EditorsNote: Adds Tuesday’s pairings for final day of tournament (graf 3)
Tyler Bey scored 11 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and dished six assists, and No. 23-ranked Colorado overcame an offensively anemic first half to beat Wyoming 56-41 Sunday at the MGM Main Event in Las Vegas.
The Buffaloes (4-0) shot a dismal 6-of-26 from the floor in the first half, but held Wyoming to 6-of-23 shooting en route to a 15-15 tie in the tournament semifinal at T-Mobile Arena.
The Buffaloes will play Clemson in the tournament final on Tuesday. The Tigers beat TCU in overtime in Sunday’s second semifinal. The Horned Frogs will take on Wyoming in Tuesday’s consolation game.
Colorado’s 50 percent shooting from the floor in the second half, and a trapping defense that forced 11 Cowboys turnovers in the final 20 minutes, made the difference. The Buffaloes closed the game on a 17-6 run that spanned more than nine minutes.
Wyoming (3-4) made just two field goals — both 3-pointers — in the final 10 minutes.
Bey and D’Shawn Schwartz scored only two points apiece in the first half, but finished in double-figures. Schwartz finished with a team-high 12 points. Evan Battey added nine points and 13 rebounds. McKinley Wright IV and Shane Gatling both scored seven points.
Bey’s all-around effort included critical contributions on defense. He made two steals and blocked a shot, while Schwartz added two blocked shots.
Colorado’s ability to generate turnovers proved critical, with 17 of the Buffaloes’ points coming off Wyoming’s lost possessions.
Wyoming’s Hunter Maldonaldo led all scorers with 14 points, but the next-highest scoring Cowboy, Greg Milton III, finished with only seven. Trevon Taylor and Jake Hendricks both added six points. Hendricks grabbed five rebounds, but shot just 2-of-10 from the floor.
Colorado’s lead grew to as many as 17 points during the late run, but the Buffaloes could have built a larger advantage had they shot more effectively at the free-throw line.
Their scoring woes extended to a 9-of-20 finish at the foul stripe, for a 45 percent average. That was 20 percent worse than their season average coming into Sunday’s contest.
—Field Level Media