CU Buffs drop heartbreaker to UCF in first round of NIT

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Colorado basketball tested the waters of the NIT tournament on Wednesday night in Orlando and ended its season the way conference play started–with poor shooting and little momentum on its side–as the Buffaloes fell to Central Florida in the first round, 79-74.

With the loss, the Buffs ended their season with a 19-15 record, but that wasn’t without one Buff making a little history.

Senior guard Derrick White, who spent only one season with CU after transferring from Division II University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, became the ninth player in Buffalo history to notch 600 points in one season. He finished the game with 30 points, six rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Hehe also has more blocks than any guard in CU history. with 49.

Behind White, only two Buffs did much of anything offensively with 12 points from Josh Fortune and 10 from Xavier Johnson. For the night, the Buffs shot 42 percent to UCF’s 54.3 percent. With that kind of shooting, the Buffs hardly stood a chance.

But that’s not to say the Buffs didn’t make things interesting in the end. After going down by double digits late, they stampeded back in the final minutes top pull within just two points, 76-74, with 14 seconds left. They couldn’t muster up enough offense after that as they fouled themselves out of the contest.

UCF came out firing on all cylinders in the first half, shooting 60 percent without any indication of slowing down. The Buffs, while shooting 45 percent, just couldn’t keep up. After going down by as much as 12 midway through the half, the Buffs closed the gap to four points by the midpoint, 38-34.

The Buffs (read: White) came out firing hard to open the second half to tie the game up at 40, but they couldn’t keep pace with UCF’s continual momentum. After going down by 12 time and time again in the second, they didn’t have enough firepower in them to recover. By the end of it all, the Buffs ended their 2016-2017 season with a 79-74 loss.

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