George King promised it only was a matter of time.
That time was Wednesday night.
King and his fellow long-range sharpshooters from the Colorado men's basketball team finally got on track, providing a huge boost in the Buffaloes' 68-66 win against No. 13 Xavier.
King was 0-for-6 on 3-pointers in the previous two games, watching his 3-point percentage dip to .346 after leading the Pac-12 Conference with a .456 mark last year. But the fourth-year junior returned to form against the Musketeers, going 3-for-4 from long range and finishing with 16 points.
King also posted his third double-double of the season and the fourth of his career with 10 rebounds. Earlier in the week King said it only was a matter of time before those long-range shots started falling.
"That's why we shoot every day," King said. "That's why we stay faithful, committed, and loyal to our shooting drills and stuff like that. You continue to do that, and your slump won't last. We were able to come out of a slump...me in particular."
CU led the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage last year but had been inconsistent this season heading into Wednesday, making just 8 of 37 3-pointers in the previous two games. The Buffs went a solid 9-for-20 against Xavier, which included a combined 9-for-14 performance by King, Xavier Johnson (also 3-for-4), and Derrick White (3-for-6).
The Buffs started 1-for-9 on 3-pointers but went 8-for-11 the rest of the way.
Senior forward Wesley Gordon struggled with foul trouble, finishing with five points and matching a season-low with four rebounds.
Yet Gordon played a key role in the Buffs' resurgence from the 3-point arc, taking advantage of Xavier's collapsing defense to find shooters along the perimeter. Gordon finished with a team-leading five assists, just one short of his career-high, with many of those occurring on kick-outs to the 3-point line.
"The packed the paint, so when I got in on the roll and things like that, my shooters were open," said Gordon, who made the 100th start of his career. "I was really just a decoy, sucked them in and get open shots. So we executed that part."
Reserve forward Tory Miller was absent for the second time in four games, and head coach Tad Boyle expressed a curious ignorance as to why the junior was unable to go.
Miller suffered an ankle injury late in CU's win against then-No. 22 Texas on Nov. 22 and missed the following game against Wofford. He returned to play limited minutes against Colorado State and Portland, but on Wednesday Miller sported a walking boot on the ankle while sitting on the bench.
Asked what had changed with Miller from the previous two games, and what his status is for Saturday's date at Brigham Young, Boyle said: "I have no idea."
The announced attendance for a home date against the 13th-ranked team in the nation was just 7,743. While remaining appreciative of the enthusiastic crowd on hand, Boyle expressed some frustration at the empty seats across the gym and particularly in the student section.
"The community has been great and the students that were here were great," Boyle said. "But the rest of them that weren't here missed a good game. I was disappointed in the turnout."
A moment of silence was observed before the national anthem Wednesday night in honor of CU's 1994 Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam, who died of an apparent suicide Monday night...CU has no posted 14 wins against ranked opponents in Boyle's six-plus seasons at the helm. That total represents 24 percent of the program's wins against ranked foes since the 1949-50 season.