Cougars beat CU with late run
BYU 79, COLORADO 71
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.