Buf­faloes bat­tle through prob­lems to rally for win

COLORADO 75, AIR FORCE 68

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Pat Rooney Buf­fZone.com

air force academy» It wasn’t the re­turn to form the Colorado Buf­faloes were hop­ing for in their fi­nal non­con­fer­ence road game.

In fact, for much of Mon­day’s show­down at Air Force, many of the short­com­ings that have plagued coach Tad Boyle’s bas­ket­ball squad ap­peared to be reach­ing new depths of frus­tra­tion.

In the end, though, CU was able to put to­gether enough timely scor­ing runs to even­tu­ally hold off the al­ways-scrappy Fal­cons, with the Buffs post­ing a 75-68 vic­tory at Clune Arena.

The game was tied 48-48 af­ter a pair of free throws by Air Force’s Zach Kocur with about 10 min­utes re­main­ing, but a 3point play from CU fresh­man Deleon Brown be­gan an 8-2 run by the Buffs that gave them the lead for good. CU outscored the Fal­cons 21-10 af­ter that 48-48 tie be­fore hold­ing off Air Force down the stretch.

The Buffs strug­gled against the Air Force de­fense through­out the first half, fin­ish­ing the first 20 min­utes with a whop­ping 12 turnovers while at­tempt­ing just one field goal from in­side the 3-point arc over the game’s first 10 min­utes. Af­ter trail­ing 15-10 with a lit­tle over nine min­utes re­main­ing in the first half, CU outscored the Fal­cons 17-6 to take a 27-21 lead into the break.

Se­nior Xavier John­son turned in an­other strong of­fen­sive game, go­ing 5-for-7 from the field to pace the Buffs with 14 points. Wes­ley Gor­don and Ge­orge King both nearly posted dou­ble-dou­bles, with Gor­don fin­ish­ing with 10 points, nine re­bounds, and five blocked shots while King added 13 points and nine re­bounds.

Se­nior Der­rick White had 12 points, three as­sists and four re­bounds be­fore foul­ing out.

Brown turned in an­other solid game off the bench with 10 points and four as­sists. Ju­nior guard Dom Col­lier re­turned to the ro­ta­tion for the first time since the sea­son opener to make three 3-point­ers off the bench while fin­ish­ing with nine points.

CU com­pletes its non­con­fer­ence sched­ule at home Thurs­day against East­ern Wash­ing­ton.

Colorado cen­ter Wes­ley Gor­don blocks the shot of Air Force for­ward Hay­den Gra­ham dur­ing the first half of Mon­day night’s game at Clune Arena. Jer­ilee Ben­nett, The Gazette

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