Contact CU Independent Men’s Basketball Beat Writer Alissa Noe at Alissa.Noe@colorado.edu.
Despite amassing a 14-point lead midway through the second half on Saturday night, the University of Colorado men’s basketball dropped their final regular season game in No. 13 Utah, 57-55.
After the Buffs ignited a 16-0 run midway through the second, they let that effort slip away when they failed to score over the next six minutes, allowing Utah to finish a 19-0 run to regain the lead and pull away with the game, which was the regular season finale for both teams.
With a 21-10 record at the end of the regular season, Colorado currently sits as a safe bet to make the NCAA Tournament, albeit at a low seed.
For the game, the Buffs shot 30.5 percent (18-59) and 6-16 (37.5 percent) from the three, which was head-over-heels better than what they shot during the first half. The Utes shot 31 percent (18-58), but only managed 4-21 (19 percent) from downtown.
Only two Buffs, junior guard/forward Tre’Shaun Fletcher (12 points) and senior forward Josh Scott (11), managed to score in double-digits. On the other side of the ball, the Utes had four double-digit offenders in Jakob Poeltl (16), Lorenzo Bonam (16), Brandon Taylor (11) and Jordan Loveridge (10).
Both teams got off to a slow start on Saturday, playing some ugly basketball from the moment the clock started to the moment it stopped at half. Although the Utes got up early, the Buffs weren’t far behind and eventually took over their first lead of the game nine minutes in, 9-8.
Throughout the remainder of the half, the Buffs and Utes saw two tied scores and three lead changes with surprisingly very few turnovers: The Buffs only committed five to Utah’s six.
At halftime, the Buffs led 21-20 after Scott sunk a beautiful spin-move, step-back fadeaway over Poeltl right before the buzzer.
For the half, both teams shot hideously. The Buffs only managed to make 21.9 percent from the floor (7-32), but found salvation in their three-point shooting at 44.4 percent (4-9). Fletcher, who had a half-high nine points, shot all kinds of long-range missiles after going 3-4 from downtown.
The Utes didn’t fare much better. They shot 27.6 percent (8-29) from the field, but only made two of their 14 attempts from deep (14.3 percent).
Although the first few minutes of the second half saw its fair share of back-and-forth play, the Buffaloes exploded on a nearly seven-minute 16-0 run midway through the last 20 minutes of play, going up by as much as 14, 45-31.
But in the most predictably Colorado fashion, the Buffs didn’t score a basket for over six minutes after that and allowed Utah to regain the lead after an unforgivable 19-0 run. The Utes eventually went on to win, 57-55.
The Buffs get back in action on Wednesday, March 9 in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. As the No. 5 seed, they will take on No. 12 Washington State at 3:30 p.m. mountain time and the game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.