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Evan Battey recorded the first double-double of his career in the Colorado Buffaloes' win against Norfolk State in the second round of the NIT.
Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer DAILY CAMERA
Evan Battey recorded the first double-double of his career in the Colorado Buffaloes’ win against Norfolk State in the second round of the NIT.

Between all the setbacks he has endured personally the past two years, combined with the just how much the Colorado Buffaloes have grown over the past two months, Evan Battey couldn’t be faulted for reveling in the moment.

At the very end of the first half, Battey was fouled while taking a pass from McKinley Wright and converting a shot at the buzzer. While the officials reviewed the play to see if Battey had gotten the shot off in time, the 6-foot-8 redshirt freshman lingered by himself at the free throw line while the CU Events Center crowd of 5,891 showered the floor with applause.

Maybe it was an appreciation for Battey, one year removed from a stroke and playing a little better every game. Maybe it was an appreciation for a team that stood at 11-9 following a Jan. 31 home loss against Oregon State but secured its 12th win in 15 games with a 76-60 verdict Monday night against Norfolk State in the second round of the NIT.

It probably was a little of both, and Battey couldn’t help but expose his engaging smile as the decibel level rose. Eventually the big man completed the 3-point play, giving the Buffs a 20-point halftime lead while inching Battey a little closer to what became the first double-double of his CU career.

“I was just so confused as to why they were clapping,” Battey said. “I can feel sense of love they have for me, but I was blown away by the fact they were clapping so much. And really clapping for a long time, too. It meant the world to me to see them clapping and see the whole stadium rise up.”

Battey finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, going 3-for-8 from the floor and 6-for-7 at the free throw line. It was just the second double-digit rebounding game for Battey, who recorded a season-high 14 rebounds in a home win against Washington State on Jan. 10.

Battey also recorded three assists and two blocked shots.

Injury update

Freshman guard Eli Parquet returned to the rotation after missing the previous seven games due to a left knee injury, but after the game head coach Tad Boyle admitted junior guard Shane Gatling was less than 100 percent after turning an ankle at practice this week.

Gatling finished just 1-for-6, all of them on 3-pointers, and fell to 2-for-15 on 3-pointers over the past three games.

“Shane wasn’t himself tonight. He twisted his ankle pretty good a couple days ago at practice,” Boyle said. “He wasn’t full speed tonight. We need Shane to be the shooter that he’s capable of being. We need him to be the defender he was in Las Vegas. I’m not going to make excuses for him…but we’re going to need him Wednesday night dialed-in defensively and making open shots when he gets them.”

Parquet played 10 minutes in his return, making his only shot attempt and going 1-for-2 at the free throw line before finishing with three points.


The winner of Wednesday night’s quarterfinal between the Buffs and Texas will face either TCU or Creighton in the NIT Final Four April 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York…CU improved to 13-0 all-time against teams from the MEAC…The Buffs finish the season with a 15-2 mark at home…Broncos running back and former CU star Phillip Lindsay was sitting courtside…CU held Norfolk State’s Derrik Jamerson to an 0-for-6 mark on 3-pointers. He entered the game leading the nation with a .514 3-point percentage…Buffs forward Tyler Bey became the 30th CU player to collect at least 500 rebounds in his career…CU went 6-for-19 on 3-pointers and have shot .340 (34-for-100) in five games since the start of the Pac-12 Conference tournament. The Buffs ended the regular season with a .323 mark on 3-pointers.

Pat Rooney: or

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