The Colorado Buffaloes are undefeated no longer. Their run ended at the hands of the Colorado State Rams, who were the more determined, more physical team. The Buffs themselves had a solid game, but it wasn’t enough in a 72-63 loss.
Colorado played well in the first half, all things considered. The Buffs got inside and converted at a solid clip, hit 50% of their shots from outside, and they distributed the ball to have a well-balanced attack. They also played solid defense and forced tough shots, but CSU kept making those shots somehow. On the shots they didn’t convert, the Rams dominated on the offensive glass to earn second chance points. CSU’s physical dominance and CU’s quality play elsewhere was basically a wash in the first half, as the score was close at 38-35.
The first 13 minutes of the second half were, uh, something else. Colorado played CSU to a draw in the first half because of their overall play, but that cratered in the second and was compounded by the Rams putting the Buffs in a choke-hold. They opened the half with a 15-3 run and their lead swelled from there. With Tory Miller-Stewart out for the season with a broken foot, the Buffs were forced to battle CSU’s physical bigs with an extreme small-ball lineup that didn’t stand a chance in the paint or on the glass. CU was outrebounded 46-32 and and it was all CSU in the paint on both sides of the floor.
Colorado wasn’t finished when even they trailed by 17 with 7:40 left in the game. McKinley Wright took over and scored 11 points unanswered in less than 90 seconds of play. The defense figured it out and didn’t allow a made field goal in the final 8 minutes of the game. The Buffs went on a crazy run to cut the lead to just 67-63 with a minute left, but they couldn’t finish off the comeback and fell 72-63.
Colorado’s undefeated run ends in Ft. Collins with a rough loss. This was always going to be a tough game considering CSU is always there to fight and Moby Arena is difficult, and it certainly didn’t help that CU was without Tory Miller-Stewart. Even though CSU was 3-4 coming into the game, this isn’t a surprising loss, it’s just unfortunate.
Next up for the Buffs is a home game against New Mexico on Wednesday, Dec. 6. That game tips off at 7 p.m. and airs on Pac-12 Networks. The Lobos play fast and furious, so expect CU to get back on track in a fun game.