It wasn’t pretty, but the Colorado Buffaloes don’t need it to be just yet. With Jabari Walker out for almost all of today’s game, the Buffs did just enough on offense to keep the CSU-Bakersfield Roadrunners at arms length. Tristan Da Silva led a massive defensive effort to lock down CSU-Bakersfield and the Buffs live to fight another day against Kansas.
The first half ended with the Buffs up 24-15, and even that low score belied how slow the first half was. The Buffs held CSU-Bakersfield scoreless for over 8 minutes in the first half and did not capitalize on that defensive effort. Jabari Walker and Evan Battey both took nasty hist to the head, with Walker staying out for the rest of the game and Battey returning after halftime. The offense rested on Keeshawn Barthelemy’s shoulders, who has found his shot again. He led the team with 12 points and 2⁄3 from 3. Nique Clifford put in another great effort, with 10 points and a team-leading 7 rebounds.
In the second half, the Buffs found a bit more of their rhythm in transition and started to put CSU-Bakersfield away. With Battey and Walker not available for large portions of the game, Lawson Lovering played a lot of minutes. The freshman center used his 7 foot frame to alter plenty of interior shots and he looked more comfortable than he has all year. The Buffs will need Lovering to develop quickly to keep their tournament hopes alive.
Up next is Kansas, in Boulder, on Tuesday. This is a big one, folks.