Fresh off a master-class performance on defense, Colorado will look for another stingy evening in a meeting with Oregon State on Saturday at Boulder, Colo.
The Buffaloes (10-6, 2-3 Pac-12) entered a matchup with visiting Oregon on Thursday needing to craft a secret weapon since leading scorer KJ Simpson was not in the building because of an illness. Without Simpson’s 18.7 points per game, Colorado played the defensive card instead.
The Buffaloes earned a 68-41 victory by holding the Ducks to 26.9 percent shooting from the field and 7.1 percent shooting from 3-point range (1 of 14). It was the lowest number of points Oregon has scored in 13 seasons under head coach Dana Altman.
That the victory came after an embarrassing 80-76 loss to Cal on New Year’s Eve made the effort that much more satisfying.
“We got some deflections, we were active,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “It wasn’t Oregon’s best night, there’s no doubt about that, but I like to think we had something to do with that. I told the team that whichever team rebounds the ball better is going to win the game, and we were that team.”
Colorado outrebounded Oregon 46-28.
Without Simpson, Tristan da Silva poured in a career-high 30 points on 11-of-17 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and three steals. Julian Hammond III had 16 points.
Oregon State (7-8, 1-3) enters off a 79-60 defeat at Utah on Thursday, the Beavers’ third consecutive loss in conference play. After a 63-62 conference loss to Southern California on Dec. 4, Oregon State went 3-1 in a return to nonconference play before falling to Oregon and Utah on the road.
Against the Utes, freshman Tyler Bilodeau scored a team-high 11 points for the Beavers, who also received eight points apiece from two more freshmen: Jordan Pope and Michael Rataj. Oregon State, which is leaning heavily on youth this season, received 31 points off the bench.
“I think the last few weeks have been good, hard practices and just trying to listen to the coaching and be coachable,” Bilodeau said, according to the Albany (Ore.) Democrat-Herald. “And I think we’ve been working well as a team. So that’s helped, and my confidence is starting to grow. So I’ve got to keep playing free and playing as hard as I can.”
–Field Level Media