Colorado balance sinks Portland 85-64
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) George King and Josh Fortune shared a redshirt season last year, pushing each other to get better. They've both gotten off to a strong start now that they're playing again.
King scored 18 points and Fortune added 17 as Colorado beat Portland 85-63 on Friday night.
Tre'Shaun Fletcher also scored 17 points and Josh Scott added 13 points for Colorado (2-1).
''Last year, when it was game day, it was my game day, too,'' said King, who played as a true freshman before sitting out a season last year. ''I wasn't putting on a jersey, but I was in the weight room. I was on the court myself, or with Josh Fortune. We were shooting, getting our games right, preparing ourselves for this moment.''
Fortune, who sat out last year after transferring from Providence, also had 14 rebounds, six assists and three steals to lead Colorado's defensive effort.
''It was kind of tough, kind of a long year, but like George said, me and him both stayed in the gym, decided to compete to help ourselves get better, help our teammates to get better,'' Fortune said.
D'Marques Tyson had 12 points, all on 3-pointers, for Portland (1-2). No other Pilots player scored in double figures.
Down by 7 at the half, Portland pulled within 42-37 on a jumper by Alec Wintering. But the Buffaloes then asserted themselves, taking off on a 20-5 run ignited by Dominique Collier's 3-pointer. Thomas Akyazili added a 3-pointer and Fortune converted a 3-point play during the burst that carried Colorado to a 62-42 lead with 12:54 remaining.
The Buffaloes maintained a double digit lead the rest of the way.
''It was a tale of two halves,'' Portland coach Eric Reveno said. ''Fifteen turnovers in the first was really problematic. We came in at half and we were close. Second half . they got a little bit of a lead and we started pressing offensively.''
Earlier, Tory Miller's dunk snapped a 28-all tie. Fortune added successive fast-break layups off a steal and blocked shot to help Colorado pull in front by 6 points en route to a 42-35 halftime lead.
''Any time you get a win at home by over 20 points, it's a good win for you,'' Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. ''I thought in the second half, we really exerted ourselves. Our defense and rebounding kind of took the game over a little bit. But we still have some areas we have to improve upon and we know that.''
Colorado outrebounded Portland 48-29.
Portland: Converted 10 of 27 3-point tries, a season-low conversion rate from beyond the arc.
Colorado: Senior guard Xavier Johnson remains sidelined after tearing his left Achilles' tendon during offseason workouts in June. There is no timetable for his return. . Colorado has won its last eight home openers, including the past six under coach Tad Boyle.
Portland: hosts Abilene Christian on Sunday night.
Colorado: hosts Omaha on Sunday.