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On the mend: CU Buffs get right by routing of Oregon State

Four players score in double figures as CU ends three-game slide

  • BOULDER, CO, Feb. 5, 2022: University ...

    University of Colorado Boulder's Tristan da Silva gets past Oregon State's Tre' Williams during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on February 5, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • University of Colorado Boulder's Keeshawn Barthelemy ...

    Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    University of Colorado Boulder's Keeshawn Barthelemy gets past Oregon State's Jarod Lucas during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on Feb. 5, 2022.

  • BOULDER, CO, Feb. 5, 2022: University ...

    University of Colorado Boulder's Evan Battey out rebounds Oregon State's Glenn Taylor, Jr. during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on February 5, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • BOULDER, CO, Feb. 5, 2022: University ...

    University of Colorado Boulder's Jabari Walker drives on Oregon State's Glenn Taylor, Jr. during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on February 5, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • BOULDER, CO, Feb. 5, 2022: University ...

    BOULDER, CO, February University of Colorado Boulder's Tristan da Silva knocks the ball from Oregon State's Roman Silva during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on February 5, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • BOULDER, CO, Feb. 5, 2022: University ...

    University of Colorado Boulder's Luke O'Brien blocks the shot of Oregon State's Glenn Taylor, Jr. during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on February 5, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • BOULDER, CO, Feb. 5, 2022: University ...

    University of Colorado Boulder's KJ Simpson looks to drive on Oregon State's Dexter Akanno during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on February 5, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • BOULDER, CO, Feb. 5, 2022: University ...

    University of Colorado Boulder's Jack Pease scores over Oregon State's DyShawn Hobson during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on February 5, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • BOULDER, CO, Feb. 5, 2022: University ...

    University of Colorado Boulder's bench celebrates the Jack Pease basket s during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on February 5, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • University of Colorado Boulder's Cody Mains ...

    Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    University of Colorado Boulder's Cody Mains in the Oregon State game in Boulder on Feb. 5, 2022.

  • University of Colorado Boulder's KJ Simpson ...

    Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Colorado guard KJ Simpson earned his second Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Week honor this season. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • BOULDER, CO, Feb. 5, 2022: University ...

    University of Colorado Boulder's Will Loughlin gets a rebound against Oregon State during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on February 5, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • University of Colorado Boulder's Will Loughlin, ...

    Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    University of Colorado Boulder's Will Loughlin, left, and Cody Mains, try to get to Oregon State's DyShawn Hobson during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on Feb. 5, 2022.

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The last-place team in the Pac-12 Conference provided an opportunity for Colorado to get back on track.

It was an opportunity the Buffaloes gladly pounced upon.

CU vented the frustrations of the past two weeks in dominant fashion on Saturday afternoon, ambushing Oregon State immediately after tipoff before leading comfortably from start to finish in an 86-63 victory at the CU Events Center.

The win ended CU’s first three-game losing streak in nearly two years and gave the Buffs a small measure of momentum following two weeks marked by ugly losses and the season-ending injuries suffered by senior Elijah Parquet and freshman Lawson Lovering.

It was a complete performance at both ends of the floor, as the Buffs posted a season-high shooting percentage (.571) while holding the struggling Beavers to a .383 mark, the third-lowest by a CU foe this season in a Pac-12 game.

“We’ve been in a rough patch. We talked about it and just tried to gather a game plan and keep our heads together to stay strong,” CU sophomore Nique Clifford said. “It’s that time of the year where we just have to stay mentally focused. I think we responded well tonight, but we’ve got to keep it up.”

Oregon State played without point guard Dashawn Davis, who was a late scratch due to an ankle injury, and also did not bring injured reserves Xzavier Malone-Key and Isaiah Johnson on the road trip. OSU forward Warith Alatishe, one of the stars of OSU’s Cinderella run to the Elite Eight last spring, was limited to six minutes due to a knee injury as the Beavers lost their seventh consecutive game.

The Buffs were hot early and never relented, connecting on their first four shots while jumping to a quick 13-0 lead. Oregon State went 0-for-6 with three turnovers before connecting on its first basket, and the trends from those opposing starts essentially remained the same throughout all 40 minutes.

A Buffs team that has made poor starts a habit this season put together one of its finest first half performances of the season, and certainly the best opening frame in Pac-12 play. CU tied a team record with 11 3-pointers in the first half while posting a .679 shooting percentage, the Buffs’ top mark in any half this season.

Six days after recording a number of season-lows during an ugly loss at Washington State, the Buffs established season-highs in field goals (32), 3-pointers (14), and assists (19). CU’s plus-17 total on rebounds (40-23) was its fourth-highest total of the season and the second-highest in Pac-12 play.

Four players scored in double figures for the Buffs, led by the Pac-12-leading 11th double-double of the season from Jabari Walker (15 points, 11 rebounds). Point guard Keeshawn Barthelemy hit four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 16 points, while Clifford posted a career-high 15 points.

“A much-needed win for us mentally, emotionally,” said CU head coach Tad Boyle, who returned to the bench following a one-game COVID absence. “We caught a wounded Oregon State team…but we needed this. We shot the ball well. We hopefully gained some confidence from this. I told our team for after the game, we’ve got to prepare ourselves for nights when the ball doesn’t go in. When it does go in, like it did tonight, it makes everything a lot easier and cures a lot of ills.”

Fast break

What went right: CU clicked on all cylinders, setting season-highs in field goals (32), 3-pointers (14) and assists (19) while outrebounding the Beavers 40-23.

What went wrong: Not much, though head coach Tad Boyle expressed some displeasure at Oregon State’s 10 offensive rebounds.

Star of the game: Jabari Walker. Although he had plenty of help, Walker finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for his Pac-12-best 11th double-double of the season. Walker went 5-for-10 overall and 3-for-4 on 3-pointers.

What’s next: The Buffs will enjoy a couple days off before resuming workouts ahead of their Feb. 12 home date against Utah (6 p.m., Pac-12 Network).

Colorado 86, Oregon St. 63

OREGON ST. (3-17, 1-9 Pac-12)

Calloo 6-12 1-2 14, Taylor 5-12 5-8 15, Silva 3-6 2-2 8, Akanno 3-9 0-1 8, Lucas 5-12 0-0 13, Williams 0-2 0-0 0, Rand 0-3 2-2 2, Alatishe 1-4 1-2 3, Hobson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-60 11-17 63.

COLORADO (14-9, 6-7 Pac-12)

Battey 3-4 0-0 7, Walker 5-10 2-2 15, da Silva 3-6 2-2 10, Barthelemy 6-10 0-0 16, Clifford 6-9 2-2 15, O’Brien 3-4 0-0 7, Simpson 3-5 2-2 9, Hammond 1-5 0-0 3, Loughlin 1-1 0-0 2, Ersek 0-1 0-0 0, Mains 0-0 0-0 0, Miller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-56 8-8 86.

Halftime — Colorado 49-27. 3-point field goals — Oregon St. 6-19 (Lucas 3-5, Akanno 2-4, Calloo 1-4, Rand 0-1, Williams 0-1, Taylor 0-4), Colorado 14-25 (Barthelemy 4-7, Walker 3-4, da Silva 2-3, O’Brien 1-1, Battey 1-2, Clifford 1-2, Simpson 1-2, Hammond 1-3, Ersek 0-1). Rebounds — Oregon St. 23 (Silva 7), Colorado 40 (Walker 9). Assists — Oregon St. 4 (Calloo, Taylor, Lucas, Williams 1), Colorado 19 (da Silva 5). Total fouls — Oregon St. 10, Colorado 15. A — 6,918.

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