EUGENE, Ore. — Senior guard Dom Collier played his 103rd game for the Colorado men’s basketball team Sunday night.
It’s probably not a stretch to say Collier displayed more emotion in the Buffaloes’ 77-62 New Year’s Eve loss against Oregon than he did in his previous 102 games combined.
Frustrated by a defensive breakdown, Collier was visibly angry at his teammates and coaching staff on the CU bench at the beginning of a timeout in the first half with CU trailing 17-6. While the outburst was completely out of character for the soft-spoken and even-keeled Collier, his teammates certainly appeared to gain a little fire from the moment, as immediately afterward Collier led the Buffs on an 11-3 run that got CU back in the game.
“It was just the heat of the moment,” Collier said. “I was just frustrated with how we were playing and I took it out on the bench. I need to keep my composure.”
After the emotional timeout Collier promptly knocked down a 3-pointer, and on CU’s next possession he found Namon Wright for a 3-pointer. Head coach Tad Boyle believed getting a little fire out of one of his two seniors wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“Dom was emotional. He’s not an emotional guy,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “Sometimes emotion can be good. I was glad to see him show a little like he cares. Our players have got to start playing for each other. This team cares about each other. They’re good kids. They’re battling. So Dom showing some emotion as a senior? It’s a good thing. Hopefully we can get some from George (King) too.”
The Buffs believed they understood the template for beating Oregon on its home floor when they watched the film of Utah’s win at McKnight Arena from Friday night, a contest that saw the Utes commit only three turnovers the entire game.
But that protect the ball-win the game approach failed miserably for CU. The Buffs matched Utah’s turnover total with giveaways on their first three possessions of the game, setting the tone for a performance in which CU finished with 20 turnovers.
After matching what previously was the second-highest turnover total of the season with 18 in Friday night’s loss at Oregon State, the Buffs are now averaging 15.1 turnovers per game.
“We talk about not turning it over. It’s time for us to do it,” CU freshman guard McKinley Wright said. “Turnovers is the reason we lost this game. Utah came in here and had three turnovers and came out with a win. I felt we could’ve done the same if we didn’t turn the ball over so much.”
Freshman guard Lazar Nikolic had grabbed just six rebounds over his previous four games but recorded six on Sunday night, one shy of his season-high…Namon Wright recorded his second 20-point game of the season. He also scored 20 points at Xavier on Dec. 9…The Buffs didn’t record a single blocked shot for the first time this season…Over the weekend, Oregon and Oregon State both recorded 11 steals against CU, the most by a Buffs opponent this year…Seven-footer Dallas Walton knocked down a 3-pointer and is now 2-for-4 from long range this season.