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Sunday, March 3, 2024

No. 8 Arizona runs away from CU Buffs – Boulder Daily Camera

Maybe the Colorado men’s basketball team still has a February run in the mix to create a postseason push.

But that goal just became much more difficult.

No. 8 Arizona displayed zero signs of fatigue after playing a triple-overtime game just 48 hours earlier, outplaying CU in every facet to hand the Buffs a 99-79 defeat on Saturday night at the CU Events Center.

Arizona ended a five-game losing streak in Boulder while retaining sole possession of the top spot in the Pac-12 Conference standings. It was CU’s first home loss after the posting the first 13-0 home start in program history.

It was a more palatable final score than the 47-point drubbing the Buffs endured at Arizona a month ago, when CU played without Tristan da Silva and Cody Williams. Yet it had the feel of a much more deflating loss as the Buffs, playing at full strength, fell behind by 20 points a little more than five minutes into the second half.

Buffs center Eddie Lampkin Jr. picked up his second foul with 10 minutes, 14 seconds remaining in the first half. CU coach Tad Boyle opted to keep Lampkin on the bench the remainder of the half, and Wildcats big man Oumar Ballo took advantage, authoring a tip dunk and another offensive rebound that led to a Caleb Love 3-pointer as the Wildcats built a 12-point lead late in the first half. CU scored the final four points of the frame to cut Arizona’s lead to 47-40 at the break.

If the Buffs gained any momentum from that brief burst to end the half, it evaporated quickly. Lampkin missed an open layup on the first possession of the second half, and Arizona promptly received back-to-back 3-pointers from Caleb Love and Keshad Johnson. CU remained within 10 points after a 3-point play from da Silva with 17:09 to play, but the Wildcats scored the next 10 points to push their lead to 20. The Buffs never seriously threatened the rest of the way.

CU couldn’t slow UA the entire night, as the Wildcats ended with a .529 field goal percentage while going 10-for-22 on 3-pointers.

This story will be updated.

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