Scott scores 20 as Colorado rallies to beat Nicholls 85-68
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) Sleep in, Wesley Gordon, you won't be getting that early morning wakeup call from coach for not playing defense. You're off the hook.
Some of his Colorado teammates? Not so much. Coach Tad Boyle will be calling you into his office to watch some film.
Gordon provided the defensive intensity with seven blocked shots, Josh Scott scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half and the Buffaloes beat Nicholls 85-68 on Friday night, pulling away late for their ninth straight win in a game that was part of the Las Vegas Classic.
''Wes was the player of the game,'' Boyle said. ''Absolutely the difference in the game.
''We're going to watch this film, the defensive portion of the film, and pick out the guys that did not guard to come in and watch film. Wesley's phone won't be ringing.''
The Buffaloes (9-1) play Hampton on Saturday at home as part of the tournament, before heading to Las Vegas to face Penn State on Tuesday and then either Kent State or No. 18 SMU. Nicholls (3-7) faces Hampton on Tuesday.
Colorado's lackluster performance may have given Hampton a boost in confidence, especially since the Buffaloes are playing on back-to-back nights.
''They were sitting at home, watching this and thinking, `We can beat Colorado tomorrow. They're not that good,''' Boyle said.
Colorado trailed by as many as 10 points just before halftime, but used a 17-3 spurt in the second half to gain some separation. This is the fourth time this season the Buffaloes have rallied from a double-digit deficit for a victory.
Josh Fortune had 17 points to help fuel the rally. George King added 14 points and Gordon came up big in the paint, altering shot after shot.
T.J. Carpenter scored 18 for the Colonels, who've dropped four straight.
''We just came out and wanted to play with an edge, give ourselves a chance to compete toward the end of the game,'' Carpenter said. ''We came out and really played hard and brought it to them.''
Tre'Shaun Fletcher gave Colorado the lead for good at 47-45 on a put-back slam with 15:30 remaining. Johnathan Bell tried to keep Nicholls close, hitting one 3-pointer after another, but the Colonels eventually wore down in the elevation. Colorado outrebounded Nicholls by a 45-30 margin.
''We reached a point where we ran out of gas and they were able to do what they wanted,'' Nicholls coach J.P. Piper said.
Early on, Nicholls accomplished what few teams have been able to do this season - contained Scott. The senior forward was held in check until the second half, when he erupted. He's averaging 18.7 points a game this season.
''We didn't come out with a sharp mentality tonight as we normally should every game,'' Fortune said. ''We've just got to pick it up as a team (Saturday).''
Nicholls: This is the first time the Colonels have played Colorado. ... The school from Thibodaux, Louisiana, is doing quite a bit of traveling this season, with nonconference trips to Florida, Hawaii, California, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Las Vegas and Tennessee.
Colorado: Dominique Collier had five assists. ... Tory Miller had a game-high 10 rebounds in 13 minutes.
At halftime, Boyle told his team they couldn't shoot a 3-pointer until it went into the paint at least once.
''We had one player come out three times because that didn't happen,'' Boyle said.
The reason was simple: Colorado was 3 of 15 from 3-point range in the first half. In the second, the Buffaloes were 6 of 12.
''This team wants to score their way out of their problems,'' Boyle said. ''Our program is based on defense and rebounding.''
Carpenter picked up a technical in the first half for something he uttered on his way down the court after hitting a 3-pointer.
''Just talking trash, goes back to the playground, I guess, Carpenter said.
Nicholls plays Hampton on Tuesday.
Colorado hosts Hampton on Saturday.
AP college basketball site: http://collegebasketball.ap.org