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Buffaloes top Duquesne in OT behind da Silva’s heroics

Colorado escaped the upset bid

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Colorado at Florida State IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

Tristan da Silva forced to hit a clutch last-second three pointer to send the Colorado Buffaloes (4-1 record) to overtime, where they pulled away from the Duquesne Dukes (1-4).

Da Silva’s shot capped an incredible comeback effort in a less than incredible team performance. The Dukes held a 60-49 lead with 7 minutes left in the ball game before the Buffs rallied to score 11 straight points to even the score.

The final four minutes were back-and-back forth, with da Silva ultimately matching Duquesne’s own clutch shot from Tre Williams. Once in overtime, Keeshawn Barthelemy and Evan Battey made tough shots to build a lead that the Buffs would not relinquish.

As to why the Buffs needed overtime against a basement Atlantic-10 opponent, take a gander at the ole three-point shooting disparity. While the Dukes hit half of their threes (on medium volume), Colorado didn’t make a three until 7 minutes left in the game, then didn’t make their second until da Silva’s game-saving shot.

Of course that can’t explain everything — or why the Buffs couldn’t make a layup, with Jabari Walker shooting 4/15 from the field — but it’s the simplest answer for a young team that is struggling to figure it out on the offensive end. The good thing is that this team eventually woke up and made the shots they missed against Southern Illinois on Friday.

It should be a reminder to everyone that is not last year’s team and we need to be patient with such a young team. We’re looking for positive signs of growth, not necessarily wins and losses, like K.J. Simpson playing hard and earning those minutes down the stretch.