Fast break

What went right: The Buffs shot reasonably well against the NCAA leader in defensive field goal percentage, finishing at .423 while committing only seven turnovers.

What went wrong: CU's lax perimeter defense led to a 12-for-22 mark by UCF on 3-pointers. The Buffs were only 9-for-33 from long range.

Star of the game: Derrick White. The senior guard ended his rise from the Division II ranks with his second consecutive 30-point game, finishing with 30 points, six assists, and six rebounds.

What's next: Summer vacation, though it will be a busy one for the Buffs with coach Tad Boyle headed to Egypt in July as part of the staff for the US U19 team followed by CU's team trip through Italy in August.

ORLANDO — The few positives and myriad shortcomings of the 2016-17 edition of the Colorado men's basketball team all were on full display Wednesday night at Central Florida.

The Buffs showed grit, proving they weren't taking lightly the consolation prize that is the National Invitation Tournament. Yet they also displayed a wealth of defensive miscues, an anthem of what will be remembered as a disappointing campaign.

Perhaps fittingly, the Buffs bowed out in the first round of the NIT at CFE Arena, as a commendable late rally fell short in a 79-74 loss to the fourth-seeded Knights.


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Though the fifth-seeded Buffs put up a respectable shooting percentage against the NCAA leader in defensive field goal percentage while keeping their turnovers to single digits, CU simply was unable to cool a hot-shooting UCF team throughout Wednesday's showdown.

"You can look at this game, and you can encapsulate the whole season with this game," CU coach Tad Boyle said. "Consistency. Fighting back. Digging a hole and trying to climb out of it. Not good enough defensively, not guarding the 3-point line. If there's one word that describes it's inconsistency.

"It's not that we weren't talented enough. We were good enough at times, but we weren't consistently good enough to be successful in terms of what our standards of success are at Colorado. We weren't good enough."

CU never led after the Knights recovered from a game-opening 3-pointer from Derrick White, yet six straight points from White early in the second finally pulled CU into a 40-40 tie.

However, from there the Knights again put CU in a hole with a 20-8 run, and nine consecutive UCF points later in the second half pushed the Buffs into a 13-point hole with 1 minute, 50 seconds remaining.

From there the Buffs were able to scratch and claw while UCF struggled at the free throw line. CU pulled within two points on a 3-pointer from Xavier Johnson with 12.9 seconds remaining and, after the Knights' AJ Davis made just 1-of-2 free throws, White actually had an opportunity at a tying 3-pointer with under 10 seconds remaining.

In an otherwise heroic season from White, though, his errant attempt sealed CU's fate.

"We knew their guys could make shots, but we let them make shots and let them get comfortable looks that we knew we shouldn't have," CU senior Josh Fortune said. "It hurt us."

UCF shot .615 in the first half and finished at .543, which included a 12-for-22 mark on 3-pointers. CU shot .469 in the first half and finished at .423 against a team that entered the game with an NCAA-best .362 defensive field goal percentage.

White, the former Division II All-American at Colorado-Colorado Springs, capped his brilliant lone season with the Buffs with another stellar performance, finishing with 30 points, six assists, and six rebounds. It was White's second consecutive 30-point outing and his fourth of the season, and he finished the season with 615 points for the ninth 600-point season in CU history (by seven players). That scoring total counts as the seventh-best single-season mark in team history.

White became the first CU player to post four 30-point games in a season since Chauncey Billups in 1995-96.

"It's been amazing. I don't regret anything," White said. "I loved my time here at CU and it's been a great year. I just wish the best for Colorado basketball."

Pat Rooney: rooneyp@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/prooney07

UCF 79, COLORADO 74

COLORADO (19-15)

Gordon 3-5 0-0 7, Collier 1-3 0-0 3, King 1-5 0-0 2, White 11-21 5-5 30, Johnson 6-14 0-1 13, Siewert 2-7 0-0 5, Miller 1-4 0-0 2, Fortune 5-10 0-0 12, D.Brown 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 30-71 5-6 74.

UCF (22-11)

Banyard 2-4 1-4 6, Fall 5-7 0-2 10, Williams 6-10 1-2 17, Taylor 7-13 7-12 26, Davis 5-9 5-6 17, C.Brown 0-1 1-4 1, Laing 0-0 0-0 0, Mumin 0-0 0-0 0, Efianayi 0-2 2-2 2. Totals 25-46 17-32 79.

Halftime — UCF 38-34. 3-point goals — Colorado 9-33 (White 3-9, Fortune 2-6, Gordon 1-2, Collier 1-3, Siewert 1-4, Johnson 1-5, King 0-1, Miller 0-1, D.Brown 0-2), UCF 12-22 (Taylor 5-8, Williams 4-5, Davis 2-5, Banyard 1-3, Efianayi 0-1). Fouled out — King. Rebounds — Colorado 29 (White 6), UCF 32 (Fall, Davis 8). Assists — Colorado 14 (White 6), UCF 12 (Taylor 4). Total fouls — Colorado 24, UCF 10.