No. 25 Colorado hosts road-ready Irvine

NCAA Basketball

Colorado ended last week ranked 25th in the nation, and after a 71-53 win over San Diego Saturday night, the Buffaloes get a quick turnaround for their next game.

Seeking to stay undefeated, the Buffaloes (2-0) host the UC Irvine Anteaters on Monday night.

Colorado opened the season on Nov. 8 with an 81-71 win over Arizona State in China but didn’t play again until Saturday. And the layoff didn’t affect junior forward Tyler Bey, who recorded his second straight double-double and 11th in his past 16 games (21st career) with 14 points and 10 rebounds against San Diego.

Forward D’Shawn Schwartz had 13 of his 15 points in the second half and McKinley Wright IV added 11 points, six boards and five assists.

“It was a workmanlike effort, if you will,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle told the school’s athletic department website. “Maybe in some respects an ugly win but when you win by 18 at home and you have a little sense of disappointment, or we didn’t play as well as we’re capable of playing, I think that’s a sign of progress to some degree.”

Colorado led by only three points at halftime against the Toreros of the West Coast Conference, but shot the ball better in the second half and was tougher on defense.

“We’ve got a lot of athletes on this team, we have a lot of depth and quality depth,” Boyle said. “I think we have to wear teams down, especially in this building at home.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re starting or coming off the bench,” Boyle added. “What I want our players to understand is this team has a lot of weapons. It’s going to be different guys every night. Know who you are and what you do.”

The Anteaters of the Big West Conference could present a challenge in Boulder, Colo. Irvine was picked to finish in first place in the conference in the league’s preseason media poll, and the Anteaters are coming off a quality road win over Boise State on Friday night.

The Anteaters (3-1) are 15-3 on the road since the start of the 2018-19 season.

Guard Eyassu Worku leads the team in scoring at 15.0 points per game and three other players average in double figures. Senior guard Evan Leonard, named to the preseason all-conference team, is averaging 13.0 points in the two games he has played.

UC Irvine’s only loss was to Pepperdine, and the Anteaters also have a win over San Diego this season, 76-73 on the road. The Anteaters have played just one home game and won’t return home to Orange County for a game until they host Eastern Michigan on Nov. 30.

–Field Level Media

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