EUGENE, Ore. — The 18 turnovers alone were alarming, and proved incredibly damaging to Colorado’s chances of victory Thursday night at No. 17 Oregon.
How a good portion of those turnovers occurred will be troublesome for the 16th-ranked Buffaloes as they try to regroup from a 68-60 loss.
CU committed four shot clock violations, including three in the second half. And that total doesn’t include a few instances when the Buffs had to fire wild, certain-to-be-errant shots just to beat the shot clock buzzer.
“When teams press, it’s a thing to run the clock down and make you use the full 10 seconds to get up the court and get across half court,” CU forward Evan Battey said. “We’ve got to understand when we get across half court, we only have 20 seconds left. We don’t have a full shot clock. That’s just basketball IQ.”
The Buffs struggled with turnovers early in the season but had curtailed that issue of late, averaging just 11.5 in Pac-12 Conference play going into Thursday. The 18 turnovers against the Ducks was the most by CU since posting 21 in a win at Colorado State on Dec. 13.
It was the fifth time this season the Buffs have committed at least 18 turnovers, though all four of those previous outings occurred during the first 10 games of the season.
“We beat these guys in Boulder because we took care of the ball,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “We turned it over eight times in Boulder. We can’t turn it over 18 times in this building and expect to win.”
The Buffs have posted several wins this season due on large part to their ability to get to the free throw line and convert. However, CU attempted just six free throws against Oregon — two in the first half and four in the second half.
The Buffs hadn’t posted a single-digit total in attempted free throws all season, with the previous season low being 12 against Utah on Jan. 12
“We’re a team that usually gets to the foul line a lot,” Boyle said. “And we had six free throws tonight. For whatever reason, we couldn’t get to the foul line. To me, that was the difference in the game. They made 12 foul shots and we made four, and we lose by eight.”
Tyler Bey joined CU’s 1,000 point club, which teammate McKinley Wright joined earlier this season. It is the first time CU teammates have reached the 1,000-point mark in the same season since Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker did it in 2013-14, though Dinwiddie was out with a season-ending knee injury when Booker scored his 1,000th point. Wright and Bey became the first active CU teammates to hit the 1,000-point mark in the same season since Cory Higgins and Alec Burks in 2010-11…CU senior Lucas Siewert matched a career-high with four assists. He also made three 3-pointer to push his career total to 131 and pass Levi Knutson, Donnie Boyce, and Xavier Johnson to move into eighth-place all-time at CU…D’Shawn Schwartz went 3-for-5 on 3-pointers and has gone 8-for-13 over the past three games…Oregon played its sixth straight game without freshman forward N’Faly Dante, who is sidelined with a knee injury. Afterward, Oregon coach Dana Altman said Dante had gone through shoot-around earlier on Thursday and was “getting closer” to a return.