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Buffs Open Road Trip With Win At Oregon State

Feb 15, 2022
CU's Jabari Walker recorded his 13th double-double of the season in the Buffs' win Tuesday.

 

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Colorado's Jabari Walker recorded his fourth straight double-double and 13th of the season Tuesday to lead the Buffaloes to a 90-64 win over Oregon State at Gill Coliseum.

Tad Boyle's Buffs, playing the opener of a three-game road trip, won their third in a row to improve to 16-9 overall and 8-7 in Pac-12 play. The Beavers lost their 10th straight and fell to 3-20, 1-12.

Colorado led by 12 at the half, then withstood a minor OSU comeback after intermission before putting the game away for good. The Buffs outscored the Beavers 21-5 over the final eight minutes of the contest to win going away.

Walker, the leading rebounder in the Pac-12, had 24 points and 15 rebounds to lead five Buffs in double-figure scoring. Tristan da Silva scored 15, Nique Clifford and Luke O'Brien each added 14 (a career high for O'Brien) and K.J. Simpson tallied 10.

DaShawn Davis led OSU with 22 points.

The Buffs were dominant in almost every statistical category, including a 45-25 edge on the boards that led to a 17-4 advantage in second-chance points. Along with Walker's 15 rebounds, Clifford finished with seven and Simpson grabbed five.

The Buffs also had 20 assists on 31 baskets, with Clifford, da Silva and Keeshawn Barthelemy each handing out four. Colorado finished shooting 50 percent from the floor (31-for-62) while holding OSU to 44 percent (28-for-63). CU also shot 10-for-21 from 3-point range while the Beavers missed their first 13 shots from beyond the arc, finishing 3-for-19.

"Overall, I'm really pleased with the effort tonight," Boyle said. "When you win going away on the road, you have to enjoy it."

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado closed the first half with a 14-2 run to break open a tight game and take a 44-32 lead into intermission.

But the Buffs then committed three turnovers in the first three minutes of the second half, fueling a 9-2 OSU run that helped cut Colorado's cushion to four, 48-44.

That prompted a Colorado timeout and the Buffs regrouped after the break. CU slowly built its lead back to double digits with a 13-6 surge, getting 3-pointers from da Silva and O'Brien and a pair of buckets from Simpson to take a 61-50 lead at the 11:29 mark.

"We played free," Walker said. "It was just about effort and who wanted it more. We have a lot of young guys and we're still learning. We haven't reached our peak yet."

The Buffs continued to apply the pressure down the stretch. After Oregon State pulled to within 69-59 with 8:22 to play, the Buffs put the game away with a 17-0 run over the next six minutes.

O'Brien started the surge with another 3-pointer, and a Nique Clifford trey with 5:33 to play pushed the Buffs' edge to 20. Colorado then extended its lead to as much as 27 in the final minutes, 86-59, before the Beavers finally ended a six-minute scoring drought.

"We did some really nice things," Boyle said. "At halftime, we had 13 assists on 15 baskets. That's elite."

Colorado's final tally put the Buffs over the 80-point mark for the third straight game and 10th time this season.

Along with his fourth straight double-double, Walker was perfect from the free throw line for the third straight game, going 10-for-10 from the stripe, making him 21-for-21 over the last three games.

The Buffs displayed good balance in the first half en route to a 44-32 lead at intermission. Colorado had 13 assists on 15 baskets, led by four from Nique Clifford. Walker had 12 points and seven rebounds in the first half while da Silva had nine points and five rebounds. 

TURNING POINT: After OSU cut a 12-point Colorado halftime lead to four early in the second half, the Buffs slowly again turned up the pressure. Oregon State stayed within 10 until the final eight minutes, when CU used a 17-0 run over a 6-minute span to put the game away.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Buffs opened a key three-game road trip with a win — but they've seen this story before. Colorado opened a similar three-game road trip two weeks ago with a victory at Oregon, then dropped games at Washington and Washington State. They need to write a different ending to this one, beginning with Thursday's game at Cal.

KEY STATISTICS: The Buffs had a 45-25 edge on the boards that led to a 17-4 advantage in second-chance points … CU had 20 assists on 31 baskets … Colorado finished shooting 50 percent from the floor (31-for-62) while holding OSU to 44 percent (28-for-63) … CU also shot 10-for-21 from 3-point range while the Beavers missed their first 13 shots from beyond the arc, finishing 3-for-19.

QUOTEWORTHY: "We have to have great energy Thursday and be ready to rock and roll." — CU head coach Tad Boyle.

NEXT UP: Colorado continues its three-game road trip by heading to northern California for a pair of games, beginning with a 7:30 p.m. matchup Thursday at Cal (Pac-12 Networks), followed by an 8 p.m. contest Saturday at Stanford (ESPN/U). 

Contact: Neill.Woelk@Colorado.edu