CU 73, UNCW 54

Behind senior Chris Copeland's 20 points and 17 team steals, Colorado dispatched of UNC-Wilmington 73-54 in the Buffs' season opener Friday night at Coors.

CU-UNCW 11/18/05 THE RECAP
UNC-Wilmington came to Boulder with an impressive 3-0 mark after beating Butler, Northwestern and host Wyoming in the Black Coaches Association Tournament. The Seahawks played a tough, disciplined brand of ball, but were no match for the Buffaloes Friday night at Coors.

Colorado scrapped its way to a 29-23 lead at the half before breaking it open with a 13-0 run midway through the second half. Chris Copeland (20 points), Richard Roby (14), Jayson Obazuaye (12) and Andy Osborn (10) scored in double figures for the Buffs. Copeland went 5 of 6 from the field, including 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.

THE HYPE
• Colorado looked like a different team than a season ago. Last year, the Buffs often came out flat in the first half, but that wasn't the case Friday night. Though they shot just 37 percent from the field in the first 20, Colorado was aggressive from the get go on both ends of the court.

• Osborn was banging early in the game, and he scored six straight points — four on put backs near the basket. In the second half, Osborn went after a loose ball. The effort drew a high five from his coach.

Marcus King-Stockton muscled in a bucket in the lane in the second half that began the crucial 13-0 run for the Buffs. Colorado had opened a 51-32 lead by the time it was over.

• New junior point guard Coleman got the students on their feet with a spin move and finish in the lane midway through the second half. He followed that up on the next possession with a drive and dish to JO. It's clear he hasn't been playing point all his life, but what's significant about Coleman's play is that he's very assertive from the position. After five exhibition games, it's clear who's running the Buffs on offense. He'll only get better.

Marcus Hall sparked the team in the second half with his defense. For about a three minute stretch, it seemed like he got his hand on leather on the defensive end every UNC-W possession. Antoine McGee quietly put up a solid game with three steals and three points in 11 minutes.

• The "Billy Boidock" chant started at 2:58 left in the game. The walk-on didn't get in the game, though.

THE WORD
This is a decent UNCW team. Beating a team with the Seahawks early season résumé won't hurt Colorado's RPI down the road.

CU's next test will be tough as they play at Colorado State Monday night (8 p.m., FSN).

THE NUMBERS
Colorado
Points: Copeland 20
Rebounds: Osborn 8, Copeland 7
Assists: Roby 4
Blocks: Osborn 3
Steals: Osborn, Roby, McGee 3
Turnovers: Obazuaye 5

UNC-Wilmington
Points: T.J. Carter 12
Rebounds: Todd Hendley 6
Assists: John Goldsberry 6
Blocks: Mitch Laue, Hendley 1
Steals: three tied with 1
Turnovers: Hendley 6

THE NOTES
True freshman Calvin Williams got off the bench at the 8:38 mark in the first half. …The announced crowd of 2,268 seemed bigger than it was. …The Buffs were showboating a bit during the warm-ups, to the delight of the student section. When Marcus Hall threw down a lob to himself, it drew the biggest cheer....The game was part of a double-header with the CU women's team. They beat Cal State-Fullerton 100-71.

THE QUOTES

Ricardo Patton: "We played a good first contest. We thought that we would get a good read playing this team because they came in here with three wins against three very good basketball teams so we had to come out here and play."

"We came out and played a better second half. In the first half, they made us take a lot of tough shots, and we started getting easy buckets in the second half."

"We caused 26 turnovers against a very disciplined team. This shows how aggressive we were on defense."

On the play of Dominique Coleman
"He has a tendency to get cute now and then, but he did a good job running the team tonight."

On play of the bench
"Glean Eddy did a good job coming off the bench, and we always tell our guys to be ready when the phone rings. Marcus Hall did a superb job on defense coming off the bench. If our guys don't worry about points or minutes, then we will be a good team."

UNCW Coach Brad Brownell
"I think Colorado executed at a high level. They ran the things they did well, we were hurt a little bit by not having film on them. I thought we were a bit mentally tired and we made mistakes we haven't made in the first three games. We got down, we haven't been down this year, and panicked.

More on Colorado
"Tonight we got beat by a better team. They outplayed us in every facet of this game. They're talented and have a lot of older players and you can tell they played with poise."

"They are very similar to Wyoming in terms of physicality. But, they were much more physical than Northwestern or Butler. Having 10 seniors and then the experience of those guys, they shouldn't get riled as often as you would expect."

"Roby is a young player but plays with so much poise. He plays well beyond his years. We didn't do too much special to defend him. If you do too much special to defend him, Osborn and Copeland are so good with what they do. When they start to make a couple of shots, it makes Colorado very hard to defend."


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