In the sports world, it’s called by many different names: a blowout, route, or even bloodbath, but the plain fact of the matter is, the Colorado Buffaloes men’s basketball team demolished the visiting California Golden Bears to the tune of an 89-60 victory on Thursday afternoon at the CU Events Center.
The highlight of the game came early in the first half when senior guard McKinley Wright IV tallied a memorable assist.
A booming bounce pass to senior forward Evan Battey led to a nice layup from the big man, but Wright knew it meant much more than just two points on the scoreboard as he snuck a quick grin before he transitioned to defense. Wright had officially etched his name in the Colorado history books, passing Jay Humphries’ all-time CU record of 562 career assists.
Of course, it did not start out all smiles, as Colorado fell behind to the tune of an 18-11 disadvantage. Then, the Buffaloes and freshman Forward Jabari Walker began their stampede. By the time the clock hit zeroes into halftime, the Buffs had put together a 23-5 run, draining five three-pointers in the process. Walker, an Inglewood, CA native, had put up 14 points, including a trio of three balls, to help spark the Buffs to a 34-23 halftime lead.
Coming out of the locker room, Boyle’s crew went from foot-on-the gas to pedal-to-the-metal. Colorado seemed to be playing on a completely different level than the Bears in almost all aspects of the ballgame, a great sign if the Buffaloes want to make their long-awaited run in the postseason. Up by nearly 30 points in the latter part of the game, head coach Tad Boyle began to trot out the bottom of Colorado’s bench as the starters went absolutely mad with jubilation on the sideline. After Boyle sat CU’s main men, they went into an absolute frenzy when freshman guard Luke O’Brien hit his first career three-point basket off the bench.
Walker went on to lead the Buffs with 23 points, while Wright fittingly lead the team with a career-high 12 assists. Both ended up with a double-double on the afternoon as well. Colorado shot at a 56% clip on field goals for the game, along with hitting 57% from beyond the arc. They limited Cal to 43% from the field and 37% on three-balls. Also of note is that Wright rose up to tenth all-time in scoring at CU, passing Randy Downs with 1,568 points.
Following the game and his momentous achievement, Wright was thankful for his brothers in arms.
When you have teammates like my teammates over the last four years and the coaching staff, when they believe in you, trust you, and put you out there to play it makes my job so much easier,” Wright said. “My teammates believe in me every day.”
Boyle’s Buffs, now 10-3 and 4-2 in the Pac-12, will be back in action on Saturday when they welcome the Stanford Cardinal (8-3, 4-1 Pac-12) to the CU Events Center.
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