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Buffs Close Non-Conference Play with Two at Home

Dec 16, 2021

BOULDER—A 10-day break in the action for the Colorado Buffaloes comes to a close when Southern Methodist comes to the CU Events Center on Friday (6 p.m. MT). 

Colorado (9-0) was last in action on Dec. 7, handing Southern Utah a 34-point loss on its home court. CU took some time off during the week, allowing for the team to focus on their final exams. 

"Our schedule [with finals] didn't fluctuate that much, other than having several days off," head coach JR Payne explained. "We got back from Utah and I think we had three of four days off. But our practice time remained close to the same based on the final schedules. We were fortunate it was still early afternoon, so that didn't change too much. 

"The biggest thing I think is just the lack of sleep, staying up late studying and things like that. We're just glad that they're over. I'm sure we did really well as far as grads and things like that."

The Buffs have two games leading up to the holiday break and then jump right into Pac-12 Play with Oregon State on New Year's Eve. 

"We definitely will stress that [two remaining games]," Payne added. I think we're just very excited to play again. Tomorrow our focus will be on that. The hardest thing all year, every year, is the game right before Christmas. I think we have a very veteran group, so I'm not worried about it but we definitely will remind them that it's important to get all the planning done ahead of time so that the focus is on the game when the time comes."

CU hasn't had a lot of off time in its undefeated start to the year. The Buffs opened the season with seven games in November including a grueling stretch of five games in ten days that included a pair of back-to-back contests. With Southern Utah in the rearview mirror, the team has had to look for competition within its practices to keep the momentum rolling.  

"I think we have a pretty competitive group that likes to get after it no matter what we're doing," Payne described. "We'll do black against white in practice and it will be competitive. Everyone is trying to win and there will be something to it."

SMU (4-5) has had the same 10-day break as the Buffs. The Mustangs defeated Delaware 61-55, on Dec. 7, snapping a two-game losing streak. The Buffs own a 2-0 record over SMU but haven't met since the 2016-17 season. 

San Francisco (5-5) will have a few extra days of rest before Monday's contest. The Dons last played at Cal State Fullerton (53-62) on Dec. 7. Colorado is 4-2 all-time against USF. The Buffs have won the last three, dating back to the 2006-07 season.  

Friday's game will be broadcast across the Pac-12 Networks. Cory Lopez will have the call on the Colorado Radio Network and the Varsity Network app starting at 5:30 p.m. MT. Monday will be a live stream ( with tip set for 1 p.m. MT. 

Colorado women's basketball is collecting new and used shoes and clothing on Friday, December 17 at 6:00 p.m. All donations will benefit Soles4Souls, a nonprofit that turns unwanted shoes and clothing into opportunities. New shoes and clothing are distributed to people in need across the U.S. and internationally. Used goods help people launch and sustain their own small businesses selling donated shoes and clothing. For more information regarding Soles4Souls, visit