CORVALLIS, Ore. — Tre'Shaun Fletcher heard the message loud and clear.
Colorado's junior forward was pulled aside by head coach Tad Boyle during Saturday morning's shoot-around. After watching Fletcher record just one double-digit scoring effort since the first week of December, Boyle made it clear the Buffaloes required more production from Fletcher, even with the scoring touch absent.
Despite a 60-56 loss, Fletcher responded with his best all-around game of the season, leading a second-half comeback that nearly allowed CU to escape Oregon State with a road win in a game that saw the Buffs commit 24 turnovers while its top two scorers combined for just two points.
"The message is, you have to bring something to the table. Bring something to the table for this team," Boyle said. "He brought something to the table tonight. Great energy. He played with toughness, he played with aggressiveness. Guess what? Everybody has to do that."
Fletcher scored all 15 of his points in the second half while also recording personal season-bests of six rebounds and two steals. He connected on 6-of-9 shots and also kept several plays alive under the basket with tips his teammates were able to track down.
"I think it definitely was my best game of the year," Fletcher said. "This morning coach Boyle called me over and told me straight-up, 'Tre, you need to pick your game up.' That's what I tried to come out here and do. At halftime I said I'd just go out there and give it my all."
A step backward
Sophomore point guard Dom Collier seemingly had turned a corner in recent weeks in terms of protecting the ball. Yet Saturday's effort at Oregon State ultimately proved to be a huge step backward.
Collier entered Sunday's contest having not suffered a game with more than two turnovers through the first 10 Pac-12 Conference games, committing just 11 total in that span. Against the Beavers Collier committed eight, a full third of the season-most 24 committed by CU.
"It's a step back for him," Boyle said. "The one thing he can't do is hang his head and feel sorry for himself. Nobody else is. It's time to grow up and be a man and handle it. It's part of the process. It's not all on him. We had 24 turnovers tonight. He didn't have all 24.
"He has to play better than he did tonight. He knows that."
Freshman guard Thomas Akyazili returned to the rotation after missing Thursday's loss at Oregon due to a leg injury. Akyazili went scoreless and has connected on just 1-of-12 shots over his past five games...Josh Scott's ankle injury will be reevaluated in Colorado, but Boyle expressed optimism that the four-day layoff before Thursday's game against Washington State will bolster the senior's chances to return.