lead changes this game had.
21: The number of points Josh Scott scored. Coming in he had only a dozen in his three prior games against CSU.
49: Second half points for Colorado
52: First half points for Colorado State
85.7: The Buffs free throw percentage in the game.
The Buffs ability to come back in games, which was showcased again tonight, shows resolve and toughness, Tad Boyle said it himself.
Also Wes Gordon, if he continues to play like this, the Buffs could be dancing come March.
Colorado will finish off non-conference play with three home games, followed by two games in Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Classic. The 7-1 Buffs are back in action at the Coors Events Center at 6:00 PM on Saturday, December, 12th against BYU.