Colorado holds off upset-minded Nebraska-Omaha 87-82
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) Colorado proved resilient once again - rallying from another double-digit deficit to earn yet another win.
Consider its coach unimpressed.
George King scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, Josh Scott had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Colorado overcame a large deficit for the second time this week in an 87-82 win over Nebraska-Omaha on Sunday afternoon.
Tre'Shaun Fletcher added 12 of his 15 points in the second half and Wesley Gordon had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Buffaloes (3-1), who came back from trailing by 13 for their third consecutive win despite a sluggish performance.
''I think Nebraska-Omaha deserved to win this game,'' coach Tad Boyle said. ''They outplayed us in a lot of areas. We did what we had to do to win this thing - we really rebounded well - but without Josh Scott and Wesley Gordon tonight, I think we lose by 20 or 25 points.''
Devin Patterson had 19 points and Jake White added 16 for the Mavericks (2-2), who outshot the Buffs 47- to 39-percent, yet were outrebounded 52-35.
In the final minute they made one more push, cutting Colorado's lead to 83-80 on a 3 by Patterson with 29 seconds remaining. But thanks to a pair of free throws from Gordon and Dominique Collier, and a humongous blocked shot by Scott, the Buffs held on.
''It was close, we just couldn't quite get over the hump,'' Omaha coach Derrin Hansen said.
Colorado spent most of the game playing catch up.
Down by as many as 13, Scott had an easy layup followed by a powerful dunk to close the deficit to 47-40 in the early minutes of the second half. Fletcher then gave Colorado its first lead since the first half when his jumper made it 57-55 with 9:51 remaining.
King went 5-for-7 from the field and 4-for-4 from the line in the second half to help grow the Buffaloes lead to double digits.
''I knew we were going to overcome it because this team has faced a lot of adversity in the scrimmages we've played and in practice,'' said Fletcher, whose team also overcame a 15-point deficit to beat Auburn on Tuesday. ''It was just a matter of when guys wanted to step up and play as a group.''
Before they did, White converted a 3-point play to put Omaha up 45-32, capping off a 7-0 run with 18:43 remaining in the game.
The Mavericks did most of their damage with easy layups, though.
''Our perimeter defense was an absolute joke,'' Boyle said. ''We just gave up 17 layups . 17 layups.''
In the first half, Omaha shot 63 percent from inside the perimeter to take a 38-32 lead. Colorado's offense helped too, committing seven turnovers while shooting 33 percent from the field before the break.
Patterson made it 29-22 after he turned a steal into an uncontested layup with 5:46 left in the half. White hit a jumper followed by a layup to push the lead to 37-29 with 46 seconds left.
The Buffs finally woke up, however, and stormed back to stave off the upset bid.
Omaha: The Mavericks played a team from the Pac-12 Conference for the first time.
Colorado: Xavier Johnson remained sidelined after tearing his left Achilles tendon during offseason workouts in June. The senior guard averaged 10.3 points and 5.6 rebounds last season. He could return this year, but no timetable has been set.
Josh Scott recorded his 25th career double-double in Colorado's comeback win. That ties him for 10th all-time in school history.
Omaha: will travel about an hour from Boulder, facing Northern Colorado on Wednesday.
Colorado: hosts Air Force on Wednesday.