Colorado Buffs Come From Behind to Top Colorado School of Mines in Exhibition Game

Boulder, CO-

The Colorado Buffs came away with a 66-57 victory in their first game against an opponent this year in the Colorado School of Mines. Led by returning starters Tyler Bey and McKinley Wright, the Buffs offense found their rhythm in the 2nd half, shooting 46.9% from the field for 39 points.

There was a slight cause for concern in the first half behind Colorado’s 8 turnovers which allowed the Division II Orediggers several easy opportunities in transition. To the Orediggers credit, they took advantage of their chances and were exceptionally efficient behind the three-point line. They went 6 for 12 on three-pointers and outscored the Buffs 33-27.

CU Head Coach Tad Boyle had no excuses for the sloppy play in the first half, but he did explain that they did not have a strict game plan nor did they run any actual plays.

Boyle said, “They (his players) can learn that it’s harder to defend the perimeter when the ball moves. It’s easier to defend the perimeter when it’s bounced. Our guys bounced it a little bit too much. Everybody. McKinley had 8 assists and no turnovers and obviously we’ll take that every night. But, we’ve got to bounce the ball less on offense and move the ball more because that’s what Mines did and they were more difficult to guard then we were.”

By the time Colorado’s more experienced players settled in, it didn’t take long for them to regain the lead in the 2nd half. The game fell out of the Orediggers hands when Wright scored on 3 consecutive possessions. Colorado also improved their shooting efficiency and minimized their mistakes, turning the ball over just 3 times. Sophomore Tyler Bay ended with 16 total points and McKinley Wright ended with 14 totally points while leading the team with 8 assists.

On Wright’s performance, Boyle said, “We’ve seen that from McKinley, absolutely. What I’d like to see from our team is that sense of urgency that McKinley played with down the stretch, be there from the jump. And I’m not saying it’s not and he’s got a lot of things on his plate as well. But I want to see that from McKinley from the get go and for 40 minutes. It’s easier said than done because Basketball is a game of runs.”

Freshman Forward Evan Battey is expected to have a significant role on this Buffs squad but he did perhaps suffer from first game nerves. He shot 2 for 10 from the field but did have a couple of high-effort steals.

On Battey’s performance, Boyle said, “I’ve seen the way Evan’s practiced. He didn’t play exceptionally well tonight offensively but I’ve seen how he’s practiced. I feel like Evan Battey and Tyler Bey and Lucas Siewert, I feel like we’ve got three starters right there. Now we’re using those as kind of a three man rotation in the post.”

Overall, this exhibition match-up is a productive way for CU to evaluate their skill set as well as allowing new players to familiarize themselves with their playing style. Colorado will host the Drake Bulldogs on Tuesday, November 13th, for their first official game of the season. Colorado School of Mines will head to Texas this Friday to take on the Lubbock Christian Chaps.

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