CU Buffs men’s basketball notes: For once, Buffs can’t get to free throw line in loss against Utah

Buffs outrebounded for third straight game

BOULDER, CO - Jan. 30, 2021: ...
BOULDER, CO – January 30, 2021: Colorado head coach, Tad Boyle, is feeling the pain of Utah’s comeback at the Pac-12 game between Utah and Colorado in Boulder on January 30, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Free throws have been a dependable and game-changing asset for Colorado this season. That strength deserted the Buffaloes on Saturday.

While the lack of free throws wasn’t the primary reason the Buffs suffered a come-from-ahead defeat against Utah on Saturday. CU can blame a brutal final 8 minutes of the game for that. But being kept away from the free throw line certainly didn’t help.

With CU making a run at the team, Pac-12, and even national single-season free throw percentage record, the Buffs went just 5-for-6 at the free throw line against the Utes. Those numbers marked season-lows for CU in made free throws and attempts by wide margins. The Buffs’ previous low in both categories was  10-for-12 outing at Tennessee in the third game of the season, and CU also went 10-for-13 at UCLA on Jan. 2.

“We didn’t put foul pressure on them,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “We’re a team that gets to the foul line a lot. Tonight, we couldn’t get to the foul line. The whistle wasn’t there, so we’ve got to finish. We’ve got to put the ball in the hole.”

Utah went 16-for-19 at the free throw line.

Glass woes

The Buffs haven’t exactly been dominated on the glass lately. Yet Utah’s ability to outrebound the Buffs on Saturday led to a mark CU hasn’t posted in six years.

The Utes recorded a 31-30 rebounding edge against the Buffs, becoming the third consecutive foe to outrebound CU. The Buffs have only been outrebounded by a total of four rebounds in the past three games — getting outrebounded 31-30 last week at Washington State, 29-27 at home against Washington State earlier this week, and 31-30 against the Utes. Yet it was the first time CU has been outrebounded in three consecutive games since early January of 2015, when the Buffs were outrebounded at home against USC (35-33) at Utah (37-30), and at Arizona (41-26).

Notable

Three 3-pointers by McKinley Wright IV gives him 122 in his career, and he surpassed Chauncey Billups (120) for 16th-place on CU’s career list…Wright also passed Jay Humphries for the second-most minutes played at CU…Redshirt freshman guard Keeshawn Barthelemy recorded a season-high six assists…Dallas Walton went 4-for-4 and has gone 8-for-10 over the past three games…Utah’s Timmy Allen posted his second consecutive double-double and the ninth of his career with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Allen recorded a double-double last week at Washington with 15 points and a career-high 10 assists…Since going 1-for-18 on 3-pointers in a loss last week at Washington, CU has gone 29-for-59 (.492) from the arc in three games. The Buffs hit a season-high 13 3-pointers against Utah.