Buffs Go Out with a Whimper

The Colorado men's basketball team saved its worst for last, losing badly to Old Dominion Wednesday night at home in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament.

If Colorado played an uninspired brand of basketball in several games down the stretch — with an NCAA Tournament berth on the line — maybe it's no surprise Ricardo Patton's team couldn't put together a solid effort against Old Dominion in the opening round of the NIT.

The Buffs were bad. Probably worse than they've been all year — certainly at home — losing to the visiting Monarchs 79-61.

Ten seniors ended their careers on, not only a losing note, but an embarrassing one.

"It's a tough way to go out," CU Ricardo Patton said during his postgame radio interview. "Certainly, we didn't play very good basketball. We struggled on the offensive end and we gave up too many offensive boards."

Old Dominion took a lead at halftime, then finished the deal decisively in the second half. The Buffs shot horribly from the field ( 22 of 57, 38 percent), and worse from the charity stripe (13 of 30).

Patton had no explanation for the poor effort.

"You would think that guys would cherish the opportunity to continue to play basketball, but that fire just wasn't there tonight," said the coach now officially heading in the final year of his contract.

The loss ended a severe late-season skid, one that saw the Buffs lose six of its last 11 after starting the season 15-3. Colorado also blew its chance to set a school record for home wins in a season with the loss. CU was 14-2 at home this season, and ended the year with a 20-10 overall record.

"We've seen more good than bad, but sometimes people only remember the last thing you do and we had our bad performances down the stretch," Patton said.

Monarchs guard Isaiah Hunter burned the lackluster Buffs for 28 points, including five 3-pointers.

Playing in his final collegiate game, senior Glean Eddy led CU with 14 points. Fellow seniors Chris Copeland and Martane Freeman chipped in 12 and 10 points respectively. The Buffs' season leading scorer, sophomore Richard Roby, managed just six points.

Along with the 10 seniors on the roster, it may also have been Roby's last game in a Colorado uniform. Roby will decide soon whether to pursue an NBA career or return for his junior year at Colorado.

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