What went right: Very little, though the Buffs finished with a 38-36 rebounding advantage.
What went wrong: Take your pick. CU’s porous defense allowed OSU to shoot .519 from the field, and the Buffs’ 18 turnovers led to 28 points for the Beavers.
Star of the game: Tyler Bey. The freshman was one of the few bright spots for the Buffs, going 5-for-8 from the field and 4-for-4 at the free throw line before finishing with a team-best 14 points with four rebounds.
What’s next: It will be a quick turnaround for the Buffs, who play at Oregon Sunday night (8 p.m. MST, Pac-12 Network).
CORVALLIS, Ore. — The large cast of newcomers on the Colorado men’s basketball team got its first taste of Pac-12 Conference action on Friday night.
It was sour one, to say the least.
The Buffaloes struggled mightily at either end of the first half and didn’t do much right in the second half either, as Oregon State routed CU 76-57 in the league opener for both teams at Gill Coliseum.
CU fell to 2-5 in Pac-12 openers since joining the league with losses in the past three in a row.
“This is a team right now that just lacks consistency,” said CU head coach Tad Boyle, repeating what is becoming a recurring theme. “We weren’t good enough in any phase of the game tonight. The runs that we give up are tough for us to overcome.”
It wasn’t the ideal opener for the Buffs in what might have been their most winnable game over the first three weekends of Pac-12 play, with their first seven possessions resulting in three missed shots and four turnovers. Oregon State took advantage to jump to a quick 8-0 lead.
In a back-and-forth first half the Buffs actually took a one-point lead, their only lead of the game, on a pair of Dom Collier free throws with 2 minutes, 3 seconds remaining in the first half. But Oregon State answered by closing the half with a 10-0 run, and the Buffs never recovered after OSU’s Stephen Thompson extended that run by opening the second half with a 3-pointer. Thompson scored 22 of his game-high 24 points in the second half.
After taking that brief one-point lead, CU was outscored 54-33 the rest of the way.
Turnovers once again were a huge issue for the Buffs. They finished with 18, matching their second-highest total of the season, and the Beavers turned those mistakes into a 28-17 advantage in points off turnovers. The bulk of CU’s eight first-half turnovers occurred during the opening and closing minutes of the frame.
“They got hot and our defense took a nose-dive,” CU senior George King said. “That can’t happen, especially on the road against a talented offensive team. They went on a 10-0 run and it was a snowball effect after that. The second half they came out and hit that three and it was on from there.
“We just didn’t guard. We allowed their guys to get hot and they started attacking us. We started turning the ball over more. It was a combination of things.”
It was a rough night all-around for CU, which shot .345 overall and endured another frustrating effort from long range, finishing 7-for-25 on 3-pointers. The Buffs did overcome a slow start on the boards to outrebound the Beavers 38-36, but it wasn’t nearly enough to offset their poor defense and off-target shooting.
Freshman guard McKinley Wright experienced the most frustrating offensive performance of his young career, going 3-for-14 overall and 1-for-7 on 3-pointers before finishing with seven points — the first time this season he has been held to a single-digit point total. Wright also finished with six rebounds, six assists, and a team-most four turnovers in 35 minutes.
“We knew coming into this game they were all good shooters, and then when we turn the ball over and don’t match up in transition, that hurts,” Wright said. “We have to take care of the ball. We had 18 turnovers tonight. Like coach said, that’s 18 times we didn’t get a shot at the basket. We struggled shooting the ball…it was just tough for us to bounce back when we can’t hit a shot and we aren’t defending.”
Oregon State 76, Colorado 57
At Gill Coliseum
COLORADO (8-5, 0-1)
Bey 5-8 4-4 14, Walton 2-4 1-2 5, Brown 2-6 0-0 6, King 2-7 0-2 5, M. Wright 3-14 0-1 7, Schwartz 1-4 1-2 4, Strating 0-0 0-0 Nikolic 1-2 2-3 4, N. Wright 2-7 0-0 4, Collier 2-4 2-2 8, Siewert 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 20-58 10-16 57.
OREGON STATE (9-4, 1-0)
Tinkle 9-14 3-3 23, Eubanks 3-6 1-3 7, Berger 0-1 0-0 0, S. Thompson 8-13 5-9 24, E. Thompson 5-10 3-4 14, Stacy 1-1 0-0 2, Hollins 1-5 2-4 4, Reichle 0-2 0-0 0, Sanders 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 1-1 0-0 2, Kone 0-1 0-0 0. Total 28-54 14-23 76.
Halftime — Oregon State 32, Colorado 23. 3-point field goals — Colorado 7-25 (Bey 0-1, Brown 2-5, King 1-2, M. Wright 1-7, Schwartz 1-3, N. Wright 0-3, Collier 2-3, Siewert 0-1); Oregon State 6-15 (Tinkle 2-5, S. Thompson 3-4, E. Thompson 1-3, Hollins 0-2, Reichle 0-1). Rebounds — Colorado 38 (King 8); Oregon State 36 (Eubanks 9). Assists — Colorado 10 (M. Wright 6); Oregon State 17 (Tinkle 6). Total fouls — Colorado 19, Oregon State 18. A — 4,481.