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Colorado Buffaloes bite their nails and win, 81-76

These Buffs sure know how to play it close

NCAA Basketball: Utah at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Buffaloes are making sure that fans always get their money’s worth when they come watch this team. The Buffs were 10-4 at home when they faced the Utah Utes at the Colorado Events Center, and very few of those were comfortable cruises to victory. Saturday night was no different.

Colorado started off in a 8-0 hole, Brandon Carlson took advantage of 7 foot frame and soft defense to come out on fire. He was backing every one down and making easy hook shots. The Buffs started to switch on with 17 minutes left in the first half, turning on a 7 point run on the back of Evan Battey. Battey has turned himself into a hell of a three point shooter, which is very important for stretching the defense. Battey went 2-4 from three on the night. The Buffs couldn’t stop Carlson in the first half, giving up 20 points to the center, but they shut everyone else down JUST enough to keep pace in this game. They entered the break down three points at halftime, 36-33.

The second half turned into the Jabari Walker show. The forward battled foul trouble all game, but he turned it on when he needed to. In the last 8 minutes of the game, KJ Simpson and Walker turned up the pace and Jabari would not be denied. He finished the game with 22 points, 13 rebounds and a perfect 9-9 mark from the free throw line. It’s looking less and less likely that he will spend his junior season in Boulder. Some clutch free throws at the end sealed the tight victory (and the cover!) for the Buffs, as they pick up a crucial win entering the home stretch of the season.