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Colorado Survives in Overtime, Beats Utah 79-75

The Buffs picked up a much needed win at the Coors Event Center and took down Utah 79-75.

Tad Boyle was ecstatic after the 79-75 victory against Utah at the Coors Event Center.
Tad Boyle was ecstatic after the 79-75 victory against Utah at the Coors Event Center.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After trailing at halftime and by as much as 12 in the second half, the Buffs showed their resiliency and took down the Utes in overtime 79-75 Saturday at the Coors Event Center. Colorado desperately needed to win this game and they did with the help of Xavier Talton. Talton had his best game as a Buff finishing with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting and was 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. He was one of five Buffaloes in double figures. With the win, the Buffs stay above .500 in the Pac-12 at 5-4 and move to 16-6 overall.

Things the Buffaloes did well:

The starters aside from Jaron Hopkins played tremendously. Josh Scott had a double-double and scored 20 points and collected 10 rebounds. He was aggressive when he got the ball and couldn't be stopped without a double team. He didn't get enough touches in the post as usual, but when he got the ball, the possession almost always ended with a score. Xavier Johnson played physically all game long and had 11 points and 10 rebounds. He was eager on offense rushing to loose balls and putting in extra effort. Despite committing four turnovers, Askia Booker managed to have himself a much better game than his previous one. He had 18 points and eight rebounds, but more importantly, he had seven assists. He continues to excel as a facilitator since Dinwiddie's injury and plays with patience and maturity. Wesley Gordon provided much needed offense and finished inside as he picked up 12 points and six rebounds.

It cannot be overstated how big this win was for Colorado. After getting blown out against Arizona and Arizona St. last weekend, this group needed this victory for their confidence to prove to themselves that they could still compete in the Pac-12. As they overcame their poor play in the first half, they showed that they still have a talented group and the season is not over. In 45 minutes, the Buffs had 17 offensive rebounds and created numerous second chances and shot 44 percent from the field.

Things the Buffaloes struggled with:

Jaron Hopkins arguably had his worst game since entering the starting lineup. He took one shot and committed three turnovers in the five minutes he was out on the floor. In the first half, the team committed 10 turnovers which led to 17 points for the Utes. Utah ended the first half on a 18-5 run and it looked bleak for Colorado.

Throughout the game, the Buffs struggled with Utah's full court press and had trouble getting the ball across half court. Additionally, they allowed Utah too many open looks from beyond the arc as the Utes were 11-of-24 from three.

Up Next:

Colorado will stay at home and take on Washington St. on Wednesday. The last time these two teams met, the Buffs luckily got a victory in overtime against the Cougars. If they can bring the intensity and aggressiveness that they brought in the latter part of the second half Saturday, they should be able to pick up another win.