Dufault leads Buffs to victory

Austin Dufault came ready to play Wednesday night at the Coors Events Center against Maryland Eastern Shore. Dufault had 14 points and five rebounds going into halftime, he finished with 18 and seven, and his strong play led the Buffs to a 92-65 win.

The win keeps the Buffs perfect at home this year and stretches their nonconference home winning streak to 20. They improved to 9-4 overall.

"I was not impressed with our effort tonight. We weren't ready mentally tonight. I told myself halfway through the first half that I didn't have our team ready," coach Tad Boyle said.

Yet, despite the coach's assessment, big production came from all five of the starters. After Dufault's 18, Marcus Relphorde, Cory Higgins and Alec Burks all had 15 points. Nate Tomlinson led the team with six assists while playing with a bad thigh.

With Tomlinson bothered by his leg, Shannon Sharpe came in and played well off the bench.

"I thought Shannon Sharpe played well for the minutes he played," Boyle said of his point guard.

Sharpe was the leading scorer off the bench with nine points and three assists for Colorado.

Although the Buffs won by 27 points, the players and the coach didn't think they played well.

"Mentally, I just thought we weren't really there tonight. It showed especially in the first half," Dufault said.

Relphorde also thought the team wasn't mentally prepared for the game.

"I think a lot of times we play good defense for 20 or 25 seconds and then it's one letdown," he said. "A lot of it is mental."

The defense continues to be the problem for the Buffs and the team knows it.

"Offensively we're top three in pretty much every category in the Big 12," Relphorde said, "But defensively we're sitting at the bottom."

That sentiment won't receive any argument from Boyle.

"Guarding the ball is something that we have worked on, we will continue to work on and we will work on tomorrow at practice," Tad Boyle said.

The size and quickness of Maryland Eastern Shore is something the Buffs haven't faced this year. Higgins won't be forced to guard a player under 6-feet for most of a game rest of the season, especially in the Big 12.

Nevertheless, the Buffs have to come out and play better against all competition. Boyle was disappointed with the team's effort tonight.

"I don't think we necessarily got better as a team tonight," he said.

That's the one thing the Buffs should accomplish every game.


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