Scott scores 21 as Colorado cools Northern Colorado, 93-68
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) Tad Boyle expects a lot out of his talented center Josh Scott.
So it was no surprise that after Scott rebounded from one of the worst collegiate games of his career with his best game of the season, Boyle still found areas that need improvement.
A rejuvenated Scott had 21 points and eight rebounds as Boyle faced Northern Colorado for the first time since leaving for Boulder, guiding the Buffaloes to a 93-68 win Saturday afternoon.
''Josh went 6 for 10 from the field, but he missed some shots he usually makes,'' Boyle said with a smirk. ''He could have been 8 of 10 or 9 of 10 from the field.''
Scott was 0 for 7 from the field and scored just two points in Wednesday's loss to Colorado State. Against Northern Colorado he had six quick points and three crowd-igniting blocks during an 11-3 run in first four minutes of the second half after the Buffs got off to a slow start in the opening 20 minutes.
''I wasn't going to go out and have another bad game,'' said Scott, who also went 9 for 9 from the line. ''I'm trying to do a better job of finding people, and sometimes I think it effects how aggressive I am. Coaches told me I needed to be aggressive in the second half and that's what I did.''
Askia Booker added 11 of his game-high 20 points in the second for the Buffs, who went on a 19-3 run down the stretch to take a commanding 88-63 lead with 3:12 remaining.
Cameron Michael scored 16 points and went 4 for 6 from the perimeter to lead the Bears, who were 8 for 10 from the 3-point line in the first half.
The Buffs looked to have things under control in the first half - for a few moments, anyway.
Booker hit one of his career-high five 3s while falling down, and Wesley Gordon went to the line and hit successive free throws as the Buffs took a 36-31 lead with 6:12 left in the half. Jaron Hopkins then went coast-to-coast after the Bears missed a layup and extended the lead to 38-31 with a one-handed dunk a few moments later.
Colorado had three of turnovers in the final three minutes of the first half, and Northern Colorado closed the half on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 44-42.
The Bears, who lost to Colorado State after leading by 11 on Sunday, couldn't sustain their lights-out shooting Saturday. Not even close. They hit seven of their first eight 3-pointers, but went just 10 of 18 from deep by the game's end.
''It stinks,'' Michael said. ''I just feel we play with good teams for a time and they just keep pulling away.''
Michael and fellow-sophomore guard Jordan Wilson both went 3 for 3 from the perimeter to keep things close in the opening half. And Tevin Svihovec made an uncontested layup to knot the game at 31-31 with 7:13 left in the first half.
Boyle, who was hesitant to face his former school for the past four seasons since leaving Northern Colorado, said he'll be rooting for the Bears.
''I hope they win every game from here on out,'' he said.
Colorado: Freshmen Dominique Collier and Tory Smith missed the game with injuries. Collier, a highly-touted guard from nearby Denver East High School, missed his second consecutive game with a sprained wrist. Smith sat after hitting his head during a team practice.
Northern Colorado: Svihovec is the last remaining player on the UNC roster to be recruited by Boyle. He scored 13 points and went 5 of 15 shooting.
The Buffaloes host DePaul on Dec. 22.
Northern Colorado travels to face the Omaha Mavericks Wednesday.