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Buffaloes play great first half, blown out by Oregon

The first 15 minutes were fun, but the Ducks were too good to upset again.

NCAA Basketball: Colorado at Oregon Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado came into their Saturday afternoon matchup looking for a sweep of one of the nation’s best teams, the No. 7 Oregon Ducks. The Buffs were able to outwork and outdefend the Ducks in their 74-65 victory in Boulder, but in a high-scoring contest in the fervor of Matthew Knight Arena, the sweep was not to be as the Buffs lost 101-73.

At some point, it doesn’t matter the quality of your defense, because if the other team is making every shot, they’re making every shot. While the Buffs were causing some havoc with a pressing perimeter defense and authoritative rim protection, Oregon could find nothing but net no matter where they shot from. Dillon Brooks and Dylan Ennis were especially impressive for the Ducks, as those two combined in for 43 points on 16-27 shooting (8-14 from three) in the game.

Where the Ducks looked otherworldly on offense, Colorado looked terrific. It’s unfortunate we have to compare CU’s offense to Oregon’s, but such is a requirement for competition. Leading CU’s early offense was a well-rounded attack spearheaded by George King and his 12 first half points. Every Buffalo who took the floor scored in the first half, except Wesley Gordon, who certainly had the chances to score.

In this high-scoring first half, Colorado did everything they could to hang on. CU’s starters and bench players were working for everything on both ends and playing with the energy and cohesiveness that has helped them to wins in six of their previous seven games.

Unfortunately for the Buffs, they couldn’t play perfect offense for the entirety of the half and eventually faltered while the Ducks took flight. Once Oregon went on a 10-0 run to end the first half, they had a 13-point lead and all the momentum (if that exists). That run was only supplemented by a 18-2 run to start the second half, and from there, the game was a blowout.

Next up for the Buffs is a crucial home game against the Utah Utes (18-9), which will tip off at 9 p.m. on Thursday, February 23 and will air on ESPNU.