The Colorado Buffaloes prevailed over in state rival CSU Rams. 93-72 was the final score when the dust settled in Boulder.
A few former Buffs, one beat down Ram and I trekked up to Boulder for the intrastate rivalry. The contest took place at the Coors Events Center aka the "Foam Dome." The only place (with the exception of the student union), you can buy beer on campus. We were a bit surprised to see a crowd of over 8,000 present on a Tuesday night. Later found out the official attendance was 8,675.
The Buffs simply out played the Rams. Turnovers would reflect the outcome of the game. With only 9 team turnovers the Buffs took better care of the ball. CSU could not overcome the 17 turnovers they committed. Most of them were forced by a stingy CU defense, and led to easy baskets or dunks.
After the game Coach Patton praised the defensive effort and the assist to turnover ratio for the Buffs. He also downplayed the match-up between 7 footers Matt Nelson and David Harrison, and said he had the team focus on the Michelle Morandis and Brian Greene of CSU.
CU got some productive minutes out of Jason Carter (3-3 FG and 2 steals) and Lamar Harris (3-4 FG and 9 rebounds). Blair Wilson showed a bit of what he learned overseas this summer and played excellent defense Andy Birley.
CSU was also out-rebounded by 10 in the contest. They didn't have an inside presence for the majority of the time on offense. Nelson roamed in the high post and knocked down some 15-17 foot shots, and did get a team high 21 points on the night.
The rout was on after the Buffs went up 20 points and threatened to take that margin to 30 over the course of the 2nd half. CSU looked as if someone had deflated their balloon for the final 10 minutes of the second half. They did apply a full court press with 5 minutes to go, but it brought them no closer to the Buffs.
In gearing up for #9 Oklahoma on Saturday the Buffs seemed to leave the starters in a little longer than usual. Of course Oklahoma (9-2) had hung a 73-63 loss on #3 UConn earlier in the evening, so the Buffs better go into Norman prepared.
The next two weeks of hoops action should give us an early indication of whether or not we will have a CU team that is competing for a birth in the NCAA tournament.