It's rare that a team is able to recover from a 1-for-19 start, but Colorado was able to do exactly that as they beat Cal 70-62. Josh Scott lead the Buffs with 18 points. The Buffs didn't record a field goal for the first six minutes of the game, but once they got going, they were able to take advantage of an similarly sluggish start from the Bears, who shot 30% from the field in the first half, and were never able to build a lead larger than 9.
The Buffs went ahead with 8:26 remaining in the first half, it was a lead they wouldn't relinquish before the final buzzer sounded. Before that, the game was all Cal, and the Bears lead for the first 12:44 of the game by as much as nine. Foul trouble was a big problem for Cal, as Kingsley Okoroh racked up three fouls in just seven minutes early in the first half. In addition, Jaylen Brown and Sam Singer also had two before the half.
After the Buffs broke out of their 1-for-19 slump, they went on a 34-11 run to end of the half, which was capped by a Josh Fortune three with four seconds left in the half, and the team took a 14-point lead into the half. Colorado built their lead to as large as 17 early in the second half, but much to Coach Tad Boyle's disdain, they weren't able to hold it.
"Well, it was a great win for Colorado," Coach Boyle said following the win. " We don't make it easy on ourselves that's for sure. That's two games in a row that we had a convincing lead and we haven't been finishing like we should."
Luckily for Boyle, his team held Cal to a season low 35% from the field, and it was enough to keep the Bears from ever getting the game closer than four in the second half. The Bears started their comeback with about 13:00 left in the game, as they went on a 5-0 run, which they followed closely with a 7-0 run. Jaylen Brown led the Bears with 21 points, all of which came in the final 20 minutes
Colorado recorded their last field goal with 4:55 left in the game, but made their free throws down the stretch as they went to the line on eight separate occasions, making 13-of-16. Jaylen Brown had eight of Cal's 10 points in the final five minutes, but a Xavier Talton strip with under a minute to go rendered all of that useless as the Buffs were able to seal the 70-62 victory.
With the win, the Buffs improve to 17-5 (6-3) and moves them into second place in the Pac-12. Up next, the team travels to Eugene, Oregon to face the only team ahead of them in the standings, the 23rd-ranked Oregon Ducks. The Ducks are 17-4 (6-2) prior to the result of their game against Arizona State.
(Box scores courtesy of Stat Broadcast)