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Colorado Closes Regular Season Saturday At Utah

Mar 4, 2022

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 19-10 overall and tied with Oregon for fourth place in the Pac-12 Conference at 11-8. The Buffaloes are coming off a home split against the Arizona schools last week that took highs and lows to the extreme. Colorado saw a five-game winning streak end with an 82-65 setback to Arizona State on Feb. 24. The Buffaloes rebounded, to say the least, by knocking off No. 2/2 ranked Arizona, 79-63, on Senior Night, matching the highest ranked opponent defeated in team history (No. 2 Oklahoma State in 1992).
With a win Saturday, Colorado would clinch the No. 4 seed, and a first round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament, March 9-12, in Las Vegas. Colorado could still slide into the No. 4 seed without a win if Washington State defeats Oregon on Saturday. The Buffaloes would be the No. 5 seed with a loss to Utah and an Oregon win over the Cougars in Pullman. Colorado wins tiebreakers over Oregon, Washington State and Washington by virtue of its win over regular season league champion Arizona.
20 WINS: Colorado will be looking for its 13th 20-win season in program history, and ninth in head coach Tad Boyle's 12th season. One more win would clinch the Buffaloes' fourth-straight 20-win season, a feat that would equal only the 2010-14 teams - Boyle's first four seasons.
The Buffaloes have won 20 games by the close of the regular season seven times (1968-69, '96-97, 2012-13, '13-14, '15-16, '19-20 & '20-21).  Boyle coached teams own the top five and six of the top seven single-season win totals in team history.
Most Wins In One Season:
1.   24 - 2011-12                    22 - 1996-97
     24 - 2010-11               8.  21 - 2019-20
3.  23 - 2020-21                    21 - 2012-13         
     23 - 2018-19                    21 - 1968-69
     23 - 2013-14               11. 20 - 2005-06
6.   22 - 2015-16                    20 - 2002-03         
The Buffaloes will finish above .500 for the 11th time in Boyle's 12 seasons. Colorado has also cemented a .500 or better conference record for the fourth-straight year and ninth time in his 12 seasons (eight Pac-12, one Big 12).
Against Arizona, Boyle picked up win No. 252 at Colorado, leaving him nine from Sox Walseth's program record of 261. Boyle has 109 Pac-12 regular season wins, ranking 20th in conference history.
Overall, Colorado has won 42 of 61 (42-19) dating back to the beginning of the 2020-21 season.
Colorado is averaging 70.4 points per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field. The Buffaloes lead the Pac-12 in 3-point accuracy overall (.355) and also in conference only games (.375). The Buffaloes are second in the Pac-12 in free throw percentage overall (.757) and tops the circuit in league only contests (.774).
Defensively, the Buffaloes have allowed 66.4 points per game. Colorado has held its opponents under 70 points in 14 of its last 21 games, including a Pac-12 season-low 53 to Stanford on Feb. 19. The Buffaloes are the second-best rebounding defense team (31.7 rpg) in the Pac-12 and rank fourth in rebound margin (+5.2).
The Buffaloes have fared well in tight contests. Fourteen of Colorado's  games have been within six points - or two possessions - with four minutes or less remaining in the game. The Buffaloes are 10-4 in those contests.
Colorado is 8-0 this year in one of the program's "gold standards" of holding opponents to 40 percent of less from the field and least a plus-8 rebound advantage. Colorado improved to 80-5 in those games after holding California to 37.7 percent shooting and winning the battle of the boards by 15 (43-28).
Sophomore forward Jabari Walker leads the Buffaloes at 14.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. He had 15 points and 14 rebounds in the win over Arizona, capturing his Pac-12 best 15th double-double of the season.
Walker leads the Pac-12 in overall rebounding, defensive boards (7.3 drpg) and double-doubles while ranking seventh in scoring,  11th in free throw shooting (.786), 13th in offensive boards (2.0 orpg) and 15th in field goal percentage (.468). In Pac-12 games, Walker is averaging 15.4 points and a league-best 10.3 rebounds an outing while shooting 49.8 percent from the field.
The defensive end is where Walker's rebounding numbers really stick out. During Pac-12 play, Walker's 8.4 defensive rebounds per game lead the conference by over two per game. USC's Isaiah Mobley is second at 6.0 drpg. Walker has recorded double figures in defensive rebounds alone seven times, logging a career-best 14 at California.
On the national leaderboard, Walker is 12th in double-doubles, 14th in defensive rebounds and 27th in overall rebounding.
Walker capped off a run of five-straight double-doubles with 19 points and a career-high tying 15 rebounds at California. His five-straight double-doubles are the most since Tyler Bey had five in a row late in the 2018-19 season. His 15 double-doubles rank 12th on Colorado's single-season list.
Walker had a string of 28-straight free throws made end vs. Arizona State, the most since Spencer Dinwiddie hit 33 straight in Feb. 2013.  He was a perfect 10 of 10 from the free throw line at Oregon State, setting personal bests for free throws made without a miss. His perfect performance is the top single-game mark in the Pac-12 this season. Walker also holds a piece of the second-best, having gone 9 for 9 against Utah.
Senior forward Evan Battey is averaging 11.7 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting a team-best 50.2 percent from the field. Battey had 11 points, four rebounds and a pair of steals against Arizona.
Battey is averaging 14.3 points over the last four games, hitting 51 percent from the field (20 of 39) and 64 percent from 3-point range (9 of 14).
Battey has risen to the top of the Pac-12 in 3-point accuracy, hitting  50 percent for the season (31 of 62). During conference games he is shooting a Pac-12 best 52 percent from 3-point range (27 of 52).
Sophomore guard Keeshawn Barthelemy leads Colorado in 3-point field goals made and attempted (34 of 108), is tied for the team lead in assists (72) and is third scoring at 11.1 points per game. 
Barthelemy is tied for the Pac-12 lead in free throw shooting during conference games at 85.7 percent. He had a season-best string of 16 consecutive made end at Arizona State and followed that up with 15 in a row which ended at Washington. During second run, he had a career-best 9 for 9 performance at Oregon, which at the time was the best mark in the Pac-12 this season and currently is tied for second.
Sophomore Tristan da Silva is averaging 9.4 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 47 percent. He is third on the team in assists with 50. Da Silva scored a game-high 19 points against Arizona, scoring in double figures for the 14th time this season. He is shooting 62 percent from the field over the last three games (13 of 21).
Da Silva is third in the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage during conference games (.465) and fourth in free throw percentage (.822).
Nique Clifford is averaging 6.6 points, leads the Buffaloes in blocked shots (22) and is second in rebounding at 4.8 per game. Clifford, who has started the last 13 contests, had 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds at Stanford.
Clifford ranks 12th in the Pac-12 in blocked shots during conference games (0.9 bpg).
K.J. Simpson is averaging 7.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game and is tied for the team lead in assists (72). Simpson had 13 points, two assists and two steals off the bench against Arizona.
Simpson is seventh in the Pac-12 in free throw shooting during conference play at 80.9 percent. Overall on the season he is 12th in the Pac-12 at 78.1 percent.
Luke O'Brien tied a career-best with four assists at Stanford while pulling down five rebounds. He had 14 points at Oregon State hitting 5 of 6 from the field and 3 of 4 from 3-point range. O'Brien logged career highs in points, overall field goals and 3-point field goals. It was his first double-figure scoring game and his first game with multiple 3-pointers.
Julian Hammond III made his first career start in the win over Arizona, finishing with four points, a steal, assist and his first career blocked shot.
ABOUT THE UTES: Utah is 11-18 overall and in 11th place in the Pac-12 at 4-15. The Utes are an even 3-3 over their last six; highlighted by a road sweep of the Bay Area schools Feb. 17-19. Utah averages 69.7 points while shooting 42 percent from the field. The Utes are 16th in the nation in free throw shooting at 77.5 percent. Defensively, Utah allows 70.0 points while opponents shoot 43 percent from the field.
Branden Carlson leads Utah at 13.4 points per game while shooting 51 percent from the field and 85 percent from the free throw line. Both Gach is second on the team at 9.3 points per game, primarily coming off the bench. Marco Anthony is Utah's top rebounder at 7.4 per game while averaging 9.1 points an outing. Rollie Worster paces Utah in assists (90) while averaging 7.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 57th meeting between Colorado and Utah with the Buffaloes holding a 31-25 edge. The Buffaloes have won four of the last six including their 81-76 decision over the Utes on Feb. 12 in Boulder. Utah holds a 17-9 lead in Salt Lake City. Colorado snapped an eight-game skid at the Huntsman Center in the last meeting there, a 65-58 decision on Jan. 11, 2021.
FOUR-YEAR HISTORIC NUMBERS: Colorado has 86 wins since the beginning of the 2018-19 season, the second most in any four-year span in team history. The 86 wins trails only the 92 recorded from 2010-14, Tad Boyle's first four seasons on the CU bench which included three NCAA Tournaments, the 2012 Pac-12 Tournament title and the 2011 NIT semifinals. Colorado's win at Stanford put this four-year group ahead of the previous four years, 2017-21, that had won 84.
Evan Battey is the only one of the four-year seniors (Elijah Parquet and Benan Ersek the others) to have been on the floor for all 86 games, giving him the title of playing in the most wins in team history. The 2010-14 run had only one four-year player, Ben Mills, who appeared in 58 games in his career.
Battey has also appeared in more conference games in team history with 75, passing former teammate D'Shawn Schwartz who played in 74 from 2017-21.
HISTORIC ROAD SWEEP: Colorado won three-straight true road games, on the same road trip, for the first time as the Buffaloes defeated Oregon State, 90-64, on Feb. 15 in a makeup game from Jan. 1, and from there swept the Bay Area schools for the first time, knocking off California, 70-62, on Feb. 17 and Stanford, 70-53 on Feb. 19.
Colorado has its first three-game conference road win streak since 2013 and second since 2002. It's the 21st time in school history that a CU team has won three or more straight league road games, and just the fourth time since 1964.
In addition, the California Stanford sweep is Colorado's third "travel partner" sweep in the Pac-12 era joining Oregon-Oregon State in 2012-13 and USC-UCLA in 2018-19.
AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Colorado is 1-5 against ranked teams in 2021-22 after defeating No. 2/2 Arizona on Feb. 26.
The win matches the highest ranked opponent Colorado has ever defeated; the other coming against No. 2 Oklahoma State, 57-53, on Feb. 12, 1992. It's also the highest ranked win in the Tad Boyle era and the fourth against an AP Top 5 team.
Colorado's 23 wins over ranked opponents in the Tad Boyle era is by far the best in team history. In fact Boyle coached teams, with a record of 23-41, have accounted for 34 percent of wins over ranked opponents (67) since 1949-50.
BATTEY MILESTONES: Senior forward Evan Battey, Colorado's active leader in scoring and rebounding, scored a career-high 22 points in the first game against Stanford to become the 38th member of the 1,000 point club.
He is the fourth member of the 2017 signing class to reach that milestone. McKinley Wright IV (2017-21) leads that group at sixth overall at 1,857. Battey is second, followed by Tyler Bey (2017-20) at 30th at 1,113  and D'Shawn Schwartz (2017-21) who is tied for 36th at 1,026.
He is the 14th Buffalo to record 1,200 points and 600 rebounds in a career.
Colorado Career Scoring:
Rk.       Player                             Years                        Points
20.       Alec Burks                       2009-11                    1,291
21.       Pat Frink                         1964-65, '66-68        1,288
22.       Blair Wilson                     2000-04                    1,253
23.       Scott Wedman                 1971-74                    1,251
24.       Evan Battey                    2018-                       1,237
Colorado Career Rebounding:
Rk.       Player                             Years                        Rebounds
18.       Richard Roby                   2004-08                    659
19.       Jim Creighton                  1970-72                    653
20.       McKinley Wright IV          2017-21                    644
            Donnie Boyce                  1991-95                    644
22.       Evan Battey                    2018-                       643
Colorado Career Starts:
Rk.       Player                             Years                        Starts
6.         Richard Roby                   2004-08                    116
7.         Nate Tomlinson               2008-12                    112
8.         Donnie Boyce                  1991-95                    105
9.         Evan Battey                    2018-                       104
Colorado Career Games Played:
Rk.       Player                             Years                        Games
5.         McKinley Wright IV          2017-21                    131
            Wesley Gordon                2013-17                    131
7.         Lucas Siewert                  2016-20                    130
8.         Evan Battey                    2018-                       129
            D'Shawn Schwartz           2017-21                    129
            Nate Tomlinson               2008-12                    129
Colorado Career Minutes Played:
Rk.       Player                             Years                        Minutes
15.       Marcus Hall                     2003-06, '07-08        3,294
16.       Blair Wilson                     2000-04                    3,234
17.       D'Shawn Schwartz           2017-21                    3,169
18.       Evan Battey                    2018-                       3,151
LEADERS OF THE PAC: Colorado is tied for the second-most wins (75) and has the fourth-best winning percentage (.688) among Pac-12 teams since February 2019. Colorado was 12-4 over the final two months of the 2018-19 season, culminating in a spot in the NIT Quarterfinals. The Buffaloes were 21-11 in 2019-20, well in line for an NCAA Tournament bid before the season was shut down on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Colorado was 23-9 in 2020-21, tying for the third best win total in team history and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Pac-12 Overall Records Since Feb. 1, 2019 (through Mar. 3, 2022)
                                   W         L          Pct.
USC                             76        30         .717
Oregon                        75        31         .708
Arizona                        68        30         .694
Colorado                     75        34         .688
UCLA                           68        35         .660
Stanford                      54        45         .545
Arizona State                52        47         .535
Washington State            50        50         .500
Utah                            46        51         .474
Oregon State                46        57         .447
Washington                 45        57         .441
California                     37        64         .366
RIGHT AT HOME: At the CU Events Center, the Buffaloes have won:
              - 12 of 17 in 2021-22 (12-5)
              - 17 of their last 22 (17-5)
              - 23 of their last 29 (23-6)
               - 36 of 45 (36-9)
              - 51 of 62 (51-11)
              - 63 of 77 (63-14)
              - 84 of 102 (84-18)
              - 94 of 113 (94-19)
In the Tad Boyle era, Colorado is 164-33 at home (.832). The Buffaloes are 477-184 (.722) all-time at the CUEC. The Buffaloes, 12-5 at the CUEC in 2021-22, have won at least 10 games at home each of the last 13 seasons.
SUCCESS ON THE ROAD: Colorado has a 31-25 record in games away from Boulder since February 2019; 17-20 on the road and 14-5 at neutral sites. Colorado is 7-5 away from home in 2021-22; 5-4 in true road games and 2-1 at neutral sites.
Colorado has five conference road wins for the second-straight season. The Buffaloes are 10-9 in their last 19 regular season conference road games.  A sixth conference road win would be the program's most since the 1961-62 team had six (6-1). A win would also clinch the program's first winning road record (above .500) since the 1968-69 Big Eight Conference championship team was 6-5.
Colorado was 6-6 in true road games in 2020-21 and 6-2 in neutral site contests.
Colorado has won at least one game during each of its last seven multi-contest Pac-12 road trips. The Buffaloes haven't been "swept" on a conference road trip since falling at California and Stanford at the end of the 2019-20 season.