BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Colorado’s Tristan da Silva recorded a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double and the Buffaloes used a dominant second half Sunday to roll to a 90-63 win over No. 15 Miami in the NABC Brooklyn Showcase at the Barclays Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs improved to 7-2 with the win while the Hurricanes fell to 7-2.

The Buffs led by just one at halftime but used a 37-13 run over an 11-minute span in the second half to take firm control and the Hurricanes never had an answer.

The Buffs were playing without the services of star freshman Cody Williams (injury) but da Silva more than made up for Williams’ absence. The CU senior had 18 of his 22 points in the second half and just missed a triple-double, finishing with a career-high nine assists to go with his 10 rebounds.

Colorado finished with six players in double figures. KJ Simpson finished with 20, Luke O’Brien added 13 and J’Vonne Hadley, Eddie Lampkin Jr. and Julian Hammond III all tallied 11.

Matthew Cleveland led Miami with 17 points.

The Buffs led for most of the game but put the game away with a huge second half, outscoring the Hurricanes 53-27 in the final 20 minutes. CU finished with 28 assists — 16 in the second half — on 37 baskets while shooting 37-for-63, including a red-hot 21-for-30 in the second half. Colorado forced 20 Miami turnovers — 14 in the second half — which the Buffs converted into 25 points.

CU also had a 33-21 edge on the boards, including 12 offensive rebounds that led to 13 second chance points.

Miami shot a respectable 22-for-49 but the Buffs held the Hurricanes to 9-for-22 shooting in the second half, including 2-for-9 from 3-point range.

“A helluva win against a really good basketball team,” Boyle said. “We have a lot of respect for Coach (Jim) Larrañaga and other players. They went to the Final Four last year and we knew it was gonna be a dogfight … Our guys answered the bell in the second half. To shoot 70% and share the ball and move the ball the way we did … our guys gutted it out. I’m just really proud of these guys.”

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado led from the outset and had as much as an eight-point lead in the first half before the Hurricanes closed with a 10-3 run to send Colorado into the break with just a one-point edge, 37-36.

The Hurricanes then took their first lead of the game early in the second half on a Nigel Pack 3-pointer and they quickly pushed their edge to three, 46-43.

But the Buffs responded, outscoring the Hurricanes 37-13 over the next 11 minutes to turn the game into a rout.

Simpson started the surge with four points in a quick 13-3 Colorado run before da Silva added a three-point play and Hammond tallied back-to-back buckets to give Colorado a 56-48 lead with 12 minutes remaining.

Defensively, the Buffs forced a pair of turnovers and four straight empty Miami possessions to fuel the run.

“Going into the second half we knew that we kind of gave up a little run towards the end of the first half,” Simpson said. “We needed to come out and start with our defense. Once we got our defense going, it was like we couldn’t miss on offense.”

Indeed, the Hurricanes had no answer for Colorado’s offensive barrage as the Buffs steadily built their lead.

Da Silva, who hadn’t hit a 3-pointer away from Boulder this year,  buried one at the 10:42 mark and O’Brien drained another less than a minute later to push CU’s lead into double digits, 62-50, at the midway mark of the half.  A da Silva three-point play gave CU a 73-57 lead with just more than six minutes to play and Colorado finally pushed its cushion into the 20s, 80-59, on another O’Brien 3-pointer with just more than four minutes remaining.

Da Silva scored just four points in the first half, but had seven rebounds and five assists before the break. He finally broke the 3-point ice after halftime and poured in 18 points in the second half.

“I told myself before the game I can’t I can’t rely on my shot too much,” he said. “It’s a mentality thing really. And even when I wasn’t making shots, I just kept rebounding and sharing the ball. I felt like that’s another way I can get my team energy.”

Colorado didn’t let up down the stretch, building its lead to as much as 29 in the final minutes before settling for the final 27-point margin.

“To me, Luke O’Brien and Tristan da Silva are what college basketball should be about, college sports for that matter,” Boyle said. “To have these guys spend four years together, they’re great friends, they’ll be great friends for the rest of their  lives. That’s what it’s about. They have ownership … Ownership in the program is to me what it’s all about, creating that culture, and our freshmen learning from guys like this.”

Colorado led from the outset and never trailed in the first half.

Back-to-back buckets from Lampkin gave the Buffs an early 12-6 lead and CU pushed its margin to eight less than six minutes in when a Simpson 3-pointer gave CU a 15-7 lead.

Miami managed to cut the margin to one with a 7-0 run but the Buffs responded to push their margin back to eight with under three minutes to go in the half. Hammond hit a 3-pointer to give the Buffs a 32-24 lead and a da Silva basket inside with 2:44 to play in the half helped Colorado to a 34-26 edge.

But the Buffs hit a cold spell over the final few minutes of the half as Miami closed with a 10-3 run, fueled by two  straight CU turnovers that led to Miami buckets.

TURNING POINT: Just after Miami took a three-point lead early in the second half the Buffs answered with back-to-back buckets to regain the lead. CU then built its margin to double-digits over the next four minutes and the Hurricanes never cut the deficit to single digits again.

WHAT IT MEANS: The win against a top 20 team on a neutral court should be a big boost to Colorado’s NCAA NET ranking and it will no doubt give the Buffs confidence for road games in the future.

KEY STATISTICS: Colorado finished with six players in double figures … CU had 28 assists — 16 in the second half — on 37 baskets … The Buffs shot 37-for-63, including a red-hot 21-for-30 in the second half …  Colorado forced 20 Miami turnovers — 14 in the second half — which the Buffs converted into 25 points … CU had a 33-21 edge on the boards, including 12 offensive rebounds that led to 13 second chance points.

 NEXT UP: The Buffs return home next Friday for a 6 p.m. game with Northern Colorado at the CU Events Center.


Story by Neill Woelk, Contributing Editor for Content courtesy of the University of Colorado at Boulder.