Chris Pietsch / Associated Press
Chris Pietsch / Associated Press
What went right: Very little, though the Buffs’ 5-for-7 start from 3-point range helped keep CU in the game for the first 10 minutes.
What went wrong: Everything else. The Buffs’ defensive field goal percentage of .576 was the best by a CU opponent this season, and Oregon also outrebounded CU 38-24.
Star of the game: George King. It was slim pickings for CU, but King went 7-for-10 from the field and finished with a team-leading 18 points.
What’s next: The Buffs complete the regular season with three in a row at home, a run that begins Thursday against Utah (9 p.m., ESPNU).
EUGENE, Ore. — The Colorado Buffaloes understood they would have to play with intense purpose and passion Saturday afternoon in order to pull off a monumental upset.
And for about 10 minutes, the Buffs did exactly that. However, Colorado then learned just how quickly the No. 7-ranked Oregon Ducks can turn it on.
Despite a hot shooting start that helped CU put together a modest lead midway through the first half, the Buffs’ defense proved almost nonexistent at Knight Arena, as the Ducks ran away from CU for a 101-73 victory.
Oregon’s field goal percentage of .576 (34-for-59) was the best mark by a CU opponent this season. The Ducks piled it on for their Senior Day, completing their second consecutive undefeated season at home while extending their home winning streak to 42 games.
“We knew they were going to be ready to play against us as a result of what happened in Boulder a few weeks ago. And they were,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “You let them get going like we did, you have your hands full. We went toe-to-toe with them for about 15 minutes. And then our offense went stagnant. Theirs kept steam rolling the whole 40 minutes.”
Both teams started red-hot from the floor, with Oregon knocking down its first five 3-point attempts. Yet the Buffs weathered the raucous environment and the Ducks’ torrid start and actually led 25-23 after a pair of free throws from freshman guard Deleon Brown with 9 minutes, 45 seconds remaining in the first half.
That, however, proved to be the extent of the highlights for the Buffs. Oregon outscored CU 22-7 over the remainder of the first half, closing the opening frame with 10 consecutive points. The Ducks proceeded to open the second half with a 19-2 run and never looked back, with Oregon’s powerful trio of Chris Boucher, Dillon Brooks, and Dylan Ennis often using the Buffs’ porous defense to pad their personal highlight reels.
Those three players combined to go 22-for-34 for the Ducks. Oregon went 16-for-29 from 3-point range, which also counted as the second-most 3-pointers by a CU opponent this season.
“They made shots and we didn’t defend. That’s really it,” junior guard Dom Collier said. “They shot it well and we played all right defensively in the first half. The second half, we just came out flat and it showed offensively and defensively.
“I felt like we were fine at halftime. We went into halftime with us losing by (13). We just didn’t come out and defend, and we were turning over the ball and taking too quick of shots on offense.”
CU knocked down five of its first seven 3-point attempts but went just 4-for-20 from long range the rest of the way. After holding the Ducks to a .386 shooting percentage in an upset win at home three weeks ago, CU simply was dominated in every facet, with Oregon also outrebounding the Buffs 38-24.
“We settled, and they got out in transition. We couldn’t stop them once they got it going,” CU senior Derrick White said. “They got way more easy ones in this one, especially in transition, that we didn’t really give up at home. They just wanted it more.”
No. 7 OREGON 101, COLORADO 73
COLORADO (16-12, 6-9)
Gordon 0-3 0-2 0, King 7-10 1-2 18, D.White 4-10 1-2 10, Collier 5-10 2-2 13, Johnson 3-11 3-4 9, Miller 2-3 1-2 5, Siewert 1-2 0-0 3, Fortune 3-4 2-2 11, Akyazili 1-2 0-0 2, Brown 0-5 2-2 2. Totals 26-60 12-18 73.
OREGON (24-4, 13-2)
Bell 3-4 0-0 6, Brooks 9-16 0-0 23, Ennis 7-11 3-4 20, Pritchard 1-5 0-2 3, Dorsey 2-8 3-4 8, Sorkin 1-2 0-0 3, Bigby-Williams 1-1 1-2 3, Boucher 6-7 4-5 18, Gross 1-1 0-0 3, Noebel 0-0 0-0 0, Benson 3-4 6-6 14. Totals 34-59 17-23 101.
Halftime — Oregon 45-32. 3-Point Goals — Colorado 9-27 (Fortune 3-3, King 3-4, Siewert 1-2, D.White 1-4, Collier 1-4, Brown 0-3, Johnson 0-7), Oregon 16-29 (Brooks 5-8, Ennis 3-6, Benson 2-2, Boucher 2-2, Gross 1-1, Sorkin 1-2, Pritchard 1-3, Dorsey 1-5). Fouled Out — Boucher. Rebounds — Colorado 22 (King, Miller, Johnson 4), Oregon 33 (Boucher 7). Assists — Colorado 12 (King, Miller, Johnson, D.White 2), Oregon 25 (Pritchard 11). Total Fouls — Colorado 20, Oregon 15. A — 12,364.