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Colorado beats Ft. Hays State behind Deleon Brown’s breakout

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Colorado struggled at times, but defeated their D-II opponents.

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado played Ft. Hays State on Saturday with one goal in mind: Get the walk-ons some minutes. They did just that in their 81-71 victory.

Tad Boyle has a habit of scheduling tune-up games against Division-II basketball teams like Ft. Hays State after tough non-conference games. The goal of these games is to refocus, regain any lost confidence and to work on aspects that are impossible to improve upon in practice. The end result of these games is almost always the same, and it involves walk-ons getting heavy minutes in front of a hollow Coors Events Center.

Colorado began play with a 10-0 scoring run, struggled at times, but never trailed. No matter who was on the floor for the Buffs, they were able to produce. As a whole, the Buffs shot 22-51 (43%) from the field and 31-41 (76%) from the line. It wasn’t the best offensive game, but it was enough.

Leading the attack was the invaluable Xavier Johnson, the superb Derrick White and the promising Deleon Brown, as they had 15 points apiece. The last of whom had his best game of his short career and showed immense potential as a 3-and-D wing. He can be a special player for the Buffs with his mature skill set.

The Buffs’ defense was about as good as expected, which is to say they were generally solid but struggled at times against three-pointers. Ft. Hays State shot decently all game — they shot 40% from the floor and 35% from 3 — but a scoring run from them early in the second half saw the game close enough to make the Buffs sweat. Leading the Tigers was Rob Davis, who had 29 points on 7-10 three-point shooting.

The Buffs were able to shoot just well enough and play just enough defense to hold off Ft. Hays State. Next up for the Buffs will be a road game against the 6-5 Air Force Falcons. That game will be on Monday, December 19 and will air 7:00 pm on CBS Sports Network.