Tad Boyle became the winningest coach in Colorado Buffaloes history tonight. He won his 262nd game against Southern Utah in an 86-78 contest.
The Buffs started slow in this one, letting the Thunderbirds take early control. Colorado trailed 16-9 before Julian Hammond sparked the offense by hitting a couple shots and creating plays for others out of the pick-and-roll. The Cherry Creek product ended up with 11 points and 3 assists in maybe his best game of his season so far.
After building a 38-34 halftime lead, the Buffs went ice cold after the break, missing seven straight shots as SUU regained confidence. Harrison Butler’s made three gave them a 44-42 lead with 16 minutes left. Usually we’re not too worried about the Buffs pulling away down the stretch, but it’s been a season of lackluster losses and this felt more than threatening.
Thankfully, Hammond came in and made good things happen, Javon Ruffin hit some clutch shots and the Buffs built momentum. Then Tristan da Silva scored 9 points in about 5 minutes to give CU a 69-59 lead they would not relinquish. It feels weird to say it wasn’t his best game considering had 20 points, 10 rebounds and 3 steals, but that’s where we’re at with our new star forward.
After this win, the Buffs will have a short break before going out to the Bay Area to play the Stanford Cardinal on Dec. 29 and the Cal Bears on Dec. 31. Stanford is probably better than their record, but CU will be hoping for a road sweep considering those two have gone a combined 4-19 this season. That is not a typo.