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Mar 21, 2024 12:12 am

Last surge sends Colorado past Boise State in First Four

Colorado, Boise State

DAYTON, Ohio — Tristan da Silva sparked a second-half rally with a key 3-pointer and finished with a game-high 20 points to lead Colorado to a 60-53 win over Boise State on Wednesday in an NCAA Tournament First Four game.

It was the ninth win in 10 games for Colorado, which had won eight straight before dropping the Pac-12 tournament final to Oregon. The Buffaloes (25-10) advance as a No. 10 seed to oppose seventh-seeded Florida on Friday in a South Region game at Indianapolis.

KJ Simpson added 19 and 11 rebounds for the Buffaloes, who improve to 12-17 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.

In a game that featured several momentum swings and two lead changes in the second half, Boise State took a 49-45 edge with 4:31 left on a Chibuzo Agbo basket.

The Buffaloes scored the next 11 points, starting with a da Silva 3-pointer that was followed by four straight points from Simpson.

Agbo had 17 points and Roddie Anderson III chipped with 14 for Boise State (22-11), which is winless in 10 all-time NCAA Tournament appearances.

Colorado’s Eddie Lampkin caught a short shot from J’Vonne Hadley and put the ball in with 32.8 seconds left as the shot clock expired, putting the Buffaloes up 54-49.

The game marked the conclusion of the annual First Four opener to the NCAA Tournament at the University of Dayton Arena. A crowd of 12,039 witnessed Grambling State beat Montana State 88-81 in overtime during the first game to advance to play top-seeded Purdue in the Midwest Region.

The second game featured a coaching showdown between two longtime friends. Boise State’s Leon Rice and Colorado’s Tad Boyle have known each other for 35 years and have monitored each other’s programs closely.

The familiarity produced a defensive battle between two teams that entered the game averaging at least 75 points per game.

Thanks to tight defense and foul trouble, Colorado managed to hold Boise State’s leading scorer, Tyson Degenhart, scoreless in the first half and limited him to six points for the game. Degenhart came in averaging 17 points per contest.

Boise State shot 34.5 percent from 3-point range this season but shot just 2-for-18 (11.1 percent) from beyond the arc in the loss.

Colorado won the game at the free-throw line, converting 14 of 15 chances while Boise State had just five free throws, making four.

–Mike Petraglia, Field Level Media

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