What went right: Quite a bit, for once. CU outrebounded Oregon 45-32 and held the Ducks to a .310 shooting percentage. The Buffs also went 24-for-28 at the free throw line.
What went wrong: CU continued its struggles from the 3-point arc, finishing 3-for-20.
Star of the game: Tyler Bey. The sophomore forward responded to his second-half benching against Oregon State two nights earlier in a big way, recording his seventh double-double of the season with a career-best 27 points along with 10 rebounds.
What's next: The Buffs hit the road to face the Los Angeles teams beginning Wednesday at UCLA (7 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Network).
Clearly the message was received by Tyler Bey, loud and clear.
After sitting the majority of the final 11 minutes of Thursday night's two-point loss against Oregon State, Bey entered Saturday night's matchup against Oregon playing like a man possessed. By the time the Buffs' finest 40-minute performance of the season was complete, Bey had made amends with his seventh double-double of the season while CU vented recent frustrations with a resounding 73-51 victory at the CU Events Center.
CU kept intact its undefeated home record against the Ducks (8-0) while regaining a small measure of momentum going into next week's two-game trip through Los Angeles.
After crediting his teammates for keeping his spirits up over the previous 48 hours, Bey also described an approach that had him rekindling his focus and intensity at both ends of the floor.
"Being focused on offense, being focused on defense. Knowing who I'm guarding. Just doing my thing," Bey said. "Taking my time in the post and getting offensive rebounds. Oregon didn't box out a lot, so that was in the scouting report. Those are the little things I need (to do)."
Bey made an immediate impact, scoring 11 points in an early 17-0 run by the Buffs put the hosts squarely in control. It was a nearly flawless performance by the 6-foot-7 forward, who went 9-for-9 from the floor and 9-for-11 at the free throw line before finishing with a career-high 27 points. Bey's 10 rebounds marked his 11th double-digit rebounding effort of the season.
Bey's 9-for-9 mark was the best individual performance by a CU player since David Harrison went 10-for-10 on Jan. 31, 2004 against Baylor.
Afterward, head coach Tad Boyle said that while he didn't exactly give Bey the silent treatment after a shortened four-point, four-rebound game against Oregon State, he also didn't want to clutter the sophomore's mind with an overabundance of advice.
"Quite frankly, I didn't talk to Tyler a lot from Thursday to tonight," said Boyle, whose club never trailed. "I stayed away on purpose. We did individual film sessions with each player that played significant minutes. Coach (Kim) English had Tyler in his individual film session. We didn't watch film of the Oregon State game as a group by design. It was such a quick turnaround. But I wanted Tyler to see what he did and what he didn't do on Thursday, and boy did that kid respond.
"He was dialed-in tonight. He was concentrating. He was focused. Made his free throws. The kids responded. That's a great, great sign. I love Tyler Bey. I always have, always will. But I was really proud of how he responded to a really disappointing performance on Thursday. He wasn't the reason we lost on Thursday. But when Tyler Bey brings it like he did tonight, he elevates this team."
The combination of the Buffs' defense and Oregon's frigid shooting left the Ducks with a .310 shooting percentage, the lowest by Oregon this season and also the lowest by a CU opponent this year. One game after a 16-for-26 mark at the free throw line played a key role in the Buffs falling two points short against Oregon State, CU made its first 11 free throw attempts against the Ducks and finished 24-for-28.
"Obviously it was a great win. We defended, we rebounded," Boyle said. "I think Oregon expended a lot of energy Thursday against Utah. This is a tough road trip, so we didn't get their best shot. They didn't play real well tonight, but I think hopefully we had something to do with that. I was extremely proud of our players for responding after a tough loss on Thursday."
COLORADO 73, OREGON 51
OREGON (13-9, 4-5 Pac-12)
White 1-5 0-0 3, King 5-13 2-2 12, Okoro 0-2 0-0 0, Richardson 2-8 4-4 8, Pritchard 3-8 2-3 10, Norris 1-2 0-0 2, Wooten 3-4 1-5 7, Bailey 2-9 2-2 6, Amin 1-7 0-2 3. Totals 18-58 11-18 51.
COLORADO (12-9, 3-6 Pac-12)
Siewert 4-6 1-1 10, Gatling 3-13 2-2 9, M.Wright 2-6 4-4 9, Schwartz 2-7 1-2 5, Bey 9-9 9-11 27, Battey 0-3 2-2 2, Strating 0-0 0-0 0, Kountz 3-7 5-6 11, Parquet 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-53 24-28 73.
Halftime — Colorado 40-17. 3-point goals — Oregon 4-25 (Pritchard 2-6, White 1-4, Amin 1-4, Richardson 0-1, Norris 0-1, Bailey 0-4, King 0-5), Colorado 3-20 (M.Wright 1-3, Siewert 1-3, Gatling 1-8, Parquet 0-1, Schwartz 0-5). Fouled out — King. Rebounds — Oregon 25 (King 8), Colorado 39 (Bey 10). Assists — Oregon 6 (Pritchard 3), Colorado 7 (Gatling, M.Wright 2). Total fouls — Oregon 23, Colorado 16. A — 8,654.