BOULDER, Colo. – A late-second half comeback fell short for BYU basketball as it lost 92-83 against Colorado on the road Saturday night at the Coors Events Center.
"The guys fought hard and competed," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "We found a combination that worked well, but there was no consistency. We are still trying to figure out how to be a better team. There is a lot of fight in these guys and I have a good feeling we will find ourselves, but we don’t have it right now."
BYU (6-3) never led in this game as Colorado (8-1) held on to the large lead it built late in the first and early in the second half. The Buffaloes outshot the Cougars 46 percent to 39 percent in the game.
Two freshmen guards led the effort for BYU. Nick Emery and Zac Seljaas scored 23 and 18, respectively. For Seljaas, the 18 points and four 3-pointers are career highs. Kyle Collinsworth added 17 points, six rebounds and six assists. Kyle Davis had his fifth double-double in the game with 10 points and 11 boards.
BYU struggled early on in the game to get shots to fall. Corbin Kaufusi put in the first bucket with 18:08 left in the half to cut Colorado’s early lead to 7-4. Back-to-back shots from Collinsworth tied the game up at 15-15 at the 11:55 mark. After that, the Buffaloes ran away with a 12-2 run, pushing the score to 27-17.
With 8:06 left in the half, Collinsworth drilled the first 3-pointer of the game for the Cougars to make it 29-22, trying to close in on the Buffaloes’ lead. Davis had a big block on defense and ran to the other side to score the bucket and draw the foul for a three-point play make it a 31-25 ballgame.
Threes from Emery and Seljaas gave BYU momentum heading into the locker room, but Colorado had the 48-36 lead. The Cougars shot just 30 percent from beyond the arc in the first half, compared to the Buffaloes’ 46.2 percent.
The second half started off cold for BYU. They were 0 of 9 from the field in the first five minutes, allowing Colorado to go on a 13-0 run, extending its lead to 61-36. With 14:59 on the clock, Collinsworth nailed a jump shot, the first field goal of the half for the Cougars. The shot sparked the offense and BYU went on a 13-0 run. Emery scored eight points in the run, including a deep trey to cap off the run, making it a 10-point game, 64-54, with 11 minutes left in the game.
BYU struggled to cut the lead to single digits. Despite making shots, the Buffaloes continued to have answers, holding the Cougars at arm’s length. Seljaas hit another 3-pointer with 6:54 left to try to close in on the 74-63 lead, but Colorado answered with a shot of its own.
Seljaas kept BYU in the game with back-to-back baskets, a putback layup and a three. Another 3-pointer from Emery finally cut the lead to single digits at 85-77 with 2:42 on the clock. With 1:19 left, he drilled another three to make it 87-80 with 1:21 to go, the smallest Colorado lead to that point in the second half. However, the Buffaloes were able to seal the 92-83 win from the free-throw line.
The Cougars return home Friday to face Central Michigan. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. MST and will be broadcast live on BYUtv. It will also be streamed on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, KSL 1160 AM/ 102.7 FM and BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143.