Colorado coach Tad Boyle took a deep breath and said, “Oh boy, it’s frustrating,” after he watched his 16th-ranked team not adhere to what he wrote on the whiteboard in the locker room before the game at Oregon on Thursday night.
“I wrote three things, ‘Play hard, play smart and play together,'” Boyle said in his postgame radio show after the Buffaloes (19-6, 8-4 Pac-12) blew a 14-point lead before losing 68-60 to the No. 17 Oregon Ducks in Eugene, Ore.
“We played hard. We definitely did not play smart.”
The theme going into Saturday’s game at Oregon State in Corvallis will be to “not feel sorry for ourselves,” Boyle said.
“That’s the challenge I gave them in the locker room (after the loss to Oregon),” Boyle said. “We have to bounce back mentally and emotionally. It’s my job as a coach to have them come out with the eye of the tiger.”
Colorado’s 18 turnovers contributed to Oregon having a 16-5 edge in points off turnovers.
The Ducks whittled away at the lead in the second half and outscored Colorado 15-2 over the last five minutes of the game for the win.
Boyle said the scoring drought “made it seem like we were in the middle of the Sahara desert … we went dry.”
Colorado’s Evan Battey had 14 points and 11 rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season. D’Shawn Schwartz had 14 points and five rebounds and Shane Gatling scored 11.
Oregon State (15-9, 5-7) is coming off consecutive wins over Oregon and Utah. The Beavers cruised to a 70-51 win over the visiting Utes on Thursday behind Tres Tinkle’s 89th consecutive game with double-digit scoring.
The streak ties the school record held by Mel Counts from 1961-64.
The Beavers will try to sweep the Buffaloes after winning 76-68 at Boulder, Colo., on Jan. 5.
“Colorado was up big and lost ultimately to Oregon, so I know they’re going to be hungry coming in here, trying to get the split,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said. “I have to make sure we have our guys ready.”
The Beavers’ switching defenses against Utah was the difference from when the Beavers lost 81-69 at Salt Lake City on Jan. 2.
Utah’s Timmy Allen had 25 points last month against the Beavers. He made 13 of 15 shots from the free throw line in that game. On Thursday night, Oregon State limited him to six points on 3-of-8 shooting from the field. He missed his only free throw attempt.
“Everybody did a great job on Timmy Allen,” Wayne Tinkle said. “One thing mixing it up like that did on defense was it took away actions Timmy Allen is used to doing such as getting to the free throw line and getting to the basket.”
Oregon State was able to beat Colorado last month after erasing a 12-point deficit in the second half. The Buffaloes finished with 15 turnovers that led to 16 points for the Beavers.
Ethan Thompson had 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists in that game for Oregon State.
–Field Level Media