While Dom Collier continues to cement his position as the Colorado Buffaloes’ starting point guard in his sophomore season, he routinely has shared court time with senior Xavier Talton and freshman Thomas Akyazili.
Rarely, though, have those three players been featured in the lineup at the same time. That changed on Sunday, as the trio logged heavy minutes together down the stretch to help ice the Buffs’ 91-87 win against Oregon.
“They were playing the best. They were playing good,” head coach Tad Boyle said. “They were taking care of the ball. They’re good free throw shooters. They weren’t turning it over. And we had to take care of the ball down the stretch. It’s one of those night-to-night decisions based on how your team is playing.”
While Talton and Akyazili helped lead a stellar 45-point effort by CU’s bench, Collier also continued a recent turnaround, knocking down a pair of critical 3-pointers in the second half and finishing with six assists and no turnovers in 24 minutes.
Collier recently endured a spell in which he went without an assist for three consecutive games while committing seven turnovers. In the past three games, Collier has recorded 14 assists with only three turnovers. Sunday was Collier’s second turnover-free game of the season.
“Resiliency, character, toughness — he’s got it,” Boyle said. “I love the six assists, but I really love the zero turnovers.”
With his fourth consecutive double-double, senior forward Josh Scott continued his assault on CU’s record book. His 11 rebounds increased Scott’s career total to 868 and moved him into fifth-place among CU’s all-time rebounding leaders. It also was Scott’s 10th double-double of the season and 33rd of his career, tying CU athletics Hall of Famer Burdette Haldorson for the seventh-most in program history.
Scott, who scored 17 points, also became just the ninth CU player to surpass the 1,500-point mark in his career.
CU went 25-for-32 at the free throw line to increase its Pac-12-leading free throw percentage to .753. The Buffs’ record for free throw percentage is .778, set in Boyle’s first season at the helm in 2010-11…Oregon fell to 0-6 all-time at CU…George King and Josh Fortune combined to shoot 7-for-13, including 4-for-6 from 3-point range, but found themselves on the bench down the stretch in large part because they combined to commit six of CU’s 14 turnovers…Akyazili’s four steals were the most by a CU player this season.