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Feb 24, 2024 11:32 pm

KJ Simpson’s 28 points help Colorado defeat Utah

Utah, Colorado

KJ Simpson scored 28 points with five 3-pointers to lift the Colorado Buffaloes to an 89-65 home victory over the Utah Utes in Pac-12 action Saturday night in Boulder.

Colorado (18-9, 9-7 Pac-12) jumped ahead early and built a 31-point lead en route to its second consecutive victory. The victory kept the Buffs in contention for a top-four spot and a bye for the conference tournament.

J’Vonne Hadley added 20 points and nine rebounds for the Buffs. Eddie Lampkin Jr. totaled 13 points and seven boards, and Tristan da Silva chipped in with 12 points.

The Buffs shots 54.2 percent from the field and 10-for-21 from 3-point range. Simpson made 10 of 15 shots overall and 5 of 8 from 3-point range, while Hadley hit 7 of 10 attempts from the field.

Gabe Madsen led Utah with 18 points, but the Utes only made 4 of 23 3-pointers and never gave the Buffs a serious challenge while losing for the fourth time in five outings.

Deivon Smith was the only other Utah player in double figures. He scored 15 points with six rebounds and five assists. Utes leading scorer Branden Carlson was held to six points on 3-of-8 shooting.

Madsen opened the game with a three-point play, but the Utes’ lead didn’t last long.

Lampkin quickly ignited a Buffs surge with a layup. The 12-0 run also included a da Silva dunk and five points by Simpson.

Midway through the first half, Simpson sparked another Colorado run with a 3-pointer. His layup with seven minutes remaining capped the 12-2 spurt and gave the Buffs a 33-16 lead.

Utah made a late push before halftime to make it a nine-point game after a layup by Hunter Erickson with three seconds left in the first half.

Colorado blew the game open midway through the second half with an 18-4 run, putting the Buffs ahead 75-51.

–Field Level Media

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