To paraphrase the late, great, and one of my personal heroes, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, “We can’t stop here! This is Lobo country!”
At least, that is they way it turned out Wednesday night when the Buffaloes took the floor against New Mexico in their first round game in the Las Vegas Classic.
Colorado entered the game in the mist of a five-game winning streak, including a 45-point stomping of Longwood in there most recent game. The bad news, however, is all five of those games came with in the friendly confines of the Coors Events Center, in Boulder.
Las Vegas, for those who do not know, is in Nevada, which is nowhere near Boulder, CO.
New Mexico jumped out to an early 18-6 lead before the Buffs managed to cut the deficit to four. But that would be the closest Colorado would get to the lead in the first half, as they entered the locker room at the break, trailing 42-33.
The Buffaloes did a very good job taking care of the ball in the game’s opening frame, turning the ball over only four times, while forcing 11 Lobo turnovers.
Where Colorado fell short was there defense (New Mexico shot 65.2% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc) and ball movement (Colorado had only two first half assists against the 11 recorded by New Mexico).
The second half went much like the first, with the Buffs being able to the Lobo lead to six, but that was as close as CU would get, losing 89-76.
“Transition; we let them in for easy baskets and we weren’t getting back,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said after the game, “They were running and dunking and getting to the rim whenever they wanted. We put some pressure on our offense by giving them easy baskets.”
Sophomore guard, Alec Burks, led the Buffs with 25 points in the losing effort, and echoed his coach’s sentiments.
“I felt like we let them get in the paint too much,” Burks told the media after the game, “In transition, we didn’t guard the ball real well tonight and that hurt us which is why we got a loss.”
Dairese Gary and Kendall Williams led the Lobos with 18 points apiece, and Alex Kirk was the high rebounder of the game, with 10.
Colorado freshman guard Andre Roberson continued his assault on the boards, pulling down eight rebounds, good enough to lead the team.
The Buffaloes have very little time to lick there wounds. They will play Indiana tonight in the Las Vegas Classic’s consolation game. The game tips off 5:30 PM MST, and will be televised on CBS College Sports Network.