No. 4 UCLA tops Colorado, claims Pac-12 regular-season title

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BOULDER, Colo. — Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 17 points and Tyger Campbell had 13 of his 14 points in the second half as No. 4 UCLA hung on to beat Colorado 60-56 on Sunday.

Amari Bailey added 11 points for UCLA (25-4, 16-2 Pac-12), which won its eighth in a row to close out an undefeated February and clinch the regular-season conference title.

“This doesn’t change anything,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said. “Our goal along the way was going to have to be winning the Pac-12 to try to be able to stay in the West (for the NCAA Tournament). So, we’ve got more games to win to be able to try to accomplish that goal. Also, we have the longest home winning streak (23 games) in the country we take a lot of pride in. So we’re focused on Arizona State.”

With the Pac-12 tournament and NCAA Tournament on the horizon, Jaquez agreed with his coach that now was not the time to rest on their regular-season title.

“That was one of the goals that we had in the beginning of the year. And we accomplished it,” he said. “And now, we’ve got two more goals that we want to accomplish, as well. And we’re just going to keep working hard.”

KJ Simpson had 14 points to lead Colorado (15-15, 7-12). Tristan da Silva, who left the game with just over five minutes remaining with an apparent lower leg injury, and Luke O’Brien each scored 13 points. Colorado nearly pulled off the upset against UCLA after coming off a lopsided loss to USC.

“There’s a different feeling today after the loss than after Thursday night’s loss, and something I talk to the players about, is that the reason that they’re down and disappointed tonight is because they fought their tails off,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “They competed their tails off, and they came up short.”

The Buffaloes fought back to take a 45-44 lead on da Silva’s 3-pointer with 8:13 remaining, capping an 8-2 run by the Buffaloes. The game remained tight down the stretch with the score tied twice in the final 3:41.

Jaquez made one of two free throws with 2:17 left to put UCLA on top by a point and Campbell added another basket for the Bruins. The Buffaloes got back within two points on a pair of free throws by Lawson Lovering with seven seconds remaining. Amari Bailey was fouled on the subsequent inbounds play and he made both free throws to secure the victory over Colorado, which did not get a shot off in the final seconds.

Down by a basket at the break, UCLA scored the first seven points of the second half to go in front 35-30. It was the Bruins’ first lead since Jaquez scored on a dunk in the opening minute of the game. Tyger Campbell capped the burst with a 3-pointer, the first make from beyond the arc for the Bruins, who went 0 for 6 in the first half.

UCLA missed 10 of its first 11 shots and fell behind 11-2 before gradually cutting into the deficit, pulling to within 30-28 on a layup by Jaylen Clark just before the halftime buzzer. Colorado couldn’t build on its early lead because of offensive problems of its own and actually finished the first half shooting 37.9%, some two percent lower than UCLA in the same span.


The Bruins made one of their 14 3-point tries but that was enough to extend a 23-year streak. Tyger Campbell’s 3-pointer early in the second half extended UCLA’s streak with at least one made 3-pointer to 782 games. The Bruins have not gone without a 3-pointer in a game since going 0 for 14 from beyond the arc in a 78-63 loss at then No. 2 Stanford on Feb. 3, 2000.


UCLA: The Bruins earned a gritty victory that will serve them well as they turn their attention to post-season tournament. They overcame a slow start and spotty offensive play by maintaining their composure against an underdog, but determined, opponent, leaning on their defensive intensity to see the game through to a win.

Colorado: The Buffaloes put up a strong effort against a high-powered UCLA team, going toe to toe with their opponent until the final moments. They showed they can compete with the best in the conference and, with a young squad, showed they have the potential to improve in the near future.


UCLA: Opens last regular season homestand Thursday against Arizona State ahead of Saturday’s finale against No. 7 Arizona. The Bruins are riding a 23-game home winning streak dating to last season, the longest active streak in the nation.

Colorado: Hosts Utah on Saturday in a regular-season finale.

Sherrod helps No. 25 Colorado hold off Washington State 71-68

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BOULDER, Colo. – Jaylyn Sherrod matched her career high of 27 points and Tayanna Jones had a steal in the paint with two seconds left as No. 25 Colorado held off Washington State to complete a season sweep, 71-68.

Colorado had lost its last two games with the Cougars at the CU Events Center and Washington State came into the game on a program-record six-game road win streak.

The Buffaloes trailed by nine to start the fourth quarter, but Sherrod scored at the basket, then knocked down a 3 to kick-start a 14-3 run and capped it with a layup with 5:14 left to take a 57-55 lead. Washington State answered with 3-pointers from Astera Tuhina and Johanna Teder and after Sherrod scored on a layup, Jessica Clarke added a layup to take a 63-59 lead with 3:20 left. Quay Miller’s two free throws put Colorado in front, 67-65, but Teder hit again from 3 to put the Cougars in front with a minute left to play. Sherrod closed the game out with four straight free throws, including a pair after Miller stripped Clarke in the paint.

Sherrod hit 10 of 12 from the field and was 6 of 7 from the line for the Buffaloes (19-5, 10-3 Pac-12). Frida Foreman finished with 14 points and Miller added 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals.

Charlisse Leger-Walker had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead Washington State (16-8, 6-7). Teder had 13 points and six assists and Clarke finished with 12 points and six rebounds.

Colorado hosts Washington Sunday. Washington State takes on No. 7 Utah Sunday.

Boyle gets program record as Colorado downs Southern Utah 86-78

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Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports
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BOULDER, Colo. — KJ Simpson scored 21 points shooting 11 for 13 from the foul line and Colorado beat Southern Utah 86-78 Wednesday night to make Buffs head coach Tad Boyle the winningest coach in men’s program history.

The win was No. 262 for Boyle in his 13 years in Boulder, surpassing the 261 of legendary CU coach Sox Walseth, whose name graces the court at the CU Events Center.

Colorado (8-5) took control for good with a 13-0 run with Tristan da Silva scoring seven – including a 3-pointer – Nique Clifford added four and a Javon Ruffin bucket inside with 6:07 to play gave CU a 73-59 edge.

Southern Utah (8-5) closed the deficit to single digits in the final minute, but the Buffs made seven free throws to hold on for the win.

Colorado built a 12-point lead in the first before the Thunderbirds reduced the deficit to trail 38-34 at the half.

The Thunderbirds then erased CU’s edge after halftime, taking a 44-42 lead less than four minutes in. The two teams then traded the lead several times over the next four minutes, with SUU taking a 57-55 edge with 11 minutes left.

Da Silva scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Colorado, Clifford 14 and reserve Julian Hammond III 11.

Southern Utah’s Harrison Butler scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, reserve Cameron Healy 15, Tevian Jones 14 and Maizen Fausett 13.

Colorado upsets No. 2 Arizona 79-63 with strong second half

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BOULDER, Colo. – K.J. Simpson and Tristan da Silva led a second-half surge that carried Colorado to a 79-63 upset of No. 2 Arizona on Saturday, matching the highest-ranked opponent ever beaten by the Buffaloes.

Fans stormed the floor after the Buffs (19-10, 11-8 Pac-12) snapped the Wildcats’ nine-game winning streak. The loss by the nation’s second-ranked team behind No. 1 Gonzaga added to a shocking Saturday in which No. 3 Auburn, No. 4 Purdue, No. 5 Kansas and No. 6 Kentucky all lost, as did No. 9 Texas Tech.

Da Silva scored 13 of his team-high 19 points in the second half and Simpson scored all but one of his 13 points after halftime.

Arizona (25-3, 15-2) led 37-32 at the break, but the Wildcats’ leading scorer, Bennedict Mathurin, was held scoreless in the second half after scoring 12 points in the first half. Azuolas Tubelis led the Wildcats with 13 points.

The Buffs held the ‘Cats scoreless over stretches of 4:27 and 3:59 in the second half to secure their biggest win since beating No. 2 Oklahoma State 57-53 on Feb. 12, 1992.

This marked the 23rd win against a ranked opponent in coach Tad Boyle’s 12 years at Colorado and the 10th different season a Boyle-led Buffs team defeated a Top 25 opponent.

The Buffs opened the second half on a 17-7 run and never looked back. Jabari Walker and Keeshawn Barthelemy each scored 15 points and Evan Batey added 11 on his senior night as all five Colorado starters scored in double figures.

Mathurin scored a dozen points in the first half, helping the Wildcats take a 37-32 lead into the locker room. He had eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers, in a 10-2 run that erased Colorado’s 16-11 lead. His breakaway dunk capped a 9-3 Arizona run that put the Wildcats ahead 33-27.

Mathurin, who came in averaging 17.3 points per game, missed all three shots he took in the second half and was whistled for a charge while driving to the basket with Arizona down 68-59 with less than four minutes remaining.


The Wildcats sank 13 of 14 free throws in the first half but were just 5 for 8 after halftime. They also missed 10 of their 11 3-pointers in the second half after sinking 4 of 7 before halftime.


Arizona’s reprieve might be all the other top-10 teams that lost Saturday, but this one was a blowout. Their other two losses this season were by 77-73 at No. 19 Tennessee on Dec. 22 and 75-59 at No. 7 UCLA on Jan. 25.


Arizona: Visits USC on Tuesday night before hosting Stanford and Cal in a busy week to close out the regular season.

Colorado: Wraps up its conference slate at Utah next Saturday night.

Florida State beats Colorado, reaches 3rd straight Sweet 16

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INDIANAPOLIS — Florida State barely reveled in its return to the Sweet 16 – exactly as Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton wanted.

Anthony Polite scored a career-high 22 points and No. 4 seed Florida State pulled away in the second half to beat Colorado 71-53 Monday night and advance to the regional semifinal for the third straight NCAA Tournament.

“These guys are pretty focused,” Hamilton said. “An indication is that nobody was jumping up and down and high-fiving and getting overly excited in the locker room. Everybody was calm, focused – like we’ve been here before. That’s the signs of a team maturing.”

Florida State (18-6) advanced to face East region No. 1 seed Michigan, which knocked out the Seminoles in the 2018 Elite Eight.

Polite had never scored more than 15 points in a game, but the junior made 8 of 12 shots, including 4 of 7 3-pointers.

“It’s probably my best game, definitely, statistics-wise,” Polite said. “I feel like I’m going to keep giving my effort at 100%, keep on coming out with a defensive mentality. Seeing the shots go in is just going to boost my confidence.”

Hamilton – recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon – again wore a boot as he walked the sideline. His Seminoles shot 53% from the field.

D’Shawn Schwartz scored 13 points for fifth-seeded Colorado (23-9), which shot 36% overall. McKinley Wright IV, Colorado’s leading scorer for the season with more than 15 points per contest, finished with 10 on 4-of-12 shooting.

Colorado was coming off a 96-73 victory over Big East Tournament champion Georgetown and was seeking its first Sweet 16 trip since 1969.

“We just lost the season we had, which was such a special season with such special young men in that locker room,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “Seven unbelievable seniors. The most connected and one of the closest groups I’ve ever coaches.”

The Buffaloes shot poorly through most of the first half and trailed 20-13 two minutes before the break. Wright’s tip-in at the buzzer cut Florida State’s lead to 24-20 at the half. It was only his second basket of the game.

Colorado trimmed its deficit to a point on a 3-pointer by Schwartz, but Florida State quickly answered with a thunderous alley-oop dunk by Sardaar Calhoun.

Calhoun broke away for a fast-break dunk, then Scottie Barnes drained a contested runner to push Florida State’s lead back to seven.

Minutes later, Balsa Koprivica dunked, was fouled and made the free throw to put Florida State up nine.

Polite hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game with six minutes remaining to put the Seminoles up 55-41. Colorado called a timeout, prompting Florida State’s fans to break into an “F-S-U” chant. Colorado’s fans booed the officials, who had called a technical on the Buffaloes bench minutes earlier.

Florida State remained in control, stretching its lead to 19 points.

“We had to be locked in, not foul, contest shots, and that took a tremendous effort and a high level of concentration by our team,” Hamilton said. “That’s why I was so proud that they continued to keep executing what we had in that game plan, even when they cut the lead right down to one point.”


Boyle called a shooting Monday in Boulder, Colorado, a “senseless act of violence” and offered condolences to families affected after the game. The team spoke postgame in the locker room about the supermarket shooting in the city where the school is located. Ten people were killed, including a police officer, and a suspect was in custody, authorities said.

“It puts basketball in its proper place,” Boyle said. “Win or lose tonight, I felt an emptiness in my stomach. Another senseless act of violence that we’ve experienced as a country many, many times.

“Even if we would have won this game and celebrated going to the Sweet 16, it would have put a damper on it,” he added. “My heart goes out to the families that were affected and those that lost their lives.”


Colorado fell short of breaking the Division I single-season record for free throw percentage. Harvard in 1984 shot 82.18% from the line. Colorado finished this season at 81.87% and would have set the record if not for two misses in the final minute.

Oral Roberts still could top Harvard. ORU is at 82.19% heading into its Sweet 16 matchup with Arkansas.


Hamilton, on handling success: “Now is not the time to take any bows. It’s kind of what we are. If we are satisfied with where we are now, then I guess we can pack our bags and go home.”

Hoyas history; Colorado uses threes to dismiss Georgetown 96-73

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INDIANAPOLIS – Chances are, you can fit Colorado’s entire NCAA Tournament history on the back of an old Patrick Ewing jersey. And now Ewing is part of that history, too.

The Buffaloes used an early 3-point barrage to parlay their highest seeding ever at March Madness into a first-round win Saturday over one of the biggest names in the game – a 96-73 thumping of Georgetown, the program Ewing starred for in the 1980s and now coaches.

Led by freshman Jabari Walker’s 5-for-5 shooting clinic from 3-point range, the fifth-seeded Buffs (23-8) made 16 3-pointers and shot 64% from long range.

Walker missed only one of his 10 shots on his way to a career-best 24 points, and D’Shawn Schwartz (18 points) made four of his five 3s in the first half to put Colorado into cruise control. The Buffs made the round of 32 for only the third time since the brackets expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

Georgetown won four games in four days earlier this month to take the Big East Tournament title and make a surprise trip to the NCAA Tournament. But the Hoyas finished 13-13 on the season, three weeks of which was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and they didn’t look like a .500 team at any point Saturday.

The 7-foot Ewing did what he could – stalking the sideline in khakis and light-blue tennis shoes, pulling down the mask and shouting instructions while the game, and the season, slipped away.

But one of college basketball’s most dominating presences in the `80s could not make any shots – Georgetown went 30% from the floor in the first half and big man Qudus Wahab (7 for 12 for 20 points) was the only player with any sort of touch. And Ewing’s team could not defend the perimeter, which is where Colorado went crazy.

Walker, the freshman from California, made four of his 3s in the first half to help CU open a double-digit lead. At the end of the half, Schwartz made three straight 3s to help the Buffs double up (plus one) on Georgetown – 47-23 – heading into the locker room.

And now, people might starting seeing CU’s pedigree in a different light.

After years in nowhere-land, the Buffs are showing they can recruit in California, play with Arizona and Oregon, and even knock off a big name like Georgetown. They’ve won 20 games in eight of coach Tad Boyle’s 11 seasons and five of their seven modern-day appearances in the tournament have come since he arrived.


About the only thing that could stop Walker’s first-half streak was Walker himself. He was called for a flagrant-one foul when he took down Georgetown big man Timothy Ighoefe by the neck while Ighoefe was going up for what looked like an easy bucket. Boyle benched Walker at the 7:19 mark of the first half and the freshman didn’t score again until the 13:25 mark in the second.


By making the surprise trip to the tournament, Ewing alleviated some of the heat he was starting to feel back home. Still, this loss wasn’t pretty, and it leaves him without a NCAA or NIT victory since he arrived in 2017. It dropped his overall record to 62-59 – hardly a mark that would’ve cut it back in the glory days.


Colorado will play the winner of Florida State-UNC Greensboro, in search of its first Sweet 16 trip since 1969.

Georgetown has only two seniors on the roster, but one of them is Jomorko Pickett, who was held to 11 points on 3-for-13 shooting.