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Boyle's Buffs Roll Past Oregon State

Feb 8, 2021
Freshman Tristan da Silva had a career-high 15 points in CU's win over OSU on Monday.

WATCH: Pac-12 Network Recap | WATCH: Dallas Walton on Pac-12 Network | Notes | Quotes | Boxscore


BOULDER — There would be no second-half comeback by the Colorado Buffaloes' opponents Monday night.

The Buffs built a big early lead, then put the hammer down in the second half to run away with a 78-49 win over Oregon State at the CU Events Center. 

The Buffs improved to 15-5 overall and 9-4 in Pac-12 play while the Beavers fell to 10-8 and 6-6 while also seeing their two-game win streak at the Events Center come to an end.

CU had three players in double figures, led by Jeriah Horne's 16 points and seven rebounds. Freshman Tristan da Silva had career highs in points (15), rebounds (four) and minutes (20) and senior Dallas Walton chipped in 12 points and seven boards.

Ethan Thompson led OSU with 10 points — eight under his average — as the Buffs limited him to just 3-for-8 shooting. CU also held OSU's second-leading scorer, Jarod Lucas, to just four points, nine under his season average, as CU guard Eli Parquet made Lucas' night difficult all evening.

The Buffs were solid on both ends of the floor for the entire game against an opponent that was playing its third contest in six days. OSU managed to stay close for the first 10 minutes, but the Buffs slowly pulled away and made sure to use altitude to their advantage. Colorado led by 13 at the half, pushed the lead to 24 early in the second half and led by as much as 33 late in the game.

CU shot 55.8% from the floor (29-for-52) while holding OSU to 32.7% (18-for-55). On the defensive end, Colorado forced 20 Beavers turnovers — an OSU season high — and converted them into 29 points. The Buffs also held a commanding edge in bench points (43-19), more than making up for quiet nights from starters McKinley Wright IV (six points) and Evan Battey (one point).

The victory kept the Buffs solidly in third place in the Pac-12, one game behind co-leaders UCLA and USC, both with 9-2 conference marks.

"This was a separation game," CU coach Tad Boyle said. "Coming into tonight, they had five losses in league play, we've got four. If we don't win tonight, we're falling back in the pack. Now they've got six and we've got four, and we're going to be faced with the same thing on Thursday against Stanford. February is kind of a separation month. You either play yourself into the top half or the middle or the bottom half. We want to be in that top half and we want to compete for a championship."

HOW IT HAPPENED: After the two teams traded the lead four times early in the game, CU took the lead for good at the 12:09 mark of the first half on a Horne three-point play.

The Buffs then used 9-2 and 12-2 runs to take a 13-point lead at the half, 40-27, before expanding the cushion to 24 just five minutes into the second half with a 13-2 run.

Parquet had two buckets in the run to open the half, getting great feeds from Horne and Walton. Horne also had a 3-pointer in the surge as well as a fast-break dunk off a long pass from Wright.

Horne's dunk gave Colorado a 24-point lead, 53-29, with 15:15 still to play — and unlike their last two outings, the Buffs didn't allow their opponents to put together anything resembling a second-half comeback.

"I feel like tonight, that was our main focus going into halftime, just making sure we did all we could to keep that lead and extend it," Horne said.

The Buffs did exactly that. With freshman Jabari Walker out with an injury, Da Silva got the most extensive playing time of his young career and he made the most of it. With Battey battling foul trouble and an ankle injury, the CU freshman had seven points in the first half when the Buffs were building a double-digit lead, then added eight in the second half as he finished the night 6-for-6 from the floor.

"As a freshman, when you make mistakes on the court it happens a lot that you get subbed out immediately," da Silva said. "If you're on the court for a longer period of time you know you're playing good defense, you're not screwing up plays. That gives you confidence. Then, if you don't play two minutes on, two minutes off, you get into a rhythm and that's what happened tonight."

Horne, meanwhile, was an efficient 6-for-8 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the line, along with seven rebounds and two assists.

"Jeriah's an efficient player," Boyle said. "He's got the ability to make tough shots and not everybody has that. We don't want him taking tough shots … but Jeriah's a crafty offensive player. We want him to be aggressive. He is so creative and crafty, you want him to play free and you want him to play his game."

As fatigue set in for the Beavers, the Buffs kept up the pressure down the stretch. CU still led by 24 points, 61-37, with 7:43 to play and pushed the margin to as much as 33 in the final minute, even when Boyle emptied his bench. Thirteen Buffs saw playing time.

REST FOR REGULARS: The runaway win gave Boyle a chance to rest his starters, something that is important as they have two more games this week, and some are battling nagging injuries as well.

No Buff played more than 26 minutes Monday, with Wright playing 25 (seven under his season average) and Battey just 12, barely half his season average.

With games on tap for Thursday and Saturday, the team won't have a regular practice Tuesday, but will instead have an "individual improvement" day. That could mean anything from getting up shots in the gym to weight workouts to training room treatment.

"The goal is to keep this team fresh mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally as we head through February," Boyle said. "This has been a long year and a trying year for everybody. We're going to try to stay fresh and take care of business."

TURNING POINT: After OSU pulled to within 19-17 at the midway point of the first half, the Buffs put together a 9-2 run, quickly followed by a 9-0 surge to take a 37-23 lead. The Beavers never came closer than 13 again.

WHAT IT MEANS: The win keeps Colorado firmly in third place in the league standings and within striking range of co-leaders USC and UCLA with seven conference games remaining. But the Buffs will need to find a way to pick up some victories on their upcoming four-game road trip before returning home for contests with the Trojans and Bruins.

KEY STATISTICS: Colorado shot 56% from the floor and held OSU to 33% shooting … CU forced 20 Oregon State turnovers and reaped 29 points off the miscues … The Buffs' reserves outscored their Beavers counterparts 43-19 … CU had an 18-0 edge in fastbreak points.

NEXT UP: The Buffs hit the road for a four-game trip, beginning with a Thursday game at Stanford (5 p.m., ESPNU) and followed by a Saturday tilt at Cal (8 p.m., ESPNU). After that, CU plays Feb. 18 at Oregon (9 p.m., ESPN2) and Feb. 20 at Oregon State (6 p.m., ESPN2/ESPNU).