With KJ Simpson out of the lineup entirely and Tristan da Silva relegated to a reserve role after suffering an ankle injury against UCLA, most of Colorado’s scoring punch began the regular season finale on the bench.

In fact, the starting five head coach Tad Boyle turned to on Saturday against Utah took the floor with a combined scoring average of 24.6. Or about 4.9 points per player.

All things considered, it turned out to be one of the gutsiest performances by the CU men’s basketball team this season.

The Buffs capped a rough regular season by celebrating Senior Day with a 69-60 victory at the CU Events Center. With the win, CU (16-15, 8-12 Pac-12) avoided what would have been just the second sub-.500 regular season in 13 years under Boyle.

The victory ended a run of four losses in five games for the Buffs, while Utah suffered its fifth consecutive loss to close the regular season.

At around halftime, CU was cemented into the ninth seed for next week’s Pac-12 Conference tournament in Las Vegas thanks to Oregon’s win against Stanford. The Buffs will play eighth-seeded Washington in the opening game of the first round on Wednesday.

The Buffs scored nine consecutive points on a Jalen Gabbidon 3-pointer, followed by a pair of 3s from da Silva, midway through the first half and never trailed afterward. CU led 33-21 at halftime and opened up a 16-point lead on a pair of Ethan Wright 3-pointers early in the second half.

Da Silva ultimately displayed few problems with his ankle, finishing 5-for-8 with 15 points off the bench. CU’s Nique Clifford posted his first career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. With Simpson sidelined, Julian Hammond III received a start and responded with 15 points, five assists, three rebounds and only one turnover in 36 minutes.

Colorado 69, Utah 60

UTAH (17-14)

Be.Carlson 1-4 0-0 3, Br.Carlson 5-15 3-4 13, Anthony 1-7 2-4 4, Stefanovic 4-15 0-0 12, Worster 5-8 4-4 15, Madsen 3-10 0-0 9, Holt 1-1 0-0 2, Keita 1-1 0-0 2, Brenchley 0-0 0-0 0, Exacte 0-2 0-0 0, Tarlac 0-0 0-0 0, Saunders 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-63 9-12 60.

COLORADO (16-15)

Lovering 3-8 0-0 6, Clifford 5-8 2-2 14, Hammond 5-12 5-5 15, O’Brien 2-3 0-0 4, Wright 3-9 2-4 10, da Silva 5-8 2-3 15, Gabbidon 2-5 0-0 5, Allen 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-54 11-14 69.

Halftime — Colorado 33-21. 3-Point Goals — …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – News


Shorthanded CU Buffs men’s basketball tops Utah to close regular season

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