The Colorado Buffaloes fell to (20-8, 9-6 in Pac-12 play) after a blowout loss to the Arizona Wildcats Saturday night at the Coors Event Center. Colorado’s disastrous 0-for-14 start from the field prevented them from keeping up with the Wildcats as they blew the Buffaloes out, 88-61.
It was senior night at the Coors Event Center as Colorado’s own Josh Scott swayed head coach Tad Boyle to let Ben Mills start the game at center. That wouldn’t work out so well for them right away as Arizona came out of the gates hot, getting three offensive rebounds on their first possession as Nick Johnson layed it in. T.J. McConnell continued to add-on for the Wildcats with a three to put the game up to 8-1.
It was an ugly, ugly start for the Buffs as they would begin the game 0-14 from the field until Jaron Hopkins knocked down a three to get the crowd on their feet. That first basket for the Buffaloes would be at the 9:48 mark in the first half. Arizona’s struggles from the free-throw line (2-for-8, 25.0%) would let the Buffaloes stay in the ballgame. Colorado would go on a 16-4 run spared by Josh Scott who scored 10 first half points on 3-of-6 shooting.
Arizona would respond with two quick buckets from McConnell and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to push the lead to nine. Askia Booker would knock down a tough running jumper as time expired in the first half to bring the Buffs within six entering halftime, down 31-25 to Arizona. Colorado was only down six despite shooting 6-of-27 from the field, 22.2%.
The second half would begin with both teams trading buckets but Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon would put this game out of reach. Gordon would score seven-straight points for the Wildcats in the beginning of the second half, also knocking down a three pointer. Eventually, the Wildcats would go on a 27-10 run in which their stingy defense led to easy offensive chances.
Aaron Gordon would score a career-high 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting, collecting 8 rebounds — 3 in which were offensive. Nick Johnson on the other hand torched the Buffs from the field, shooting 8-of-15 from the field collecting 20 points and 6 assists.
Colorado’s offensive leaders Askia Booker and Xavier Johnson struggled mightily against the Wildcats. Booker shot 4-of-14 from he field recording 10 points while Johnson would shoot a miserable 1-of-10, finishing with 5 points and 6 rebounds. Josh Scott would score a team-high 18 points on 4-of-11 shooting, knocking down all ten of his free-throw attempts.
Morale of the story, you cannot start 0-of-14 from the field against a top team in the country. You cannot also allow a team to shoot wide-open three pointers shot after shot.
The Colorado Buffaloes (20-8, 9-6 in Pac-12) will return to action next Saturday as they hit the road and take on the Utah Utes. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM MT.