The Colorado Buffaloes sit at 6-1 heading into December, and not a single one of those games have been anything other than heart-stopping. These young Buffs are certainly gaining valuable experience in close games, and luckily for us fans, they have proven largely successful. Tonight, they won America’s first conference game over the Stanford Cardinal.
This game was a jerky-jerky affair with runs all over. The Buffs started slow and used Stanford’s 13 first-half fouls to put points on the scoreboard. Near the midpoint of the first half, Evan Battey decided to take over. He hit three straight threes to wrest the lead away from Stanford. Battey’s jump shot development has been a nice surprise thus far. CU’s defense locked up the Cardinal for around five minutes of game action, allowing no buckets. Harrison Ingram, the ballyhooed true freshman for Stanford, was held in check.
Spencer Jones for Stanford decided to take charge in the second half, scoring all 15 of his points in that portion of play. He and the Cardinal shot well from behind the arc, finishing 10/24 (42%). Attacks to the rim from KJ Simpson and Keeshawn Barthelemy allowed the Buffs to hold serve for most of the second half, but the main story is Battey’s blossoming. He hit 22 points tonight, a career high, and reached 1,000 points for his career. He is only the 38th CU player to hit that mark and the 4th in the program-saving 2017 recruiting class (McKinley Wright, D’shawn Schwartz and Tyler Bey were the others). As everyone knows, Battey is beloved in Boulder and we hope he continues to climb the record books.
The Buffs survived a late surge from Stanford to win and cover. They have a game @UCLA on Wednesday that will be a massive test for this young team.