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Dogged defensive effort pushes No. 16 CU Buffs past Oregon State

Buffs get double-doubles from Tyler Bey, McKinley Wright

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CORVALLIS, Ore.— There were only 48 hours between the Colorado Buffaloes’ come-from-ahead defeat Thursday night and Saturday’s tipoff at Oregon State.

That still was enough of a lull for Tyler Bey to suffer through a little tossing and turning in his sleep over his performance against the Ducks. CU’s junior forward made sure to make amends against the Beavers.

Powered by a huge night from Bey and a dogged defensive effort throughout the entire 40 minutes, the 16th-ranked Buffs secured a season split with OSU as well as a split of this weekend’s series in Oregon by running away from the Beavers for a 69-47 victory at Gill Coliseum.

The win at least momentarily puts the 16th-ranked Buffs back in sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 Conference, pending No. 17 Oregon’s home match against Utah on Sunday.

Bey was held to a season-low four points at Oregon but bounced back in dominant fashion at Oregon State, finishing with 21 points and 15 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season and the 29th of his career. Bey also reached a significant milestone by becoming just the seventh player in CU history to compile 1,000 points alongside 750 rebounds in his career.

“I was super-fired up,” Bey said. “I lost sleep over this game, just because I wanted to get on the floor and compete and get back to what I do.”

CU led 31-22 at halftime and opened the second half with a 7-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Evan Battey. The Buffs then used a 12-2 run midway through the second half to pull away.

The Buffs’ defense was on-point throughout the night, particularly against OSU standouts Ethan Thompson and Tres Tinkle. Thompson torched the Buffs in the Beavers’ win in Boulder last month, going 8-for-12 with 24 points and nine rebounds. He had to work to get his 17 points on Saturday, finishing 7-for-17.

Tinkle entered the game averaging 18.6 points but was held to 10 points on a 3-for-15 night from the floor. Tinkle and Thompson combined for six of OSU’s seven turnovers. CU head coach Tad Boyle even utilized a zone defense on several occasions during the second half, a wrinkle that seemingly put the Beavers on their heels.

The Buffs also tinkered with their defensive assignments from their previous matchup against Oregon State, this time opening the game with D’Shawn Schwartz on Thompson and McKinley Wright IV on Tinkle.

“We were going to double-team Thompson in ball-screens, and we did that,” Boyle said. “Having D’Shawn on him gave us a 6-6 body, along with whatever big to double-team him and make him play over size. I thought that was effective getting the ball out of his hands, and then rotating and getting matched up with everybody else. It hurt us I think once all game. But they went away from a lot of their ball-screen stuff and that helped us.

“In the second half, they were spreading us out and driving us, which Oregon State is good at. We had some foul trouble, so we went to the zone. A four-letter word, but it worked and we stayed with it. I think what the zone did is it made them burn clock on offense and shorten the game. And then we were still going to be in attack mode, getting layups, but if we didn’t get layups we wanted to make sure that we made them work to expend energy on the defensive end. Our guys really executed to a tee, defensively and offensively.”

Wright recorded the 10th double-double of his career, finishing with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.

CU shot .407 overall and went 9-for-20 on 3-pointers. The Buffs held Oregon State to a .333 mark overall and harassed the Beavers into a 1-for-17 effort from 3-point range. After committing 18 turnovers during Thursday’s loss at Oregon, the Buffs committed just eight against the Beavers.

“We just wanted to dial-in to the scouting report,” Wright said. “We knew we needed to get stops and have a bounce-back win. We let one slip from them earlier at home this year that we knew we should have won because of my late turnovers. I just wanted to bounce-back and help my teammates in any way I can, especially at the defensive end.”

Fast break

What went right: The Buffs owned the 3-point arc at both ends of the floor, going 9-for-20 on 3-pointers and forcing Oregon State into a 1-for-17 mark.

What went wrong: Not much. CU outrebounded Oregon State 45-35 and shook off a slow start at the free throw line to finish 16-for-23.

Star of the game: Tyler Bey. The junior forward posted his 10th double-double of the season and the 29th of his career, finishing with 21 points and 15 rebounds.

What’s next: The Buffs return to Boulder for the final home series of the season, beginning Thursday against USC (7 p.m., ESPN2).

COLORADO 69, OREGON STATE 47

COLORADO (20-6, 9-4 Pac-12)
Battey 1-4 2-2 5, Gatling 3-7 0-0 8, Wright 5-12 1-2 13, Bey 6-10 9-13 21, Schwartz 0-8 0-0 0, Daniels 2-4 0-0 6, Parquet 2-3 2-2 7, Siewert 2-4 0-0 5, Walton 1-2 2-2 4, Kountz 0-0 0-2 0, Strating 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-54 16-23 69.
OREGON ST. (15-10, 5-8)
Hollins 2-8 0-2 4, Kelley 2-3 1-2 5, Tinkle 3-15 3-5 10, Reichle 2-7 1-3 5, Thompson 7-17 3-4 17, Lucas 0-4 0-0 0, Hunt 0-0 0-0 0, Silva 2-2 0-0 4, Vernon 1-1 0-0 2, Miller-Moore 0-0 0-1 0. Totals 19-57 8-17 47.
Halftime – Colorado 31-22. 3-Point Goals – Colorado 9-20 (Gatling 2-2, Daniels 2-4, Wright 2-6, Battey 1-1, Parquet 1-1, Siewert 1-3, Schwartz 0-3), Oregon St. 1-17 (Tinkle 1-4, Lucas 0-2, Hollins 0-3, Reichle 0-3, Thompson 0-5). Rebounds – Colorado 45 (Bey 15), Oregon St. 35 (Tinkle 13). Assists – Colorado 14 (Wright 6), Oregon St. 6 (Thompson 4). Total Fouls – Colorado 18, Oregon St. 17. A – 4,953.