Cougars beat CU with late run

BYU 79, COLORADO 71

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Pat Rooney

provo, utah» There were sev­eral things the Colorado Buf­faloes ex­pected when they hit the Mar­riott Cen­ter floor Satur­day night.

They ex­pected a hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment from the big­gest crowd the Buffs have played be­fore this sea­son. They ex­pected the host BYU Cougars to push the pace and feed off the crowd.

And, per­haps most im­por­tant for CU, the Buffs ex­pected to weather an early on­slaught from BYU be­fore mak­ing their move.

The Buffs did it — twice, at the beginning of each half — but a fi­nal run evaded CU as BYU pulled away down the stretch to hand the Buffs a 79-71 de­feat.

The Cougars used a 12-2 run late in the sec­ond half to pull away, while the Buffs picked the worst pos­si­ble time to en­dure a lengthy field-goal drought.

As ex­pected BYU en­joyed the emo­tional edge early, scor­ing seven con­sec­u­tive points in a 10-2 run that gave the Cougars the lead for the bulk of the first half.

The Cougars still led by seven points af­ter con­sec­u­tive 3-point­ers by sopho­more Nick Emery late in the half when the Buffs put to­gether an 11-4 run to draw even at 38-38. Der­rick White scored seven of those points, cap­ping the run with a 3-pointer. But a put­back bas­ket by BYU’s Eric Mika gave the Cougars a 40-38 lead at the break.

BYU reeled off a 10-2 run early in the sec­ond half to take a 10-point lead with just un­der 16 min­utes re­main­ing when Xavier John­son came alive for the Buffs. The fifthyear se­nior scored 10 straight points for CU dur­ing a 12-1 run that gave the Buffs their first lead since the game’s early min­utes.

The game went back and forth down the stretch, with the Buffs man­ag­ing large stretches of time with White on the bench be­cause of four fouls, three of which he was whis­tled for within the first six min­utes af­ter half­time.

CU held a 62-61 lead with 7 min­utes, 51 sec­onds re­main­ing af­ter a free throw by Wes­ley Gor­don, but BYU an­swered with eight con­sec­u­tive points in a 12-2 run to pull away down the stretch.

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