Roby and Hall both score 19 in much-needed win
The Colorado Buffaloes won their first game in nearly a month on Saturday. By defeating the Oklahoma Sooners 72-58 at home, they brought a six-game conference losing streak to long-awaited end.
Head coach Jeff Bzdelik said the Buffs have had significant trouble closing out games when leading in the second half this season.
“We’ve been playing competitive basketball for a good portion of games, as we all know, but we haven’t been able to complete one,” Bzdelik said. “Today we completed one.”
Senior forward Richard Roby, who scored 19 points against the Sooners, said the difference in the Buffs that allowed them to come away with a win Saturday was that they finished out the game.
“We’ve been here before a lot of times,” Roby said. “We didn’t say anything about it; we just knew what we had to do. We made our free throws and finished out the game.”
The Sooners did not lead the Buffs at any point in the game.
Freshman guard Levi Knutson has been shooting a fairly low percentage for the past few games, but gave the Buffs quality minutes off the bench against the Sooners.
Knutson played 12 minutes and shot 3-4 from the field, 2-4 from long range and scoring eight points. Knutson said he did not change anything about his game Saturday and just focused on doing what he was supposed to.
“I’m always focused when I’m out there,” Knutson said. “The past couple games I had some open looks just like I had tonight, and they weren’t going down. When I have an open shot, my teammates want me to shoot it, and that’s when I shoot it.”
The Buffs’ bench outscored the Sooners’ bench 18-4. Bzdelik said he was pleased with what everyone on the team brought to the game.
“Everybody contributed so well to this win,” Bzdelik said. “Trent [Beckley] played six minutes. His physical presence on Blake [Griffin] can wear on him.”
Bzdelik said the Buffs did their best to limit the Sooners’ star freshman Blake Griffin’s impact on the game by double-teaming him at all times.
In spite of the extra attention, Griffin led the Sooners in scoring with 25 points. He also grabbed five rebounds and dished out five assists.
As a team, the Buffs shot 60.6 percent from the field and 63.6 percent from long range against the Sooners.
Senior guard Marcus Hall, who also scored 19 points in the win, said the Buffs shot a high percentage against the Sooners because they stuck to their game plan.
“We just stuck with it,” Hall said. “In the past, sometimes we would tend to get away from it deep down in the shot clock. I know we got a couple good looks under 10 seconds. We just stuck with it and were able to make some shots.”
The Buffs also corrected some of their recent free-throw shooting problems against the Sooners, shooting 25-29 from the charity stripe.
The Sooners out-rebounded the Buffs on the offensive glass 17-3 but second-chance opportunities were not enough to overcome the surging Buffs squad.
Bzdelik said that he was pleased to see his team get a win because they have been working hard to improve and deserved a win.
“I’m extremely happy for my players and the fans,” Bzdelik said. “My players really fought hard, and they’ve been working really hard. I’m just very happy for them.”
The Buffs will play their next game Saturday in Lawrence, Kan. against the Kansas Jayhawks.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Brad Cochi at Bradley.Cochi@colorado.edu