The Buffaloes took care of business at the CU Event Center on Sunday, absolutely crushing Pepperdine in a 91-66 blowout victory. After Wednesday’s frustrating loss to CSU in Fort Collins, it looked like the Buffs could use a get right game to fix up their turnovers and shooting issues. Thankfully, that’s exactly CU got against the Waves.
This game wasn’t even remotely close. CU never trailed against Pepperdine and cruised to a dominant and decisive victory. The Buffs pulled out to a fast 12-7 lead at the first media timeout, courtesy of two quick transition scores from Cody Williams. CU quickly rattled off an 11-0 scoring stretch midway through the first half and it was pretty much curtains from there. The Buffs maintained a lead of about 25-30 points for a majority of the game and coasted to the final buzzer.
Everything was clicking for Colorado against the Waves. Colorado’s shots were falling, as the Buffs shot 53 percent from deep. Tristan da Silva specifically had a stellar shooting performance, as he didn't miss a single shot on 17 attempts — two of which came from three point range. The Buffs’ defense didn’t miss a beat either, as they forced Pepperdine to shoot 37% from the field. Oh, and CU also had 3 blocks and 7 steals just for good measure.
Da Silva’s perfect shooting performance and 23 points helped pave the way to this win, but Cody Williams also balled out against the Waves. Williams finished the game with 21 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. This was only Cody’s sixth college game ever and he already looks so comfortable out of the floor playing with the Buffaloes, especially in transition. I think it’s safe to say that the Buffs have a potential superstar on their hands. Williams’ extraordinarily high basketball IQ, selfless play and ability to score the rock are an absolute joy to watch. Williams’ is well on his way into playing himself into an NBA Draft lottery selection, so enjoy watching him in Boulder while he’s still here.
Tad used the blowout win to get Harrison Carrington, Bangot Dak, Assane Diop and Joe Hurlburt more playing time than they usually get, which was a welcome sight. Tad was toying with his prey a little bit tonight, just to put into perspective how dominant this win was.
If there was one area that the Buffs’ could have done better in, it would have been the turnovers. Turnovers have been a real problem for Colorado this season and that problem was still prevalent against Pepperdine. Tad has said that the team’s goal is to turn the ball over 11 or less time every game, which didn’t happen on Sunday. CU had 13 turnovers against Pepperdine, which I’m positive Tad probably wasn’t pleased with. Thankfully, the turnovers didn’t play a big factor in the game.
Now, the Buffaloes will gear up to face their likely biggest non-conference challenge of the season. Colorado is heading to Brooklyn to face off against eighth ranked Miami at the Barclays Center next Sunday. Miami is the best team that Colorado has to play in their non-con schedule, but it’s also at a neutral site and not an absolute snake-pit like Fort Collins. If the Buffs can win that game, there’s a real chance they could find themselves ranked in the AP Poll again in the very near future. This is a winnable game for Tad and his team, as long as they're on their A game. Hopefully, the team can build on the momentum after this Pepperdine game next weekend.