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Colorado Buffaloes Move to Paradise Jam Final with Win Over Drake, 86-81

Up Next? Mercer

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Media Day Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Guys, McKinley Wright is really, really good. And it helps when he has some help.

The Buffaloes have forgotten about the Quinnipiac game, it seems like. Right out the game, they took out some anger on Drake. They pounded it inside, by drive or by post, and they moved the ball with easy passes. Tory Miller-Stewart and George King imposed their will on offense, and they forced tough shots on inside from the defense. McKinley Wright was his stupid good self, dishing out five assists in the first 20 minutes and attacking the basket when he should. Namon Wright slashed inside for some easy buckets, and later, some free throws. The Buffs opened up a 15-point lead halfway through the first, but a field goal drought of 5 minutes slowed down the offense and cut the lead to eight at halftime.

The second half started off as all McKinley. He assisted, scored, assisted, and then scored CU’s next eight points. He challenged the defense and pushed the ball forward. The offense was clicking and the defense was satisfactory. Then Drake decided to go on an extended run. Reed Timmer made 8 straight points happen by himself through the free throw line, and Drake’s press confused the Buff players. It was a 5-point game with 8 minutes left in the half. It got to a one point game before the Buffs got back to the bread-and-butter on offense - driving to the lane. McKinley Wright manufactured more points up close, Namon Wright had some great drives leading to free throws, and Tory Miller-Stewart carved out space.

Down the home stretch, the Buffs’ position was tenuous. Lucas Siewert exited with an injury with about four minutes left to go and McKinley Wright fouled out with about 2 minutes left. Drake hit some shots, CU answered with free throws, and the Buffs punched out a win, 86-81. They will take on Mercer on Sunday in the Paradise Jam final.