Wright’s late free throws help Colorado edge Omaha 79-75
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Tyler Bey and Lucas Siewert each scored 16 points and McKinley Wright IV hit two free throws with seven seconds left to help Colorado hold on for a 79-75 victory over Omaha on Friday night.
The Mavericks, from the Summit League, hung tough with its Pac-12 foe, and grabbed a 64-63 lead on J.T. Gibson’s 3-pointer with 4:25 left. D’Shawn Schwartz answered with a 3-point play and Wright sank two free throws to reclaim the lead for the Buffs. Gibson nailed another from distance to pull the Mavericks within 68-67 and, after Schwartz scored on a layup, Robinson buried a 3 to knot the score at 70 with 3:07 remaining. After an Omaha timeout, Siewart and Wright had back-to-back layups and Colorado hung on from there.
“There is still a lot of room for improvement,” said Colorado coach Tad Boyle, “but you know this was good for us. Good to be in this kind of game where we were tested down the stretch. They made some tough shots, but we found a way to win.”
Schwartz had 15 points, Wright added 13 points and five assists, and Namon Wright scored 11 for Colorado (2-0), which made 19 of 23 free throws, while the Mavericks (1-3) made 8 of 12 from the foul line.
Gibson hit 4 of 7 from 3-point range and scored 18 to lead Omaha. He also led the Mavericks with six rebounds. Zach Jackson added 17 points and K.J. Robinson scored 13.
BEY STEPS UP
Bey made some big plays down the stretch for the Buffs. He turned a steal into a 3-point play and a 77-72 lead with 30 seconds left to play and blocked a shot nine seconds later.
“Tyler Bey’s defensive play at the end was key,” noted Boyle.
Omaha: The Mavericks, who lead the Summit League averaging 31.3 field goals per game, knocked down 29 of 61 (47.5 percent) in the rarefied air of Boulder, Colo. The Mavericks, who also average a Summit-best nine steals a game, had seven against the Buffaloes.
Colorado: The Buffaloes hurt themselves with 16 turnovers that Omaha converted into 19 points. Colorado dominated the boards 36-27 and took advantage of getting to the free-throw line by shooting 83 percent.
Omaha: The Mavericks head to Daytona Beach, Fla., to take on Bethune-Cookman on Tuesday.
Colorado: The Buffaloes travel to San Diego to take on the Toreros on Tuesday.