Furious Colorado comeback stalls
Whatever Tad Boyle told his team in the locker room at halftime worked wonders in Colorado’s 2nd round NCAA tournament game. The Buffs' furious 2nd half comeback ultimately fell short however as Illinois eliminated Colorado 57-49 in Austin, Texas on Friday.
Askia Booker led the Buffs with 14 points, Andre Roberson had nine to go with eight boards and Josh Scott chipped in with eight points down low.
[Related video: Colorado-Illinois highlights @NCAA.com]
Illinois jumped to a 16-point halftime lead paced by guards Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson. Neither team shot particularly well – both under 34 percent on the game – in what is best described as a game of runs.
Colorado raced out of halftime to cut the lead to single digits after a Booker three-pointer. The Buffs’ defense helped jump-start the offense as the Illini missed 14 straight shots and went 11:29 without a field goal during the middle part of the half.
The Buffs’ run just kept going. At one point Colorado scored 21 straight, the second-best consecutive points streak in school history. After retaking the lead with just over 10 minutes left however, the team’s momentum slowed to a crawl.
Illinois snagged a four-point lead as part of a 16-2 run to close out the game. Colorado scored just three points over the final five minutes and Illinois made enough free throws to salt the game away.
Boyle’s squad made consecutive NCAA tournament appearances for the first time in 50 years. Colorado finishes the season with a 21-13, 10-8 Pac-12 record.
Illinois advances to play Miami on Sunday.