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Colorado puts home streak to test vs. Oregon

Dec 29, 2022; Stanford, California, USA; Colorado Buffaloes guard KJ Simpson (2) reacts after defeating the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado aims to extend its home winning streak to five games on Thursday when it meets visiting Oregon at Boulder, Colo.

The host Buffaloes (9-6, 1-3 Pac-12), who are 6-1 at home this season, saw their five-game winning streak come to a halt with an 80-76 setback at California on Saturday.

Colorado coach Tad Boyle didn’t mince words after seeing his team allow the Bears to shoot 58 percent from the floor (29 of 50) and seize a 36-23 rebounding advantage.

“Let’s just talk about one of the most pathetic defensive performances in Colorado basketball history,” Boyle said. “I’ve only been part of it now for 12-and-a-half years, but I can’t think of a more disappointing defensive performance than what I saw. It didn’t matter what we did or what we ran, we couldn’t stop them.”

Colorado’s KJ Simpson has been far from disappointing, however. The sophomore guard was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week for the second time this season Monday after averaging 28.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists over his last two games.

Simpson scored 25 points and J’Vonne Hadley added 17 in the loss to California. The two combined to make 18 of 31 shots (58.1 percent) from the floor, however the rest of the Buffaloes went 12 of 35 (34.3 percent).

Oregon (8-6, 2-1) enters Thursday’s clash with a bit of momentum.

The Ducks recorded their sixth win in their last eight outings after Will Richardson collected 22 points and seven rebounds in a 77-68 victory Saturday over Oregon State. Richardson paved the way by scoring 12 of Oregon’s final 20 points.

“We’d be in big trouble without his leadership, without his production,” Ducks coach Dana Altman said of Richardson, who boasts team-leading averages in points (15.6), assists (5.9) and steals (1.6).

“He’s keeping the team together, he’s trying to get guys to play harder. … He’s really engaged, he’s really taken ownership of the team. He’s done a tremendous job.”

The teams are meeting for the first time since Colorado posted an 80-69 win over Oregon in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament last March. Simpson had 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Buffaloes.

–Field Level Media