Diamond Head Classic misery continues for CU basketball against Hawaii


Fast break

What went right: Not much, though the Buffs defense held Hawaii to a .361 mark overall and a 9-for-30 effort on 3-pointers.

What went wrong: CU posted a season-low point total, even with the five extra minutes of overtime, and shot a season-low .339 (21-for-62).

Star of the game: McKinley Wright. The sophomore point guard went 9-for-12 with 20 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, though he also matched a career-high with seven turnovers.

What’s next: The Buffs will play in the Diamond Head Classic’s last-place game on Christmas morning against Charlotte (11 a.m. MT, ESPNU).

The Colorado men’s basketball team traveled a long way just to give its fans a giant lump of coal for Christmas.

The Buffaloes’ misery in Hawaii continued Sunday night in the second game of the Diamond Head Classic, as a woeful shooting performance combined with a subpar rebounding effort led to a 70-62 overtime loss against Hawaii in the second game of the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu.

After harboring ambitions of bolstering their nonconference resume by at least reaching the tournament’s title game, the Buffs instead will play in the last-place game Tuesday at 11 a.m. MT against Charlotte. That means CU will wake up to play an 8 a.m. game local time in Honolulu, the price for two consecutive embarrassing performances at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Following a turnover-filled 72-67 loss against Indiana State just 24 hours earlier, the Buffs were unable to get into an offensive rhythm the entire night against the Rainbow Warriors. CU finished with a season-low point total, even with the extra five minutes of play, and posted a season-low shooting percentage of .339, the first time this season the Buffs have shot below 40 percent.

The Buffs also went just 4-for-22 on 3-pointers and have shot a frustrating .225 (9-for-40) from the 3-point arc during the two games in Hawaii. Hawaii also outrebounded CU 48-35, marking the second game in a row and the third this season in which the Buffs were outrebounded.

CU took a 52-46 lead after a 3-point play by junior Lucas Siewert with 3 minutes, 57 seconds remaining, but through the remainder of regulation plus the five minutes of overtime the Buffs managed to score just 10 more points. Hawaii answered Siewert’s 3-point play with a 10-2 run to take a 56-54 lead with 30 seconds remaining, but CU point guard McKinley Wright had an opportunity to put the Buffs ahead after getting fouled on a basket inside with 16.9 seconds remaining.

However, just like a potential game-tying situation against Indiana State a night earlier, Wright was unable to complete the 3-point play, leaving the Buffs in a 56-56 tie going into overtime.

Hawaii’s Brocke Stepteau and Siewert traded 3-point plays to start the extra session, but CU managed just a lone free throw by Shane Gatling over the next four-plus minutes. A 3-pointer by Hawaii’s Jack Purchase followed by two free throws from Eddie Stansbury put the Buffs in an insurmountable 67-60 hole with 30 seconds remaining.

Wright (20 points) and Siewert (19 points) were bright spots in an otherwise anemic CU offense, combining to go 16-for-26 from the field while the rest of the Buffs finished 5-for-36 (.139). Wright also finished with eight rebounds and five assists, though he also matched a career-high with seven of CU’s 13 turnovers. Tyler Bey recorded 10 rebounds to post his fourth consecutive double-digit rebounding effort and his sixth of the season, but he went just 1-for-6 from the field and matched a season-low with three points in 31 minutes. Bey’s other three-point game was a seven-minute outing at Air Force on Nov. 24 in which he was sidelined early by a shoulder injury.

The Buffs also went 16-for-24 at the free throw line and have shot just .651 (28-for-43) on free throws during the two games in Hawaii.

Pat Rooney: or

Hawaii 70, Colorado 62

Colorado (8-3)

Gatling 0-6 1-2 1, Schwartz 1-6 4-4 6, Siewert 7-14 4-7 19, Bey 1-6 1-3 3, M. Wright 9-12 0-1 20, Battey 2-8 4-5 8, N. Wright 0-3 0-0 0, Strating 0-0 0-0 0, Kountz 1-5 2-2 5, Parquet 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 21-62 16-24 62.

Hawaii (7-5)

Buggs 2-7 1-2 6, Stansbury 5-12 5-6 18, Purchase 4-11 2-2 14, Raimo 4-10 6-10 14, Avea 1-2 0-0 3, Green 1-4 1-2 3, Stepteau 5-10 3-3 13, Colina 0-2 0-0 0, Hulland 0-3 0-0 0, Hemsley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-62 17-25 70.

Halftime — Hawaii 24, Colorado 24. Regulation — Hawaii 56, Colorado 56. 3-point field goals — Colorado 4-22 (Gatling 0-5, Schwartz 0-3, Siewert 1-4, M. Wright 2-3, Kountz 1-4, Battey 0-1, Parquet 0-1); Hawaii 9-30 (Buggs 1-4, Stansbury 3-8, Purchase 4-11, Avea 1-2, Green 0-2, Stepteau 0-2, Hulland 0-1). Rebounds — Hawaii 48 (Raimo 17); Colorado 35 (Bey 10). Assists — Hawaii 12 (Purchase 3, Raimo 3); Colorado 8 (M. Wright 5). Total fouls — Hawaii 23, Colorado 20.