Senior guard Josh Fortune looks to shoot the ball over two Eagle defenders during the first half of play at the Coors Events Center. Dec. 22, 2016. (Nigel Amstock/CU Independent File)

Colorado loses Pac-12 conference play opener to Utah 76-60

Pac-12 conference play has officially started, and after fighting its way through the non-conference portion of the schedule, the University of Colorado Buffaloes basketball team fell to the Utah Utes 76-60 Sunday night. The loss moves Colorado to a 10-4 record, and Utah improves to 10-3.

The Buffs trailed for most of the game. Their last lead came with 8:41 left in the first half. The Utes were able to capitalize on a poor defensive effort from the Buffs, converting on more than half their shots.

Utah was propelled by their starting forward duo of David Collette and Kyle Kuzma. Both scored 14 points, while also grabbing nine and six rebounds, respectively.

Colorado was also unable to counter with any impressive shooting of their own. They shot a meager 40.4 percent from the floor. The Buffs were also unable to create shots for each other. The team had 11 assists, eight of which came from senior guard Derrick White.

White continued his breakout season. He was the team’s main provider of offense, leading the team with 15 points and eight assists, while also tallying two steals on the defensive end of the court.

Only junior guard George King joined White in double digits. CU’s poor team performances on both ends of the court led to its 16-point margin of defeat.

This was certainly not the way the Buffs wanted to celebrate the new year. Colorado officially has a 0-1 record in 2017. More importantly, it has a 0-1 record in conference play, which may hamper how the team ends up in the rankings at the end of the season.

The Buffs will look to rebound from their performance on Thursday, when they travel to Tempe, Arizona, to face the Arizona State Sun Devils (8-6). Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (MST).

Contact CU Independent Copy Editor Jake Mauff at jacob.mauff@colorado.edu.

About Jake Mauff

Jake Mauff is a managing editor and staff writer for the CU Independent. He enjoys biking, hiking and running in what little free time that he has, and has interviewed a variety of interesting people including a presidential candidate.

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