Wednesday's loss put the Buffs at 5-5 on the season.
Through their seven games, New Orleans (6-1) has shown it's a team that knows how to win. A scrappy squad surely void of any NBA prospects, the Privateers have now won each of their four road games to begin the season. Wednesday, they refused to give in, even as the Buffs held a lead through much of the game.
Colorado jumped out to a 16-6 lead early in the first half. But seven turnovers in the span of a few minutes meant they weren't able to extend that lead. Still, the Buffs were up 32-26 at the break.
The teams played neck and neck through much of the second half. New Orleans took its first lead of the game with 6:12 to play. But CU tied the game moments later when senior Marcus King-Stockton, who had his best game of the season, blocked a Privateer's shot, then converted a bucket on the other end.
Things went back and forth from there. Here's how it played out.
• NO scored the next four points, and held a lead by that amount.
• Richard Roby made a lay-up at the 2:12 mark.
• Cory Higgins hit a trey, giving the Buffs a 62-61 advantage.
• NO's Bo McCalebbs drove the lane, made a lay-up and converted a free throw when he was fouled. NO up 64-62.
• With 9.2 seconds on the clock, Higgins picked up a loose ball and drained another trey. Buffs ahead 65-64.
• Rather than take a timeout, NO inbounded the ball and Shaun Reynolds hit a flying lay-up and is fouled. He made the free throw. NO leads again 67-65.
• With 4.3 seconds remaining, CU drew up a play where Marcus Hall is to receive the ball after he inbounds it, and take it up the court. But NO's full court press caused Xavier Silas into a poor pass to Hall. Loose ball. Clock runs. Game over. New Orleans wins.
Roby, who led all scorers and rebounders with 27 points and 14 boards, was frustrated after the game. Though he didn't mention any team members by name, he indicated he felt not everyone was playing with the urgency needed to win the game.
"It wasn't five guys. It has to be everybody. You can't have four guys raising their level (of intensity) and one guy not willing to do what it takes, or being in the wrong position. It breaks down the whole defense," Roby said. "Everybody (on the team) cares about winning and losing. But …you can't take possessions off, you can't let a man just drive by you five straight times. I don't see how that's possible."
Bzdelik was not present when Roby vented his frustration. When told of the comment, the coach stressed that each player needs to take a look at himself.
Bzdelik pointed to his team's tendency to play hard in stretches, but let up at crucial times as it did Wednesday. Colorado also missed nine lay-ups in the second half, Bzdelik pointed out.
"The culture needs to change as much as anything," he said, adding the team is playing competitively, compared to much of last year, but they need to take the next step and win.
Much of Roby's frustration comes from the fact he's a senior.
"I don't care how many years these guys have got — we gotta win now," he said. "I don't care about the next year, I care about the next game, the next possession."
Points: Richard Roby 27
Rebounds: Roby 14
Assists: Roby 4
Turnovers: Roby 3
Blocks: Marcus King-Stockton 3
Steals: Roby 2
Points: Bo McCalebbs 24
Rebounds: Kyndall Dykes 9
Assists: Shaun Reynolds 5
Turnovers: Ben Elias 4
Blocks: McCalebbs 1
Steals: two with 2
Hall had to change from his normal No. 1 jersey midway through the game to No. 55 because he got blood on the No. 1 top. … Colorado won't play again until Dec. 22 when they travel to Fort Collins and face Colorado State. …King-Stockton attempted the first 3-point shot of his career in the second half. It caromed out.