Buffaloes rally in Boulder, defeat CSU for first time in three years

BOULDER- Colorado State men’s basketball (4-4) went into the Coors Event Center as double-digit underdogs and came close to leaving with its third consecutive road victory over the University of Colorado (5-1) Saturday. Unfortunately for the Rams, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades as CU rallied for the 86-80 victory.

Despite turning the basketball over nine times, the Rams led by three at halftime (32-29) after hitting 45 percent of its 3-point shots, and holding CU to just 33 percent shooting from the floor. The Rams also benefited from the play of Nico Carvacho and Kris Martin, who combined for 16 points in the opening 20 minutes.

“I thought that was the best defense that we had played all year in the first half, but it was also what hurt us in the second half,” head coach Niko Medved said. “It was one heck of a college basketball game. It really was.”

The Buffaloes came out of the break and looked like a new team on the offensive end though, and CSU struggled to adjust. CU made 10-of-15 field goal attempts to start the second half and by the 6:00 mark, CU had turned its 3-point deficit into an 11-point advantage, its largest lead of the afternoon.

The Rams fought back in the final minutes of the game and actually led by one with just over 2:00 to go, but missed free throws really came back to hurt CSU in the final moments. And with 23 second left on the clock, Martin missed everything on a game-tying 3-point attempt, which proved to be the final nail in CSU’s coffin.

“I wish he would have put it on the floor,” Medved said. “That’s just something he’ll learn from. I thought we were having success getting it in the paint right there and either you drive in there and finish, or if they collapse, now you find the next pass… He’ll learn from that, but clearly the play was designed for him to put it on the floor.”

The Buffs were paced by Tyler Bey in the victory as the 6-foot-7 forward led all scorers in the game with 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field. McKinley Wright (18), Lucas Siewert (16) and Shane Gatling (13) finished with double-digit scoring totals as well.

CSU was led by Martin, who finished 8-of-14 from the field for 21 points. J.D. Paige (17) and Anthony Masinton-Bonner (14) rounded out CSU’s leading scorers.