Utah makes a layup with 1.1 sec­onds left and beats the CU men’s team 56- 54.

UTAH 56, COLORADO 54 Vic­to­ri­ous bat­tle of big men not enough as late layup wins war

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Nick Kos­mider

boul­der » Colora dow on the bat­tle of the big men Fri­day night. But the Buffs are quickly learn­ing that wars of at­tri­tion in the Pac- 12 aren’t so eas­ily se­cured.

Lorenzo Bonam hit the gamewin­ning layup over the long, out­stretched arm of 6- foot- 10 Buffs se­nior Josh Scott with 1.1 sec­onds left to give Utah a 56- 54 vic­tory in Colorado’s home league opener.

“They made a play at the end,” a de­jected Scott said af­ter the game. “Bot­tom line.”

The loss dropped Colorado to 12- 4 over­all and 1- 2 in the Pac- 12. Utah im­proved to 12- 4 and 1- 2.

For much of the night, Scott put the clamps on Jakob Poeltl, the Utah 7-footer who was av­er­ag­ing nearly 18 points per game. That de­fen­sive suc­cess helped CU grind to a 52- 45 lead with 5: 25 re­main­ing in a game far more phys­i­cal than the four free throws the Buffs at­tempted would in­di­cate.

But the tough- nosed Utes chipped away. Bonam hit a 3pointer then fin­ished a layup to tie the game 52- 52. And Poeltl’s se­cond bas­ket of the game gave Utah a 54- 52 lead. Ge­orge King then hit a dif­fi­cult run­ning shot to tie the game54- 54 with 1: 20 to go.

But CU missed of­fen­sive chances from there. Bonam stole the ball on CU’s fi­nal pos­ses­sion then scored the tough layup, the ball hang­ing on the rim for sev­eral mo­ments be­fore fall­ing through the net and gut­ting the Buffs and the Coors Events Cen­ter crowd.

“We have to be bet­ter,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “I thought our de­fense was good enough tonight. I thought our re­bound­ing was good enough, de­fen­sively. ... But over­all, our of­fense just wasn’t good enough, and we didn’t make enough plays down the stretch. And we have to get bet­ter at that.”

Poeltl fin­ished with only six points on 2- of- 8 shoot­ing. His ev­ery move and shot were con­tested by Scott, who proved for at least one night that he is the Pac- 12’ s premier big man.

“I wouldn’t trade Josh Scott for any big man in the coun­try,” Boyle said. “That’s no dis­re­spect to any­one else, Jakob Poeltl in­cluded, but Josh Scott is my guy. I love him, and I’ll take him ev­ery sin­gle night with what he brings — the at­ti­tude, the ef­fort, the com­pet­i­tive­ness. He’s a stud, and I thought he was ter­rific.”

Utah took a dif­fer­ent ap­proach de­fen­sively, con­sis­tently send­ing an ex­tra de­fender at Scott. Still, the se­nior tal­lied a dou­ble- dou­ble with 10 points and 10 re­bounds.

With Scott com­mand­ing heavy at­ten­tion, King took ad­van­tage. The red­shirt sopho­more led CU with a team- high 21 points, scor­ing 13 in the first half when bas­kets were oth­er­wise dif­fi­cult to find for the Buffs.

Dom Col­lier added a scor­ing punch in the se­cond half, soft­en­ing the Utah de­fense with two pen­e­trat­ing drives for layups then nail­ing a cor­ner 3pointer that gave the Buffs a 41- 34 lead.

Still, vic­to­ries don’t come eas­ily in the Pac- 12. CU shot just 38 per­cent from the field and 31 per­cent from 3- point range, scor­ing only one bucket in the fi­nal five min­utes of the game.

“We have to learn to fin­ish,” Boyle said.

CU star Josh Scott tries to score against Utah in Fri­day night’s Pac- 12 game at the Coors Events Cen­ter in Boul­der. Scott fin­ished with 10 points and 10 re­bounds. Jeremy Pa­passo, Daily Cam­era

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.