I tweeted out mid-way through the first half that the Auburn Tigers were in a bad spot. While only down a few at the time, it was clear to me that, with a lack of interior size, and absolutely no ability to defend Colorado up front, it was only a matter of time before the flood gates broke open. While they would find a way to get some joy on the boards (thanks to big Cinmeon Bowers), Auburn's defensive level continued to be atrocious throughout the game, and CU was able to get whatever they wanted in the paint. As the Tigers, who had, predictably, tried to run with the Buffs at altitude, began to tire and lose interest in the second, the game began to get out of hand. By the end, all that was left was a resounding 90-59 Colorado victory, and a very happy, if sleepy, crowd.
|Coach Pearl knew he was in trouble from the opening tip, and so did his shirt. From: SBNation|
Speaking of the crowd, they were fantastic last night/this morning. The students did their part, as the C-Unit was packed and rowdy from well before the opening tip through the final whistle. Even the rest of the stadium was mostly full, which surprised me for a 11pm tip. BuffNation did themselves proud with this one, and the team was appropriately grateful.
The Buffs certainly needed the support, as, don't forget, this was a four point game at halftime. It took a dominating performance over the final 20 minutes to turn it into a 31-point blowout. In that second half, CU shot over 65%, living in the paint against the smaller Tigers, while holding the slumping shooters from the SEC to only 18% from the floor (58% to 29% for the game). That discrepancy keyed a 24-0 run that ended all doubt, and had those in attendance on their feet. If there's been a more perfect half played in the Tad Boyle era, I'd like to see it.
Leading the way for Colorado, and exemplifying the ease with which they controlled play on the block, was Wesley Gordon. The redshirt sophomore had his best game in Black and Gold, claiming a 16/12 double-double, his first, while only committing one foul. Beyond just Gordon, however, the whole forward corps had a fantastic night. Xavier Johnson and Josh Scott chipped in 17 points a piece, and the trio combined for 50 points, 26 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 blocks, and NO turnovers. Seriously, Auburn needs to beg, borrow, or steal a forward to help, and soon.
|We Gordon had a monster game. From: the BDC|
The problem is, with the Tigers as roster poor as they were, it's hard to take this win with anything but a grain of salt. In fact, through two games, the Buffs have not faced the level of challenge that they will walk into Saturday afternoon in Laramie. Facing the Cowboys has always been a program bugaboo, and this year looks to be no different. I'll have a preview up later this week, but, sufficed to say, the upcoming road trip will be the first true test of the season. We'll know much more about this team after those 40 minutes have been played.