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Colorado suffers epic collapse, lose 79-72

USC's zone defense shut down Colorado down the stretch.

Despite Scott's return, the Buffs couldn't secure a win.
Despite Scott's return, the Buffs couldn't secure a win.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

A collapse of epic proportions saw the Colorado Buffaloes surrender a 15 point lead with less than 10 minutes to play as they lost to the USC Trojans, 79-72.

Holding a commanding 15-point lead with nine minutes to play, the Buffs were in prime position for a big road win. However, USC coach Andy Enfield switched to a zone defense, flummoxing the Buffs who scored just one field goal and had seven turnovers down the stretch, allowing the Trojans to close the game on a 34-10 run that sunk the visitors.

One bright spot for the team was the return of Josh Scott, who had missed the previous two games with an ankle injury. Scott lead the team with 17 points in 23 minutes.

Neither team led by more than nine in a closely-contested first half, as the Buffs were lifted by eight points from Josh Scott, who was making his return from an ankle injury. A jumper from Xavier Talton with two seconds left meant that USC trailed at halftime for the first time this season at the Galen Center.

For the first 12 minutes, the second half was all Colorado. Seven quick points from Josh Fortune helped the Buffs grow their lead to 15, but that was when USC embarked on what would be a 34-10 run to finish the game. Down the stretch, the Buffs would manage just one field goal, a Talton three with less than a minute to play.

The loss drops CU to 19-8 (8-6) and sixth in the PAC-12, two games behind Arizona. Meanwhile, USC improves to 19-7 (8-5) and moves up to third, one and a half games back.

What's Next:

Colorado will take on the UCLA Bruins on Saturday, UCLA is 14-11 (5-7) and ninth in the PAC-12. The Bruins will take on Utah on Thursday night before they face CU. Following the UCLA match-up, Colorado returns home for the final homestand of the season, beginning with Arizona on Wednesday, February 24.