I felt a certain amount of relief when I realized, about 10 minutes in, that DePaul had no chance to win yesterday. Yes, the Blue Demons were able to pull within three points at halftime, but that was more due to silly CU mistakes and poor play from the subs than anything those in black and blue were doing. With a little help from #TournamentSki, those mistakes were, largely, patched over in the second frame, and the Buffs cruised to a breezy 82-68 win on Day 1 of the 2014 Diamond Head Classic.
|Grind of a few gears aside, CU had little trouble with DePaul.|
Really, though, this game belonged to Askia Booker. 'The little spark plug,' as MommaRumblin coined him, was a constant source of energy for Colorado, forcing the pace, and helping to break the Blue Demon press. He would go for 27/6/6 in 31 minutes, only committing one turnover. It was the re-emergence of #TournamentSki, as the lead guard played his role perfectly. It helped that DePaul was compliant in putting him on the line, as Booker went 14-14 from the stripe, but his was a very efficient performance overall (6-12 from the field against one turnover)
|Ski had it rolling Monday afternoon. From: the BDC|
For their end, the Colonials blitzed a woefully under-skilled Ohio U squad in the early game, 77-49. I was very impressed by GW's center, Kevin Larsen, who went for 19/15. Not a big leaper, Larsen is just a quality big man. He knows his role, demands the ball in good positions, and George Washington does a good job scheming to take full advantage. He will be tough to contain.
|GW is a whole different animal from the woeful Blue Demons.|
In the action after dark, the Wichita State Shockers smashed Loyola Marymount 80-53 (raise the roof!), but Nebraska... well, the Huskers ran into a bit of trouble with the hometown Rainbow Warriors. As the red horde struggled against the press (18 turnovers), the feisty hosts scrapped and clawed their way to the only upset of the day, 66-58. Not that I was biased in any way (*ahem*), but I fell hard for those in white, rooting right alongside with the hometown fans. There is one downside to seeing Hawai'i win, however. With the loss, Nebraska falls to the second tier, leaving the afternoon games today significantly less dramatic. I guess you can't have everything.
Day 2 -
Ohio University vs DePaul - 12:30 MT, ESPNU
Colorado vs George Washington - 2:30 MT, ESPNU
Hawai'i vs Wichita State - 7 pm MT, ESPN2
Loyola Marymount vs Nebraska - 9:30 pm MT, ESPNU
GO BUFFS! BEAT THE COLONIALS!