Buffs Roll in Opener
BOULDER, Colo. - Sophomore Casey Crawford and freshman Austin Dufault scored 14 and 13 points, respectively leading the University of Colorado men's basketball team to a 76-56 season opening victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Friday night.
"It was what I hoped would happen," said CU head coach Jeff Bzdelik. "This team is unselfish; you just have to look at the box score and see that four players were in double digits."
"They are passionate and they are coachable. They are extremely young and we are going to be all over the map this year. I think that we need to rebound better and make more free throws, but those things are all correctable and we will continue to work on them."
With 10 underclassmen on its roster — five freshmen and five sophomores — Colorado headed into the season with one of the youngest teams in school history, and youth figured prominently in the Buffaloes strong start.
Nate Tomlinson, part of a starting lineup that included two freshmen, two sophomores and a junior, added 12 points in his first college game. Cory Higgins also had 12 points and a team-high six assists for CU, which opened a 40-20 halftime lead.
Colorado outscored the Golden Lions 19-5 over the final 7:07 of the first session with Tomlinson, Higgins and Crawford all hitting 3's during the run.
Lebaron Weathers led Arkansas-Pine Bluff with game-high 22 points. Tavaris Washington added 18 points despite fouling out with 4:27 remaining.
CU shot 50% from the field in both halves (51.9% for the game). The Buffaloes made 10 three-pointers from the new NCAA 3-point line of 20'9", one of the new NCAA rule changes instituted for the 2008-09 season.
The ten three-pointers are the most for the CU team since making ten against Oklahoma State Feb. 3, 2007. CU also added 18 assists to their 27 field goals made for the game.
The Buffaloes (1-0) continue their homestead throughout the month of November, hosting Big Sky Conference opponent Montana State Tuesday, Nov. 22 at the Coors Events Center. Tip is set for 7 p.m.