Team stays positive despite 38 point loss
A slow start was an understatement for the CU men’s basketball team Saturday night, as the team fell to in-state opponent Air Force, 84-46.
The Buffs scored only 11 points in the first half, which was the lowest total since scoring four points against Missouri on Jan. 23, 1980.
“You know, it’s three games into the season, and I think one of the things that our team is finding out is that we are going to go through some growing pains,” said head coach Ricardo Patton. “That’s part of having eight freshmen.”
The Buffs’ 46 total points marks the lowest total since the 1999-2000 season, when the team scored 35 points against Texas in the Big 12 quarterfinal game.
“I think what I got to do right now is to stay positive,” said junior guard Richard Roby. “It’s a long season, and I still have confidence in myself.”
The Buffs shot a horrific 22.7 percent from the field in the first half. Roby made only one of eight field goals, and the team was missed all nine shots from 3-point range.
“I think Richard has got to turn up his intensity a little but on both ends of the floor. I think he hasn’t realized that every team will put their best defender on him,” Patton said. “Every team will make it difficult for him to get wide-open looks.”
After the score was deadlocked at four at the beginning of the game, Air Force went on a 15-0 run in 3 minutes and 37 seconds. At one point in the first half, the Buffs had more fouls – six – than their four points.
At halftime, the Buffs trailed by 24 points, 35-11.
CU played much better in the second half, shooting 41.9 percent from the field and scoring 35 points. Rebounding was not a problem for the Buffs, as they were only out-rebounded 34-32.
However, Air Force flexed its muscle. Junior guard Tim Anderson dropped 24 points for the Falcons.
“As I said before the game, Air Force is certainly a top-25 team,” Patton said. “I’m certainly proud of our young guys that we had in the second half.”
As the Air Force fans who made it to the game started to chant “We Want Duke” in the final moments of the game, all the Buffs could do was to think about where to go from here.
“I definitely see it as an opportunity for us to continue to progress and continue to gain chemistry,” said freshman guard Kal Bay. “I feel I need to be a better leader for this team.”