Buffaloes maintain perfect record over Elon
BOULDER — There were plenty of reasons for optimism for Elon after its performance at No. 21 Colorado on Friday night.
There also was one giant area for concern.
Rebounding was a difficult task for the Phoenix in an 80-63 loss to the Buffaloes, who enjoyed a 54-27 advantage on the glass, including a 14-4 difference in offensive boards.
“They really abused us at the glass,” Elon coach Matt Matheny said. “We can’t expect to hang with a Top 25 team with those numbers.”
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 17 points as Colorado (10-1) earned its 10th consecutive victory. Xavier Johnson added 12 points and 15 rebounds for the Buffaloes, who were coming off a win over Kansas.
Sebastian Koch scored 27 points on nine 3-pointers for Elon (5-5), which had won three in a row. Tanner Samson added 12 points.
“Both Tanner and Sebastian are in rhythm,” said Matheny. “They are in great rhythm.”
The Phoenix turned the ball over 10 times, compared to 16 for the Buffaloes.
The Buffaloes have won each of their three meetings with the Phoenix, who are winless in 18 career games against a ranked team.
“That team is going to win a lot of games in their league,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle. “This was a take care of business game and we did what we had to do.”
Boyle wasn’t happy with the team’s turnovers and slow start.
“We didn’t take care of the ball,” Boyle said. “We had eight turnovers against Kansas and 16 against Elon.”
Colorado got off to a slow start. Koch made a 3 to give Elon a 16-12 lead with 11:05 to go in the first half, but the Buffaloes then grabbed control with a 15-2 spurt.
Josh Scott started the run with a jumper and Dinwiddie closed it out a 3-pointer.
The Buffaloes also scored 14 of the last 18 points of the first half to grab a 41-25 lead at the break.
Elon began to rally after Askia Booker’s layup lifted Colorado to a 19-point lead. The Phoenix clawed back to 55-47 on 3s from Koch and Samson, and a layup by Lucas Troutman.
The lead was 69-60 when Dinwiddie converted a three-point play and a layup to run the advantage to 14 with 3:14 remaining.
“Our offense was much better in the second half,” Matheny said. “We were reliant on the 3-point shot and we fought our way back.”
“It just wasn’t enough.”
Koch was 9 for 14 from 3-point range. He missed his only two shots from inside the arc.
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