Just because it was expected doesn’t mean this game was easy to sit through. The Colorado Buffaloes (7-2) went on the road against the #13 Xavier Musketeers (9-1) and were run off the court in the opening minutes en route to a 96-69 loss.
From the very get-go, it was apparent the Buffs were in for a long game. Xavier’s all-around attack proved impossible to contain. When the Musketeers weren’t getting inside for uncontested layups, they were drilling uncontested three-pointers. Not that Colorado would’ve been able to keep up, but it really didn’t help that they were averaging a turnover per minute for much of the first half. On the bright side, did you see the touch on Dallas Walton’s jump hook? He’s going to really good in a couple of years.
Colorado went into halftime trailing 49-33 even after going on a 13-2 run at the end of the half. The Buffs allowed Xavier to shoot 58% from the floor and 67% from three, including 17 points to JP Macura’s stupid face. It wasn’t a fun half.
Colorado continued their run into the second half and cut Xavier’s lead to just 69-56 with 11 minutes to play. McKinley Wright (16 points, 5 assists) continued to be the engine of the team and he had great support from George King (15 points, 8 rebounds) and Namon Wright (20 points, 6 steals). Colorado could have continued this run to make things really interesting, but the shooting cooled off and the CU defense was exposed. Xavier then went on a 20-4 run because this was one of those days.
Xavier extended their lead up to 35 and finished the 96-69 victory, but the beginning of this second half did offer a glimmer of hope that Colorado can compete with tough teams when they’re playing disciplined on both sides of the floor. It’s also great to see another example that the Buffs will not give up no matter how large their deficit.
Next up for the Buffs is a Tuesday night home game against the San Diego Toreros (6-2) of the West Coast Conference. That game tips off at 6 p.m. and can be watched on Pac-12 Networks.