The Colorado Buffaloes played their last home game this season against the class of the Pac-12, the Arizona Wildcats. It also happened to be the last game that Evan Battey will ever play in Boulder. After a disastrous loss on Thursday, this game was even more important to reach the important 20 win plateau for this season and play for postseason participation.
It started disastrously slow for the Buffs. They missed their first ten shots, but held Arizona down on defense as well to keep them close. The score was 8-2 five minutes into the game before Keeshawn Barthelemy got the Buffs on the board. After that, it became the Jabari Walker show. He was EVERYWHERE in the first half and ended the first frame with 13 points and 8 rebounds. He also was an issue on defense with a few tipped passes and shots. It’s impossible to keep the #2 ranked Wildcats down and they started heating up from deep. While the Buffs made only one three pointer in the first half, Benedict Mathurin alone had multiple and Kerr Kriisa splashed from deep. Arizona ended the first half up 5, 37-32.
Then, the Buffs came alive. Jabari Walker continued to dominate and Tristan Da Silva came alive in the second half with some creative left-handed finishes. KJ Simpson was active on defense and got some huge transition buckets, and CU continued to pound the paint successfully. Despite shooting 4/15 from three, they won the points in the paint battle 54-26. The Buffs were the tougher team tonight and it showed all over the court.
This is the way we need to send Evan Battey off. Battey is the embodiment of what it means to a Buffalo. He is why I love college sports so much. I cried when he cried, and I yelled with joy when he yelled after the game.
We love you, Evan. We love you, Buffs