Colorado men’s basketball continued its Pac-12 division play this weekend with an exciting overtime win against the Utah Utes Saturday, 79-75. The Buffs broke their two-game losing streak from last weekend in Arizona and increased their overall record to 16-6. Colorado is now 5-4 in the Pac-12.
After suffering several injuries and two losses to No. 1 Arizona and Arizona State, this game was crucial to re-lighting the spark that the Buffs possessed earlier this season. Head coach Tad Boyle had two players, sophomores Josh Scott and Xavier Johnson, record double-doubles. Bench play was also an important factor, with non-starters accumulating 18 points.
The first half of play at CU’s Coors Events Center was closely contested between these two familiar teams. Josh Scott led the Buffs with 10 points and three rebounds after 20 minutes of play. But Colorado fell behind due to consistent offensive pressure by the Utes. Utah scored 18 of the final 23 points, jumping ahead before halftime. This surge was led by junior Delon Wright, who scored 10 points alongside five assists and five steals.
At the beginning of the second half, things looked gloomy for the Buffs. The Utes came out hot from the break and took the first three points along with another three-point shot from Wright. Colorado soon took control, leading an 8-0 run to tie up the game 49-49 with 11:13 left in the game. Utah’s Brandon Taylor brought the game into overtime after he sunk a three-pointer with six seconds left in regulation.
The Buffaloes handled overtime quickly and efficiently. Xavier Johnson scored 11 points overall, and junior guard Askia Booker contributed 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Johnson’s block at the start of overtime gave Colorado the energy they needed to dominate the rest of the period. Although the Utes’ offense had a tremendous day from outside the arc, they could not stop Colorado’s aggressiveness against the boards.
The Buffaloes play at home again at 7:30 on Wednesday, Feb. 5th against Washington State.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Elizabeth Vogel at firstname.lastname@example.org.