Colorado handled business in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational, defeating Gardner-Webb 87-78 Wednesday night.
"We're playing still," said Josh Scott, who finished with 23 points and 15 boards. "We're here to play basketball. If you like playing the game, you like playing, regardless of the tournament."
Gardner-Webb led for a good portion of a back-and-forth first half. The Bulldogs, who are among the nation's top 30 in three-point field goals made per game, shot 7-of-15 from downtown in the first half, keeping the score close despite giving up seven offensive rebounds and 10 second-chance points before halftime.
Colorado had another efficient and effective game on the offensive end of the floor, shooting 53 percent from the floor for the game, and finishing with five players in double figures. Tory Miller finished with 12 points and six boards with increased minutes with Dustin Thomas sitting on the bench after announcing his transfer on Monday.
Eli Stalzer went a perfect 4-of-4 from the field, including 2-of-2 from three for a total of 11 points. Stalzer rattled off seven straight points at one point late in the second half when CU was pulling away, picking apart the Gardner-Webb pressure with open mid-range jump shots.
Xavier Johnson and Tre'Shaun Fletcher both finished with 10 points from the wing position.
Colorado will play the winner of the Seattle-Pepperdine game on March 23. The Buffs will likely be on the road for their quarterfinal game.