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No. 24 Colorado tops Colorado State, 56-48

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Buffs win Rocky Mountain Showdown with big block from Shane Gatling

Bethany Baker, Fort Collins Coloradoan

Shane Gatling finished with 20 points and Lucas Siewert chipped in 12 points to help the 24th-ranked Colorado hold off the Colorado State 56-48 on Friday night’s Rocky Mountain Showdown on the hardwood.

The Buffs scrapped together another win, but it wasn’t pretty. A cold first half for the Rams gave CU a 16-point lead with 16:41 left. Colorado State mounted a comeback on their in-state rival, going on a 22-6 run to tie the game at 39 with seven minutes remaining. Colorado would closed out down the stretch behind nine points from Gatling, including two late free throws.

Colorado State was held to 12 points and went 5-of-28 (17.8 %) from the field in the first half. They finished going 2-of-22 from beyond-the-arc on the night. Isaiah Stevens lead the Rams with 10 points, scoring nine of those in the final 11 minutes. Nico Carvacho nearly matched his season average with nine points and 10 rebounds in his final RMS for the Rams.

A good night on the glass for the Buffaloes, who out rebounded the Rams 44-32. The downside for CU was handing over the ball with 21 turnovers. A gritty win with a quiet 11 combined points from Tyler Bey and McKinley Wright IV. The duo came into the game averaging 25.2 points and 14.7 rebounds per game. Colorado is 20-6 going back to the end of last year. On the other hand, CSU has dropped three of the past four games by an average deficit of 13.6 points.

Colorado’s defense set the tone again. The Buffs are second in Pac-12 in scoring defense, allowing 54.3 points per game. With the win, CU has held five opponents under 60 points and three of those under 50. The 48 points scored by Rams was the least allowed by Buffs going back to 1988.

CU takes a commanding 91-38 lead in the series and a 37-28 advantage in Fort Collins.

UP NEXT:

Colorado (8-2) is likely to drop out of the AP Top 25 after a loss to Northern Iowa. They’ll welcome Prairie View A&M to Boulder on Thursday before a Saturday showdown with No. 14 Dayton.

Colorado State (7-6) stays idle before going to Tulsa next Saturday.