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Boulder Police believe John and Patsy Ramsey killed their daughter Christmas night 1996. In a fit of rage, Patsy Ramsey who had just returned from a party, grabbed her daughter and smashed her head against the bath tub. The child had wet her bed. But she was killed instantly. Throughout the night Patsy and her husband John created an elaborate scenario right out of the movies of how a group of Arabs had come into their home , left a ransom note, strangled and raped their daughter and left her body in the basement.
As soon as the first cop and detective arrived on the scene, they saw through the story. By nightfall the Ramseys were on their private jet to Atlanta. Surrounded by a team of lawyers and PR people they went into hiding and on CNN to proclaim their innocence. They created a media frenzy the like of which Boulder nor America had ever seen. There was no way these rich freak were going to be charged with their daughters murder. First of all it would upset their social setting. Secondly it would ruin their image as a family of beauty queen socialites. Murder does not have a place there.
Burke Ramsey who was 9 years old at the time was whisked away. He has never been heard from since. Police believe he witnessed the murder and was told by Patsy and John that if he planned on living he better shut up for the rest of his life. Then district attorney Alex Hunter believe that to this day. The hope is now that Burke Ramsey has come of age (27) he will come forward and tell what he knows.
That’s not likely. But current Boulder DA Stan Garnet could arrest John Ramsey for the murder of is daughter and he could arrest Burke Ramsey too. That is not completely out of the question, but there is this legal issue ” beyond reasonable doubt”
Garnet gave the case back to Boulder Police department who reopened it. It is not a cold case.
One celebrated Boulder criminal defense attorney Skip Wollrab told us now that Burke Ramsey is of age”he could be subpoenaed to appear before a Grand jury to tell about what he knew , saw and heard the night of the murder. Just the facts. Some of it might be privileged” but this would give Burke a chance to tell his story. Attorney Wollrab told Boulder Channel 1 the “DA has got to be able to prove his case to a jury of 12 unanimously beyond a reasonable doubt. Knowing they did it is one thing , proving they did it is something else” he said.
There was also some level of semen found in Jonbenets body and police have not revealed whether they think it is Burkes. At one point Burke Ramsey was himself a suspect and police theorized that he might have killed his sister out of Jealousy.
The question is will the DA move this case forward this Christmas.
Mayor Schoedinger asks for patience and cooperation to assist with recovery
Due to continued recovery and repair operations associated with the September 2013 flood event, Boulder County is re-establishing restrictions on non-local traffic, including bicycles, in James Canyon from the junction with Left Hand Canyon, through Jamestown, to the junction with State Highway 72 (Peak to Peak). The restrictions will go into effect immediately. Lefthand Canyon will remain open to all roadway users.
While the county’s high-hazard area remediation work has moved out of the area and into Fourmile Mile Canyon, private recovery efforts remain extensive. There continues to be a high-volume of large trucks and heavy machinery moving in and around Jamestown, which is creating a hazardous environment for motorists and cyclists alike.
After the flood event, many sections of Lefthand Canyon and James Canyon Drive were completely destroyed and Boulder County worked quickly to replace the previous asphalt roadway by installing temporary dirt “winter roads.” In areas where “winter roads” were created, the unpaved roadway narrows significantly and safe, uphill shoulders for cyclists are no longer available. This forces cyclists into the main flow of traffic for extended lengths, creating hazardous riding and driving conditions for travelers in both directions.
County Transportation Director George Gerstle asks for everyone’s patience and understanding by avoiding travel in James Canyon, as well in the Fourmile Canyon and the Raymond/Riverside area unless you are a resident or have business in the area. “If you don’t live in these areas and aren’t helping rebuild these hard-hit communities, you’re probably obstructing recovery operations. We want to remind folks who want to travel the mountain canyons that Lefthand and Sunshine canyons are better options and are open all the way to the Peak to Peak Highway. These canyons are also are narrow and have been reconstructed out of dirt in many areas, so we are asking everyone to be patient and drive slowly, and remember we’re working to make the roads more safe for everyone.”
As was available before to area residents who routinely commute by bicycle, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office is offering special permits that will allow those people to continue cycling. Please call 303-441-3650 to obtain a permit. Failure to comply with the cycling restriction may result in a court summons.
For more information, contact Andrew Barth, Transportation Department communications specialist, at 303-441-1032.
Source: Boulder County
The Rockies, after winning two out of three in Los Angeles this weekend, are 14-12, tied for second with the Dodgers and only 1 1/2 games behind the Giants, who are atop the National League West.
Meanwhile, the D-backs lost two out of three to the Phillies at home where their record is 2-13. They’re overall 8-20 mark puts them dead last in the NL West and their .286 winning percentage is the worst in the Major Leagues.
Still, there are positives. The starting rotation, which is also the worst in the big leagues, has come back in the last four games to contribute four quality starts. Only Wade Miley, pitching against Morales on Monday night, went less than six innings in his last start last Wednesday against the Cubs in the 100th birthday game at Wrigley Field.
With left-hander Randy Wolf waiting in the wings and rounding into shape at Triple-A Reno, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said that he and upper management are reviewing the D-backs pitching every day. The rotation is set through the three-game Rockies series, but beyond that is anybody’s guess.
Wolf, who has recovered from his second Tommy John ligament replacement surgery, had a good spring pitching for the Mariners, but declined a Major League contract over a dispute with Seattle management. He subsequently was signed by the D-backs to a Minor League deal and is 2-1 with a 3.71 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 17 innings over the course of three starts.
The Rockies don’t have much of a playoff history, but the formula for when they do make it is to dominate at home and hold serve on the road. By taking two of three from the Dodgers, the Rockies improved to .500 in National League West road games.
The University of Colorado men’s golf team managed to finish its first two rounds here Friday and landed in 10th place at the midway point of the 55th annual Pac-12 Championships, though second round play was suspended for nine schools due to impending darkness and slow play that saw each round take nearly six hours to complete.
No. 3 Stanford had two golfers needing to complete three holes between them, but the Cardinal stood at 2-under par as a team with only those remaining to finish up 36 holes as a team; No. 4 California was one of just three teams to complete both rounds and is four back, as the Bears finished with a 2-over 722 team score. Those two have broken from the pack at this point, as No. 10 Washington is a distant third, 15-over par, but the Huskies have 24 holes left to top off the second round.
The No. 52 Buffaloes also were fortunate enough to finish both rounds, though are in 10th place, some 16 shots out of ninth place at this point, with a 41-over par 761; Oregon holds ninth but does have 24 holes remaining, so the gap could close: the Ducks are finishing up on the same final holes the Buffs did, and CU struggled down the stretch in the second round, playing those six holes a combined 19-over par, 15-over by the five players who wound up contributing to the team score.
Stanford led Arizona after the first round, as the Cardinal put an opening 2-over 362 team score into the books to lead the host Wildcats by four shots. Colorado was tied for eighth with Arizona State at 19-over 379.
Colorado played the first round at a disadvantage after sophomore Philip Juel-Berg withdrew after nine holes in first round with some flu-like symptoms; he was obviously not his normal self, opening with a double bogey and was around 7-over when he pulled out. But he toughed it out and returned to play in the afternoon, and turned in a 4-over 76; he was actually 1-under through 15 but finished with a bogey and two doubles.
Source: CU Buffs
These nights of shelter included the operation of 72 nights of secondary overflow shelter for 2,593 guests at seven congregations, an average of 36 per night, and 33 nights of women’s shelter operations sheltering 224 women at three congregations, an average of 7 per night. Of the 1,354 individuals who sheltered with BOHO, 9% make up the core who sleep most of the winter at BOHO. That 9% consumes nearly 50% of the BOHO resource. Visitors who only spend a few nights with BOHO make up a majority of the individuals served by BOHO, but they consume only 14% of BOHO’s resources. They are most likely passing through Boulder, or are quickly able to find another type of shelter.
Women’s Shelter Pilot
These women come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and possible varieties, but they have one thing in common: they are shells. They are hardened on the outside, and to get to the inside, to the real person using the shell as a home, much as a snail or hermit crab would their shell, takes years of trust building. It does not happen in one night when a writer comes in to ask them to share their story. The shell is a survival tool, and they all need it. To have survived this far, they’ve already endured more than the average person can possibly imagine. Their backgrounds are varied, but they share one thing in common: trauma. That unites them into a sisterhood who will together celebrate the gift of a scarf, from a man using the shelter, to one of their own. “I told you I’d get you one!” “Thanks, it’s wonderful!” They are passing the time until they can go to the Women’s Shelter. The Women’s Shelter is a portion of this bigger overflow shelter, the safe place BOHO has created for them, away from the men (as a gender) who make them uncomfortable, or frightened, and unable to sleep without fear. They do, however, have a period of time when the populations are combined. During this time, a faithful volunteer waits with them, reassuring and comforting, shooting the breeze, checking in, keeping them talking and joking and together. They eat the wonderful meal provided and prepared by still more volunteers. The pasta, sauce, salad, and garlic bread keep them occupied and they seem relaxed, but there’s an undercurrent of, “I can’t wait until it’s time to go upstairs.” “Upstairs” is a section in this synagogue where they have a classroom to sleep in, not the big gym with blankets spread on the floor, 18” apart. They have a restroom to themselves, one where they will not encounter a man coming out of an adjacent restroom. The door to their area will be locked. No one can get in. They are safe, if only for this night. The Women’s Shelter is a pilot program, one whose fate is unknown at this time. Averaging seven women per night, this night the guests totaled 11. Lined up by the stairs, they check in, and then drag their plastic trash bags, or assorted re-usable grocery bags, or in the case of one woman, a very new looking, wheeled suitcase one might find in the overhead bin of an airplane, up the stairs to their own place of safety. Though none of the women wanted to talk to me, some did talk “off the record”. I can tell you that the guests here are as varied as a woman who lost literally everything in the September flood, to one who is “financially just fine, but I’m staying here because it saves me money and I’m starting my own non-profit.”
Will you consider making a donation to keep this program going? Even if we can make life safer and easier for one woman who has endured trauma, it’s worth it. Tina Downey is a local author and blogger. Follow her on Blog: Life is Good
The Living is Not Easy….
Living without a home is not easy. The recent deaths in Boulder remind us of the challenges that take a daily toll on the mental and physical health of those who are not housed. Those of us with a kitchen, however simple, don’t realize that dependance on handouts, soup kitchens, and sometimes the garbage pail leads to severe malnutrition. We forget that lack of accessibility to dental hygiene and routine care leads to gum disease and the systemic infection that spreads throughout the body, causing weakened immune response and disease elsewhere in the body. We can’t imagine the chronic stress associated with the daily uncertainty of food, shelter and safety, and the havoc it wreaks on the human psyche, self esteem and immune system. We go home to a warm place, and don’t think how hard it is to shiver, damp and cold, all night. How the joints stiffen up and infection is impossible to shake. And we don’t understand that alcohol and drugs are not only a passport into homelessness, but they are also a defense against the loneliness and stigma of the situation.
By: B.G. Brooks, Contributing Editor
BOULDER – April approaches and the Colorado women’s basketball team plays on. Arielle Roberson’s second-half scoring and her team’s overall shot blocking swept CU past Southern Utah 79-68 on Saturday night and into the third round of the WNIT.
Roberson opened the second half with a 3-pointer, launching the Buffaloes on a 17-5 run that produced their largest lead of the game – 45-26. Held scoreless in the first half, Roberson finished with a team-high 15 points, collected 11 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season, and added a career-best five of CU’s 14 blocked shots – the second-most in team history.
“That was a tough team we played,” CU coach Linda Lappe said. “Southern Utah does so many good things . . . we had a tough time scoring in first half. Their defense was stingy, but I really liked the way we opened the second half; we had a different level of energy. At the end we were able to do just enough to hold on to our lead and win.”
The Buffs (19-14) defeated the Thunderbirds (23-10) for the second time this season, claiming a 75-59 win in their final non-conference game on Dec. 29, also at the Coors Events Center.
CU’s next WNIT opponent and game site are to be determined. The Buffs advanced with a 78-71 first-round win over TCU, while the Thunderbirds moved into the second round with a 71-56 win over Colorado State.
CU closed Saturday night’s first half with a 12-5 run that produced a 28-21 lead at intermission. Then, the Buffs opened the final 20 minutes with a 17-5 surge to begin pulling away. They led by as many as 19 points but the T-Birds, who never led, closed to within nine points twice in the final 3 minutes. CU hit seven of 10 free throws in the final 1:23 to put the game out of reach.
Roberson said she opened the game “timid . . . I was just going through the motions. It was just a mindset.” She took only two first-half shots, which she said drew a halftime admonishment from associate head coach Jonas Chatterton.
“Coach Jonas was saying ‘shoot the ball,’” Roberson recalled, and in the second half she did. Roberson hit six of her eight field goal attempts. “I just hit the switch,” she said. “In the second half I decided to be myself again and just go out there, be aggressive and play.”
Lappe said Roberson wasn’t “really going, getting touches” in the first half. “She needs our offense to work, to move around her” while she “moves within the offense . . . she was on the receiving end of that (and) stepped up within the flow of the offense.”
Lappe also reiterated Roberson’s thought about her second-half play: “I thought she came out with a different mindset.”
But Roberson had plenty of help. Rachel Hargis tied a career high with 12 points and contributed four steals, while Lexy Kresl added 12 points, six rebounds and four assists. Brittany Wilson was CU’s fourth double-figure scorer with 11 points, while her twin sister Ashley added eight points.
The Buffs went up 6-0 on consecutive 3-pointers by Brittany Wilson and held the lead until the T-birds went to Carli Moreland, a senior from Broomfield. She scored six straight points to pull Southern Utah into a 16-16 tie with 5:42 left before the break.
But that deadlock served as a launch point for the Buffs. They closed the half with a 12-5 run and led 28-21 at intermission, with a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer by Kresl on an in-bounds play at the shot clock buzzer highlighting the surge.
Moreland, meanwhile, got the T-Birds’ final five points of the half, giving her 11 straight. She finished with a game-high 17, with Desiree Harris coming off the bench to add 16.
Roberson had three first-half blocks and got her fourth – setting a career high – in the first minute of the second half. Lappe attributed her team’s 14 blocks to “great help-side” defense, with Roberson adding that communication was a big factor. “I think we did that very well in practice . . . I think it just carried over.”
After Roberson’s trey to open the second-half scoring, Hargis scored on a left-handed spin move and the Buffs were up 33-21, prompting a Southern Utah timeout with 18:22 to play. When the Buffs got one of two free throws from Ashley Wilson and a jumper from Roberson, their lead jumped to 15 (36-21) and the T-Birds were on the ropes.
Lappe called Hargis’ shot “huge. It helped our whole mindset in the second half. Rachel took really good shots and that’s the key . . . she wasn’t in a rush and was just taking her time.”
In scoring 51 second-half points, the Buffs shot 60.7 percent (17-of-28) from the field and finished at 47.9 percent (23-of-48) for the game. The T-Birds scored 27 points off of the Buffs’ 24 turnovers, but CU limited the visitors to 34.5 percent shooting (19-of-55) and held a 21-8 advantage in second-chance points.
That the Buffs are still playing is a large bonus for seniors such as Hargis and the Wilson sisters. “It’s always great to be able to continue to play when other teams are going home and other careers are done,” Hargis said. “We want to play as long as we can; it’s an awesome feeling.”
by B.G. Brooks, CUBuffs.com
LAS VEGAS – In March, basketball teams can live on their game’s intangibles and die without them. On an afternoon when their leading scorer’s frustration nearly overshadowed his productivity and little else went smoothly, the Colorado Buffaloes turned to those intangibles to survive – and they did.
No. 5 seed CU used an 8-0 run late in the second half to pull away from No. 12 seed Southern California, then held on loosely to eliminate the Trojans 59-56 in Wednesday’s first round of the Pac-12 Conference Tournament.
A relieved CU coach Tad Boyle called it an exercise in winning ugly – but in March ugly still counts. The Buffs (22-10) advance to play No. 4 seed California (19-12) in Thursday’s quarterfinal round (3:30 p.m. MDT) in the MGM Garden Arena. In their only meeting this season, Cal defeated CU by one point in overtime last weekend in Berkeley.
CU’s 22nd win of the season ties for the fourth-most wins in school history, with Boyle owning three of the top four winningest seasons.
Reaching the quarterfinals was more difficult than many imagined for CU. USC, losers of 11 of its final 12 regular-season games, took a five-point lead with 9:46 remaining Wednesday and appeared ready to close out the erratic Buffs, who had swept the Trojans (11-21) in their two previous meetings.
But CU dialed up one of the intangibles – mental toughness – that finally surfaced late in the regular season and nearly carried the Buffs to a sweep of their Bay Area road trip. It arrived when needed in Vegas, and it came in the form of chasing down long rebounds, loose balls and protecting the ball over the game’s final 10 minutes. The Buffs committed nine of their 13 turnovers in the first half, the other four in the opening minutes of the second half.
“When you don’t play your best and you’re off your game with multiple guys on multiple levels and you figure out a way to win, that’s a testament to your mental toughness,” Boyle said. “When it’s a game that shots aren’t going in and you’re struggling offensively and the whistle is not going your way on either side, that’s where mental toughness really has to take over. That’s where I think our team over the last two weeks has made tremendous strides.”
Down 47-42 with just under 10 minutes to play, maybe CU’s – and junior guard Askia Booker’s – alarm buttons were hit. Booker converted a three-point play, followed with a 15-foot jumper, then fed Xavier Johnson for a stuff that tied the score at 49-49 with 8:01 left.
“Around the first media timeout in the second half, I told myself that it’s either now or never,” Booker said. “I talked to coach (Jean) Prioleau and he said, ‘It’s time.’ That’s when I told myself, let’s get going.
Booker led the Buffs with 21 points – his fifth 20-point game of the season and seventh of his career. He also contributed seven rebounds and four assists against only one turnover. Boyle said Booker “made some big-time plays, but he played with great composure. We’re going to need him to do that because he’s important to our team, as all our guys are.”
One of Booker’s most significant plays belonged in the intangible column. Going out of bounds to retrieve a long rebound off a teammate’s missed shot, Booker leaped and slammed the ball off a Trojans player’s leg with 10.2 seconds left to give the Buffs another possession.
“They got a loose ball that was going out of bounds and threw it off our legs. They got the ball back,” first-year USC coach Andy Enfield said.
When Booker has reached 20-plus points this season, the Buffs are 4-1. He’s been at his best against USC, averaging 20.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists in three wins against the Trojans this season. The Buffs won 83-62 in Boulder, 83-74 in Los Angeles and now lead the series 7-3, including 5-0 since joining the Pac-12 in 2011.
Sophomore post Josh Scott, frustrated and held to one first-half point largely by USC’s large (7-0, 270) Egyptian center, Omar Oraby, keyed CU’s decisive 8-0 run with three consecutive baskets inside to break a 50-50 tie and give the Buffs a 56-50 advantage with 4:10 to play.
When Booker added a layup in transition, the Buffs had their largest lead of the afternoon – 58-50 – and the Trojans were in desperation mode. As it had all game, USC turned to Byron Wesley (23 points) for five of its last seven points and a potential game-tying 3-pointer that clanged off the left side of the rim at the buzzer.
Scott, who attempted only three first-half shots and made one of two free throws, scored 12 second-half points and collected a game-high nine rebounds – a respectable ending to a frustrating afternoon for CU’s leading scorer (14.5 ppg).
“It was frustrating,” Scott said. “I think that was pretty obvious I was pretty frustrated. But I thank my teammates a lot for having confidence in me to keep getting me the ball there at the end. It tells me that they still have confidence even when I might not have the most confidence in myself at the time.”
Boyle called the 6-10 Scott “the ultimate battler . . . that’s what he does. He battles every day on every possession offense and defense. People have no idea how big and how strong Oraby is . . . I didn’t want to play Josh as many minutes (33) as I did. I hoped I wouldn’t have to, but you’ve got to survive and advance.”
Scott finished 4-of-14 from the field, but frontcourt mates Wesley Gordon and Johnson had his back – each hitting four of their six field goal attempts. Johnson scored eight of his 11 points in the first half, when he hit back-to-back 3-pointers on his only two attempts to give CU its largest first-half lead – 10-4. But the Buffs led by only two – 29-27 – at intermission. The 6-9 Gordon finished the afternoon with eight points, six rebounds, one blocked shot, one assist and one steal.
Gordon called the Trojans “a different team than the Southern California team that we’ve played before. They came out with a lot of energy and they were very physical with us. They played really, really well.”
The Buffs outrebounded the Trojans 38-27, out-pointed them in the paint 34-30 and had 10 fast break points to USC’s two. The Trojans’ bench outscored the Buffs’ 9-2, with Dustin Thomas scoring CU’s only points off the bench. One of the reserves Boyle used was freshman Tre’Shaun Fletcher, who suffered a knee injury on Jan. 12 at Washington and had not played until Wednesday. Fletcher played 3 minutes and missed his only field goal attempt.
CU hit just nine of its 16 free throw attempts, with its 56.3 percentage the second lowest of the season. USC attempted 22 3-pointers, making just five. “It’s been a weakness of ours all year,” Enfield said. “We need to get some guys to make shots.”
Overnight Wednesday and on Thursday morning, CU turns its focus toward Cal. The Buffs like the short time – five days – between games; the memory of the OT loss remains fresh.
“We lose to them, like, just a couple of days ago and we get another crack at them. You can’t ask for more,” said Scott, adding that the intangibles the Buffs latched onto in Vegas eluded them in Berkeley. “They got a couple of loose balls, long rebounds that we had to get to win the game. We didn’t, so that hurt our chances.”
But, added Booker, “I think we can compete with them – with anybody in the Pac-12 really. But (Thursday) is the day to come out and prove it.”
After six months in effect, estimates show that the disposable bag fee has reduced use of paper and plastic checkout bags at grocery stores in Boulder by 68 percent. This reduction means the community has kept nearly 5 million disposable bags out of the waste stream since the fee went into effect on July 1, 2013.
“This is very positive news,” said Jamie Harkins, City of Boulder business sustainability specialist. “The bag fee arose from community concerns about the negative environmental and economic impacts of disposable bags in Boulder, and this progress report shows that we are addressing those concerns and doing so effectively.”
The disposable bag fee is one of several city initiatives aimed at bringing Boulder closer to its goal of becoming a zero waste community and diverting 85 percent of the waste stream away from the landfill and into recycling, composting and reuse facilities.
Of the approximately 22 million disposable checkout bags Boulder uses each year, 60 to 70 percent come from grocery stores. A study conducted by consultant TischlerBise in 2012 projected a 50 percent reduction in disposable bag use by the end of the first year of the fee, with approximately 3.6 million disposable bags subject to the fee (i.e. purchased) in the first six months. In actuality, Boulder shoppers have reduced disposable bag use by 68 percent and have purchased significantly fewer bags, approximately 2.3 million in total.
Of the 10 cents collected for each bag, 4 cents goes directly to retailers to defray fee implementation costs. The remaining 6 cents is remitted to the city to support education and outreach efforts about the bag fee as well as to cover expenses associated with providing bags to portions of the population that might be disproportionately impacted by the fee. No revenue collected as part of the fee program can be used to support General Fund services or programs.
The disposable bag fee does not apply to bags used inside stores for items such as produce, bulk food, or meat and fish, and does not apply to pharmacy prescriptions or newspapers.
Buffs Falter In 75-64 Pac-12 Loss
by B.G. Brooks
SALT LAKE CITY – For the Colorado men’s basketball team, the start of second halves has become the beginning of the end. The Buffaloes’ all-too-familiar script for failure played out again Saturday in a 75-64 Pac-12 Conference loss to Utah.
After a 30-30 halftime tie, the Utes outscored the Buffs 15-2 to open the second half and take a 45-32 lead. But that was a mere continuation of the last stages of the first 20 minutes. Over those final 4-plus minutes and the first 7-plus of the second half, Utah outscored its visitors from the other side of the Rockies 23-2.
And Senior Day at the Jon M. Huntsman Center was all but a wrap.
“Right now second halves are baffling when it comes to the Buffs,” coach Tad Boyle said. “This is three out of the last four games when you go back to UCLA . . . same way. They just had their way with us offensively in the second half – Arizona and now Utah. It happens once you think, OK, maybe somebody got hot, it’s an aberration. But it’s not . . . we’ve got to look at ourselves in the mirror and understand that right now we’re not good enough in the second half defensively.”
In an 88-61 home loss to No. 4 Arizona last weekend, the Buffs allowed the Wildcats to shoot 84.9 percent from the field in the second half. Saturday, the Utes made 70.8 percent of their second-half field goal attempts. Utah also outrebounded CU by three after losing the board battle by 18 in Boulder in the Buffs’ 79-75 overtime win.
Boyle called that a “big swing,” but pointed to porous defense as a culprit for even the slightest board advantage. “There’s not a lot of rebounds to be had,” he said. “That’s why it gets down to defense. When you’re taking the ball out of the next 70 or 85 percent of the time – holy cow, you better be making a lot of shots. I don’t think there’s an offense out there in college basketball to overcome those numbers.”
The Buffs (20-9, 9-7) closed to within nine points twice in the final 10 minutes Saturday but came no closer as the Utes (19-9, 8-8) improved to 18-2 at home this season. The Utes have now won 21 of 24 at the Huntsman Center dating to last season.
Jordan Loveridge and Delon Wright led Utah with 21 points each, while CU had two players in double figures – Josh Scott with 17 and Xavier Johnson with 10. Askia Booker finished with four points, a pair of first-half free throws and one field goal in the second half.
Freshman Dustin Thomas, who went scoreless in the teams’ first meeting last month in Boulder, hit a 3-pointer to open Saturday’s scoring and got CU’s first seven points as the Buffs took a 7-2 lead.
“I came out with confidence. I knew we had to jump on them early and I wanted to do what I could do for the team,” Thomas said.
CU led by as many as eight (30-22) before an 8-0 Utah run – courtesy of treys by Loveridge and Brandon Taylor – produced a 30-30 halftime tie. The Utes never led in the first half, and it was the first time this season the Buffs have been tied at intermission.
Then came another second-half swoon . . .
“We turned the ball over and we didn’t get stops. Those two things combined hurt; that’s the key to the second half,” Scott said, referring to CU’s five first-half turnovers and 11 in the second half. Utah converted those 16 miscues into 19 points.
Thomas said the Utes “just came out real aggressive” in the second half. “We didn’t come out and match their aggressiveness. We have to do that to every opponent we face; if we do that we’ll be all right. When we’re down we have to come together on the court instead of looking at each other.”
Another second-half failure, said Boyle, was not running the offense through Scott. Boyle said the Buffs might be understanding they have to play through Scott, not meaning that the 6-10 post must score on every possession, “But we have to play inside-out. When we do we’re pretty good. But the offensive struggles bleeding over into the defensive part of the floor has got to stop. We’re just not good enough defensively, though.”
CU finished the afternoon shooting 21-of-53 (39.6 percent) while Utah shot 59.6 percent from the field (28-of-47) – including the blistering 70.8 percent (17-of-24) in the final 20 minutes.
Among CU’s biggest first-half difficulties was finishing at the rim. The Buffs missed half a dozen point-blank attempts, enabling Utah to hold a 16-10 advantage in paint points and finish with a 38-22 advantage.
Booker finished the first half with only a pair of free throws and two fouls that sent him to the bench at the 7:12 mark. Also encountering first-half foul problems were Thomas and Johnson, who finished the game with four each.
Thomas said the early fouls on him, Booker and Johnson “hurt us a lot. We got up early in the first half and those fouls hurt. But we have to play through that.”
But with the score tied at 30 at intermission, the second 20 minutes (and the win) were there for the taking – and the Utes quickly took advantage. They scored the second half’s first nine points for a 39-30 lead. CU took a timeout to regroup with 17:26 to play, but promptly turned it over and Wright converted a traditional three-point play for the nine-point lead.
Scott called the turnovers “something we’ve talked about a lot. It’s inexcusable. We have to go back to the drawing board.” He also said Wright, the Pac-12 leader in steals, “got us a couple of times and made some easy baskets. I thought that was a key.”
CU finally got its first second-half points on a left-handed Scott hook with 16:20 left. But by then the Utes were up 39-32 and about to pull away for good.
Utah pushed its advantage to 45-32 on a straightaway 3-pointer by Loveridge with 13:52 to play and extended its lead to as many as 17 twice in the final 5 minutes.
Boyle said a lack of mental toughness continues to degrade the Buffs’ effort and that a glance at “every league in America” will show the top teams as the top defensive teams – and that’s where the Buffs are falling short.
“Our mental toughness – when things don’t go well for us on offense . . . it has to get better,” he said, adding a few corrections have to be made “to get it right. We don’t have to change the makeup . . . we’re not playing consistently enough and mentally tough enough.”
CU finishes out the regular season with road games next week at Stanford (Wednesday) and California (Saturday). The Pac-12 Tournament is March 12-15 in Las Vegas.
Husky’s backcourt unstoppable, but Buffs were in the game til the very end
BOULDER – Colorado’s Jamee Swan and Ashley Wilson hit career highpoints on Friday night, but a business-as-usual performance by Washington’s backcourt trumped them and the Buffaloes.
While Swan (25 points) and Wilson (15) were scoring career highs and Wilson was collecting her first career double-double with 10 rebounds, UW guards Kelsey Plum and Jazmine Davis were combining for 49 points to push the Huskies past the Buffs 87-80 at the Coors Events Center.
It wasn’t anything the Buffs hadn’t seen before – and they didn’t have many answers then either. In UW’s 81-71 Pac-12 Conference win last month in Seattle, they combined for 55 points, with Plum getting 35 and Davis 20.
On Friday night, Plum scored 25, Davis 24. They entered the game as the nation’s No. 2 top scoring backcourt, averaging 38.9 points.
“Washington’s two guards were outstanding . . . they torched us,” said CU coach Linda Lappe. “They pretty much did whatever they wanted to do . . . Davis carried them in first half (with 14 points), Plum came alive in the second (with 18). They were tough for us to guard.”
Still, even with Plum-Davis running mostly unchecked, the Buffs (14-10, 4-9) stayed in contention, cutting a 10-point Huskies lead to three twice in the final 1:16 but failing take the rally any further.
After tying the score at 60-60 on a Swan put-back with 8:57 remaining, a 10-0 run pushed UW ahead by 10 (70-60). CU first closed to within three (81-78) on Jen Reese’s first four points of the night, then got to within three again (83-80) on a basket by Arielle Roberson, who finished with 14 points and nine rebounds.
But three points back was as close as the Buffs would get, and Wilson said the game was lost by CU’s inability to “get those crucial stops, whether it was keeping them from scoring or getting a defensive rebound . . . It all comes down to the same thing: we make a push and tie the game and then we have a mental lapse where we don’t get that stop or defensive rebound. It’s been like that all conference season long.”
Lappe said scoring that many points – CU was averaging 70.2 – should have rewarded her team with a win: “Anytime we score 80, that has to be a game where we find a way to win. But it just didn’t go the right way tonight . . . you can’t give up 87 points; there are very few games that we will win that way. We just didn’t do what it took on the defensive side.”
Swann, whose previous career high was 20 against Stanford, said the Buffs lost focus late: “I think it comes down to who wants it more and it just happens that they want it a little more than us and we lose focus.”
UW coach Mike Neighbors didn’t seem surprised by Swan’s productivity. “She was on the scouting report because we recruited the heck out of that kid,” he said. “We wanted her very badly . . . she got it really going and we didn’t have a lot to answer – 25 points in 18 minutes . . . I’m just glad she had five fouls (No. 5 came with 1:30 left) or otherwise she could have had 50 (points).”
UW (14-10, 7-6) outscored CU 34-26 in the paint, outrebounded the Buffs 45-38 and converted 13 CU turnovers into 18 points. CU’s bench outscored UW’s 36-19 – mainly on Swan’s contribution before she fouled out with 1:30 to play. The Buffs hurt themselves at the free throw line, converting only 21 of 33 attempts. The Huskies shot 46.7 percent from the field (28-for-60), the Buffs 40.9 percent (27-for-66).
CU jumped to a 9-2 lead but UW recovered quickly with an 11-2 run and took its first lead on a Plum 3-pointer with 15:01 left before intermission. Davis followed with trey on the Huskies’ next possession, giving them their largest advantage (16-11) of the first half.
The first half’s last 13 minutes produced six ties and 11 lead changes before Ashley Wilson hit one of two free throws with 22.1 seconds left to put CU up 40-39 at the break.
The Huskies took a 49-43 to open the second half, getting back-to-back treys by Davis and Talia Walton, the latter hitting her triple with 16:38 left in the game. The Buffs fought back, closing to 51-50 on a 3-pointer by Lexy Kresl with just over 13 minutes remaining.
But the Huskies answered with a 6-0 run on consecutive conventional three-point plays by Plum and Chantel Osahor to open a seven-point advantage – 57-50 – with 12:19 to play.
If CU was to make a move, it would have to be soon. Ashley Wilson and Swan made two free throws each to pull the Buffs to within 57-54. After Swan scored consecutive baskets to tie the score at 60-60, the Huskies got 3-pointers from Osahor – only her second in five games – and Mercedes Wetmore and two free throws each from Katie Collier and Plum to pull ahead 70-60.
It was UW’s largest lead of the night, but a runner by Plum in the lane put CU behind 11 (75-64) just over a minute later. The Buffs pulled to within five (76-71) on a trey by Ashley Wilson, then seven (81-74) on a triple by Kresl with 1:16 left.
Reese got her first points of the night on a jumper to bring CU to 81-76 with 1:06 remaining, then hit a pair of free throws 3 seconds later to cut the deficit to 81-78. A layup by Roberson made it 83-80 but the Huskies closed it out with four free throws by Aminah Williams in the final 22 seconds.
“It took some warriors to win and I was so proud of our kids up and down the bench,” Neighbors said. “We get 19 (points) and 12 (rebounds) off of our bench tonight. There’s been games where we’ve gotten zero and zero.”
CU returns to the CEC on Sunday afternoon (1:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks) to play Washington State.