BUFFS

At least one Colorado team had a huge win in Nashville on Sunday

Nov 13, 2022, 4:12 PM
Tristan da Silva...
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Colorado Buffaloes had themselves a Sunday, topping Rocky Top 78-66 in Tennessee. The Buffs went into Nashville less than 48 hours after a brutal loss and beat No. 11 Tennessee.

The game was played just down the road from the Denver Broncos’ disappointing 17-10 loss to the Titans. But boy was Colorado more exciting than Denver. Going toe-to-toe with a team that handed them one of the worst home losses of the Tad Boyle Era just a season ago—downed 69-54—the Buffaloes flipped the script. Even more shocking considering it was the second on a rare five-game road trip that began Friday night with a loss to Grambling State,  part of the Pac-12 Conference/Southwest Athletic Conference Legacy Series—an educational and basketball scheduling partnership between the two leagues.

The Volunteers led for much of the first half, but the Buffs took control before the break thanks to a 9-0 run and never looked back. Colorado went up late in the second half and extended their lead to insurmountable thanks to another 9-0 run.

KJ Simpson led the Buffs with 23 points and snatched 10 rebounds, each career-highs for his first double-double. The star sophomore guard came off the bench, likely due to Boyle changing things up for his players for the poor effort just a few nights prior. Tristan da Silva shot a sizzling 5-for-7 from the field and 2-for-3 from deep, adding 14.

“I just felt like we had to send a message to the guys that start the game, that they have a responsibility to bring energy and be ready to roll,” Boyle said postgame. “It was also a message to those guys on the bench that, hey, you better be ready.”

“A lot of us were disappointed after Grambling,” Simpson said. “Coach was really disappointed. My job as a leader of this team is to set the tone. It’s all about a tough mindset.”

Colorado held the Vols to just 27% shooting in the game.

“We really got after them defensively,” Boyle said. “The grit and toughness our guys showed was great. We beat a very good basketball team.”

Per BuffStampede.com, the Buffs were favored by 14.5 points on Friday night when they lost to Grambling State by nine. On Sunday, the CU was 16-point underdogs, and they beat No. 11 Tennessee in a de facto road game by 12.

The victory was Colorado’s first over a ranked team away from Boulder since beating No. 13 Dayton early in Chicago in 2019. The Buffaloes hadn’t beaten anyone ranked this high away from home since a 1990 Big Eight tournament game against No. 6 Missouri—also at a neutral site.

The Buffs next play at the Myrtle Beach Invitational in Conway, S.C., beginning Thursday.

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