Arizona loses to Colorado 80-77, falls to 12-4
BOULDER, COLO. -- After a slow start on offense and defense, Arizona men’s basketball rallied, but couldn't overtake a hot Buffalo team and the Wildcats ultimately fell 80-77 to Colorado in the Coors Events Center.
The Wildcats fell to 12-4 and 2-1 in the Pac-12 after losing to Colorado.
"I'm going to take all the responsibility," Arizona head coach Sean Miller said. "When you have a team like ours and you win a game like we did in Salt Lake City, with such a quick turnaround on the road like this, its your job to have your team ready, and I did a terrible job of having our team ready."
Arizona was down 20 with 3:33 left in the first half, brought themselves back to within three in the second half, but could not stop the Buffaloes from scoring long enough to take the lead.
Colorado had five players in double figures. Freshman center Dallas Walton had 15, on perfect 7-7 shooting, while McKinley Wright had 14 points and 10 assists.The Buffaloes shot 55 percent from the floor and 44 percent from deep.
"Wright is one of the most impressive guards that we have faced," Head coach Sean Miller said. "That's to Colorado's benefit, and he has made such a difference in their team.. I was really impressed with him."
For Arizona, Deandre Ayton lead with 24 points while Rawle Alkins followed with 16. Dusan Ristic had 13 points and 11 rebounds, but he did it on 16 shot attempts. The Wildcats shot 38 percent from the floor and 28 percent from deep.
In the first half Arizona looked slow and confused on defense, letting Colorado cut to the rim easily and giving up open driving lanes.
The Wildcats opened the second half with a 7-0 run, then went on another 8-0 run to bring the game to within three with 11:23 left. But, Colorado took a timeout and answered with a 5-0 run of its own to put the score back up eight.
"We tried a little bit harder in the second half," Miller said. "We played with more energy in the second half, I'm at least happy for our fans, the fans that traveled here, at least they saw 20 minutes of us playing for Arizona."
Arizona has a history of traveling well for road games, and Saturday's game was no different. Chants of "UofA" and "Arizona" could be heard clearly throughout the game.
"Get that out of our stadium," Walton said.
Arizona got the stops it needed to get a chance to win in the second half, but could not capitalize on offense. During a stretch midway through the second half when the game was close, Arizona came up with three steals in a row, but could not manage to take the lead.
Frustrated by the lack of defense in the first half, Miller sat all of his starters, except for Ristic, for several minutes late in the first half.
"We didn't play with any, any emotion, togetherness," Miller said. "I really don't know what button to push other than don't play the guys who weren't playing hard."
Initially Colorado started the game 5-0 until Trier answered with a deep three off of a Parker Jackson-Cartwright drive and dish. Dylan Smith answered with another three and then the Wildcats would miss the next nine 3-point attempts as Colorado built a 16 point lead.
Although the stadium wasn’t quite full the fans were loud and created a hostile atmosphere for Arizona. The officials called several fouls on Colorado in the first 10 minutes of the game and the crowd did not appreciate it, booing loudly and shouting insults at the officials.
Arizona's loss means that now every Pac-12 team has lost at least one game in the conference.
The Wildcats return home to take on Oregon State (10-5) on Thursday at the McKale Center on PACN.
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