Colorado men’s basketball: Defensive surge continues in rout of Oregon State – The Denver Post
8th January 2023

The Colorado men’s basketball team didn’t encounter much resistance during its two-game homestand against the Oregon schools.

The Buffaloes made sure to take advantage of the opportunity.

The Buffs completed their first Pac-12 Conference series sweep of the season on Saturday night, dominating Oregon State from the opening tip for a 62-42 victory at the CU Events Center. It was CU’s seventh win in its past eight games.

“In practice, we’ve been going back to the basics. Defensively especially,” CU forward Tristan da Silva said. “For us, it just comes down to guarding the ball, being in gap help and then being in help-side too. Then knowing our rotations, playing with maximum effort and energy on defense. We realized over the past two games, and we get easy transition and easy offense, it’s way more fun to play. I feel like if we stick with that, it’s going to be a fun season for us.”

CU put up some historically impressive defensive numbers during the back-to-back routs of Oregon and Oregon State.

The Buffs held those two foes to a combined shooting percentage of.337 while surrendering a total of only 83 points. It was the fewest points CU has surrendered in consecutive conference games since allowing 70 in road games against Kansas and Iowa State during the 1948-49 season. It was the fewest points allowed by CU in any set of back-to-back games since December of 2011, when the Buffs allowed 34 points against New Orleans followed by 33 against Utah.

“Impressive, impressive defense effort again by our guys. I’ve got to tip my hat to them,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “They really responded to the challenge that we gave them early this week. We put back-to-back efforts together. We weren’t at our best offensively tonight. I thought we were a little sloppy with the ball sloppy with the ball, especially that second half. Didn’t shoot it particularly well. But when you can win going away shooting 41% and turning it over 13 times, you’re doing something really good on the other end.”

The Buffs scored the game’s first seven points and never trailed, holding OSU to a .276 first-half shooting percentage (8-for-29) while building a 33-18 halftime lead. The Beavers briefly got within 14 points midway through the second half, but the Buffs held OSU to just four points over the next six minutes to pull away.

Da Silva put together another strong all-around game, going 7-for-10 with 17 points and five rebounds. It was a balanced attack in support of da Silva, with J’Vonne Hadley finishing with nine points and Nique Clifford adding eight.

Point guard KJ Simpson returned to the lineup after missing the win against Oregon while due to an illness and struggled to find his rhythm offensively, going 1-for-8 with six points, but he contributed seven rebounds while matching a career-high with six assists.

Two days after holding Oregon leading scorer Will Richardson to five points on a 1-for-9 night, the Buffs held OSU’s top two scorers, Jordan Pope and Glenn Taylor Jr., to a combined 4-for-20 with nine points.

“They’ve taken the scouting report and we’ve locked down the best players on the other teams,” Boyle said. “You get into conference play and you lock people down like we have the last two games, good things happen.”

Colorado 62, Oregon St. 42

OREGON ST. (7-9, 1-4 Pac-12)

Andela 3-4 0-0 6, Rataj 1-2 0-0 3, Taylor 2-9 0-3 4, Akanno 4-11 0-0 10, C.Wright 0-4 0-0 0, Pope 2-11 0-0 5, Bilodeau 2-5 0-0 4, Ryuny 3-4 2-3 8, Krass 0-2 0-0 0, Stevens 1-1 0-0 2, Rochelin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-53 2-6 42.

COLORADO (11-6, 3-3)

da Silva 7-10 2-3 17, Lovering 1-1 3-4 5, Clifford 3-9 1-2 8, Hadley 4-5 1-2 9, Simpson 1-8 3-4 6, O’Brien 1-5 1-2 4, Hammond 2-5 2-2 7, Ruffin 2-4 0-0 5, E.Wright 0-3 1-2 1, Allen 0-0 0-0 0, Miller 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-51 14-21 62.

Halftime — Colorado 33-18. 3-point goals — Oregon St. 4-14 (Akanno 2-7, Rataj 1-2, Pope 1-3, Taylor 0-1, C.Wright 0-1), Colorado 6-19 (Clifford 1-2, O’Brien 1-2, Hammond 1-3, Ruffin 1-3, Simpson 1-3, da Silva 1-3, Miller 0-1, E.Wright 0-2). Rebounds — Oregon St. 34 (Bilodeau 12), Colorado 38 (O’Brien 9). Assists — Oregon St. 6 (Taylor, Pope 2), Colorado 15 (Simpson 6). Total Fouls — Oregon St. 17, Colorado 14. A — 6,203.

 

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