Colorado had chances to put away Cal in regulation and in overtime, yet failed to do so and lost 66-65 in their final regular season game of the season on Saturday at Haas Pavilion. Xavier Talton had a good look from three with eight seconds to go when Colorado trailed 66-65, but couldn't convert. Despite not making a field goal in overtime, Cal still managed to win. Xavier Johnson had 14 of the Buffs' first 18 points and finished with 24 points to lead all scorers. Josh Scott picked up a double-double adding 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Buffs will now head into the Pac-12 Tournament as the five seed and finish the season at 21-10 overall and 10-8 in Pac-12 play.
Things the Buffaloes did well:
Colorado shot 40 percent from the field and gained second chances as they picked up 14 offensive rebounds. Aside from failing to get consecutive stops late in the game, the Buffs had a strong defensive performance. They limited Cal to 35 percent shooting from the field and forced them to go 6-of-21 from three. Colorado had a 45-35 advantage on the glass.
Xavier Johnson started out on fire and unexpectedly was hitting three after three. The sophomore was 3-of-4 from beyond the arc and went 8-of-15 from the field and finished with 24 points. Wesley Gordon showed off multiple post moves and was dominant inside. He scored eight points and corralled 11 rebounds with four of them coming on offense. Although Josh Scott only had 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting, Cal focused on him every time he got the ball in the post which allowed the offense to spread out and get open shots.
Things the Buffaloes struggled with:
When the opposing team doesn't make a shot in overtime, Colorado shouldn't lose. The Buffaloes simply couldn't get multiple stops or get a defensive rebound when they had to. When the Buffs win the rebounding battle and don't allow teams to shoot well from the perimeter, they usually win. On Saturday, that wasn't the case.
At the free-throw line, the Buffs were 9-of-14. From beyond the arc, Colorado wasn't much better only making 6 of their 18 attempts. With 8:53 to go in the second half, Colorado was up 51-42, but like many times this season, they couldn't blow the game open.
But it's hard to harp too much on Colorado for losing this game. This team went on the road for the final week of Pac-12 play and didn't get swept. They got the win they needed on Wednesday against Stanford and are likely in the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year. More importantly, Colorado managed to go 10-8 in the Pac-12 and they did it for the most part without Spencer Dinwiddie. It's a testament to how great of a job Tad Boyle has done and how his team has been resilient week after week.
Colorado will take on either Washington St. or USC on Wednesday during the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament. Neither of these teams have the talent to beat Colorado and the Buffs are 4-0 against them. It is a completely different environment, however, in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand, but Colorado still should be able to win.
- Strong First Half Not Enough To Upset Stanford, As Colorado Falls 69-54 in Pac-12 Tournament
- Colorado Buffaloes vs. California Golden Bears: Enemy Intel
- Buff Bites: Here comes spring football!
- Gritty Effort Earns Colorado 76-65 Win Over UCLA In Pac-12 Tournament
- Colorado Survives Down The Stretch, Beats Stanford 59-56