The Colorado Buffaloes, fresh off of a winless stretch in Boulder against USC and UCLA, were 9 point underdogs to the Oregon Ducks tonight. Instead of taking the expected loss, the Buffs bowed their backs and won despite a torrent of turnovers. This is the first win at the Matthew Knight Arena since Spencer Dinwiddie graced the uniform and a huge step forward for this young team.
This team started out slow. The Ducks led 22-10 at one point in the first half and their defensive pressure kept Colorado down. Big contributions from Jabari Walker and Keeshawn Barthelemy kept the Buffs in the game and they ended up hanging around down 5 at halftime.
The second half saw a lot more energy from our Buffs. Walker continued to dominate inside, ending with another double-double (he leads the Pac-12). Barthelemy ended up chipping in 19 points and Da Silva also ended up in double figures. Hustle plays from KJ Simpson, Evan Battey and Luke O’Brien forced Oregon on the back foot, and CU finally took a lead, 63-62, deep into the second half. After wayyyyyyyyy too many inbounds passes that ended up in Oregon’s hands, the Buffs made enough free throws to secure a win. This is their first Quad 1 win of the season and a huge step forward for this fun team. Walker continues his showcase for NBA scouts and his rebounding tenacity continues to keep the Buffs battling on the boards. Barthelemy improved after a rough stretch of games, which is great for his confidence, and it was great to see Eli Parquet return from injury. Lawson Lovering sat this game out, after a practice injury, so former walk-on Will Loughlin saw some minutes. All in all, this is a huge step forward for this team, who have two more road games on deck.