On the heels of their thrilling win over Arizona, it was nice to see a casual blowout. The Colorado Buffaloes rolled to an easy 78-49 win over the Oregon State Beavers, dominating on both sides of the floor.
As the Buffs found their footing against a tricky OSU defense, it was Jeriah Horne and D’Shawn Schwartz who carried them in the opening ten minutes. The Beavs tried running a 2-3 zone, but it turns these two are excellent zone-busters. Horne has his mid-range game on lock, so it was no surprise to see him score 7 points in his first 3 minutes on the floor, and 16 points overall. Schwartz found his own space, too, as he drilled a couple corner threes to get the Buffs going.
Once they had momentum, there was no slowing down their balanced scoring effort. Of the regular scorers, only Wright struggled shooting; of the players who saw the floor, only Keeshawn Bathelemy didn’t score in the opening 20 minutes. Turning defense into offense, and moving the ball unselfishly, is how the Buffs built a 40-25 halftime lead.
The Buffs have struggled hanging on to big leads, but they didn’t let up in this one. Much of that can be credited to the team defense for completely shutting down an erratic Oregon State offense. They’re always smart rotationally, but OSU didn’t have the shooting, the playmaking or the interior scoring to take advantage of certain weaknesses. It also helped that Wright and Eli Parquet were menaces all game.
Another positive was freshman Tristan da Silva (15 points, +26 in 20 minutes) finding his own as an intelligent team defender and cutter off-the-ball. If this version of da Silva is real, it will be a major relief for the frontcourt depth, considering Jabari Walker’s injury and everyone else’s fouling habits.
The Buffs are now 15-5 overall and 9-4 in Pac-12 play. They will face the Stanford Cardinal on Thursday and Cal Bears on Saturday, before traveling to Oregon and OSU next week. They have to win at least two of those four road games to stay alive in the Pac-12 title race.