(CU Independent/Adam Milner. Rams logo courtesy CSU Athletics)
FORT COLLINS — For the second time this fall, the Colorado Buffaloes faced a Colorado State team they were supposed to beat. What was expected to happen and what did happen were two completely different results.
Junior forward Travis Franklin recorded a double-double, logging 22 points and 10 rebounds, and freshman point guard Dorian Green added 21 to lead Colorado State to a 77-62 trouncing of Colorado men’s basketball Thursday. The CU football team also lost 23-17 to CSU on Sept. 6.
It was head coach Jeff Bzdelik’s first loss to CSU in seven meetings, and Bzdelik was pretty straightforward about his team’s shortcomings.
“We lacked discipline, we were selfish, we lacked toughness and we weren’t poised,” Bzdelik said. “The only thing to learn from this is to learn and understand why we got our butts whooped.”
Freshman guard Alec Burks’ 22 points was the lone bright spot for Colorado (6-4), who dropped their 20th straight road game to a Division I opponent. Colorado State (6-3) improved to 5-0 at home this season as a crowd of 5,293 packed Moby Arena for the in-state showdown.
The Rams led for the majority of the game with the Buffaloes’ last lead coming with just under 12 minutes to play in the first half at 14-11. CSU led 36-26 at the half, the biggest deficit CU has faced all season. The lead grew to as large as 18 in the second half as the Buffaloes got no closer than seven points.
“I think we need to keep that same intensity that we started out with,” Burks said. “I think we came out really hyped and we should’ve kept it throughout the game. We played to their abilities and not ours.”
It was clear the Rams came to play and they were the aggressor for most of the night, especially on the glass where they out rebounded Colorado 41-27. Despite the obvious emotion and energy CSU had on the floor, on the bench and in the crowd, the Buffs felt their intensity wasn’t a problem.
“You know what, they should know,” Bzdelik said. “We talked about it, they knew, what are you going to do? If you can’t get excited for this, you don’t have a pulse.”
Aside from Burks’ big night, the rest of the Buffs struggled from the field. Junior forward Marcus Relphorde, who was shooting 35 percent coming into the game, struggled again going a dismal 2-of-9. Junior guard Cory Higgins, who was averaging 20.6 points per game this season, had his worst shooting night in recent memory, going 1-of-10 from the field. Higgins’ 10 made free throws enabled him to score 12 on the night, but his struggles epitomized the team’s performance.
“A lot went wrong,” Higgins said. “People didn’t play well, I didn’t play well. Almost everything went wrong.”
The Buffs will have a 12-day layoff before they welcome Cal State Northridge into the Coors Events Center at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22. One can only assume the long waiting period will feel like an eternity to these CU players.
“It’ll be bad,” Burks said. “We could’ve won this game. I think we’ll just practice hard and try to get that out of our system so we can be ready for the next game.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer David Starcer at David.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Buffs fall to Rams in Rocky Mountain Showdown
- Buffs stunned by Rams in 81st Rocky Mountain Showdown
- Buffs prepare for Rocky Mountain Showdown
- Rocky Mountain Showdown moves to hardwood
- Rams run over Buffs, earn first victory in Boulder since '57