Buffs post furious rally but can’t secure the win
Despite pulling within 3 points at the end of the game, the CU men’s basketball team lost to the Colorado State Rams on Saturday night 72-69.
Saturday night marked the first time since 1957 that the Rams have won in Boulder.
“I thought our guys did a great job in continuing to fight the good fight. Saw a lot of good things out there with our team,” said Head Coach Ricardo Patton. “If we can just go forward and build on our defensive intensity that we had in the last few minutes of the game, then I think there is a lot of good basketball ahead for this group.”
The Buffs went on a 17-5 scoring run with 3:50 left to play to close the Rams’ lead to 3 points, but a last chance three-pointer by junior guard Richard Roby fell short on the Buffs’ last possession.
“I think we just pulled together as a team and said it wasn’t over. We got into single digits and felt we had a chance to win,” Roby said.
The Buffs jumped to a great start in the first half, taking an early 9-0 lead. The Rams did not get a bucket until 5:23 into the game.
But the Rams returned the favor, going on a 20-3 scoring run to leap ahead 20-12 over the Buffs.
With 6:53 left to play in the first half, Roby was subbed back into the game for CU. He sparked the offense with two 3-pointers and three free throws to push the Buffs back ahead, 24-22.
Again, the Rams went on a scoring drive after allowing the Buffs back into the game. CSU went on a 9-0 scoring run to put the Rams ahead at halftime, 43-34.
Roby was phenomenal in the first half. He was 2 of 4 from the field, 2 for 2 from downtown, and made all five of his free throws. He finished the first half with a team high 11 points.
The second half was a different story for the Buffs’ offense. The team had only 3 points in the first eight minutes of the second half.
The Rams’ two seven-foot standouts, juniors Jason Smith and Stuart Creason, combined to score 24 points and grab 22 rebounds.
“It certainly causes match-up problems. They are hard to guard down there,” Patton said of the Rams’ big men.
“They only out-rebounded us by one as a team (38-37). Our guards stepped up and got rebounds for us. We had two more offensive rebounds, so I think that is an area we have done a good job in, is rebounding the basketball even when we face big opponents,” he said.
Where Roby was extraordinary in the first half, he finished the game making only five of 15 from the field. He led all scorers with 20 points.
The press the Buffs played at the end of the second half brought the team back into the game, and it’s a strategy Patton said he will consider utilizing for an entire game after he talks with his team.
“I just think our guys felt a sense of urgency. I think if we build on that, there is a lot of good basketball ahead,” Patton said.
The Buffs fall to 3-6, while the Rams improve to 7-2 on the season.