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KJ Simpson, Colorado upset No. 11 Tennessee

Nov 13, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA;  Colorado Buffaloes guard Julian Hammond III (1) passes the ball against the Tennessee Volunteers during the second half at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

KJ Simpson scored 23 points and Tristan da Silva added 14 to lead Colorado to a 78-66 upset of No. 11 Tennessee on Sunday in Nashville.

Simpson shot 7 for 16 from the field and added 10 rebounds, while da Silva shot 5 for 7 for the Buffaloes (2-1), who outscored the Volunteers 46-32 in the second half.

Julian Hammond III scored nine points for Colorado, while Ethan Wright and Jalen Gabbidon added eight apiece. J’Vonne Hadley chipped in 10 rebounds for the Buffaloes, who rebounded from a loss at Grambling on Friday. Colorado made 16 for 21 attempts from the free-throw line against Tennessee.

Tennessee (1-1) was led by Josiah-Jordan James, who had 15 points and eight rebounds, while Tyreke Key added 15 points and six rebounds. Zakai Zeigler contributed 12 points and four assists.

Colorado shot 27 for 62 (43.5 percent) from the field for the game but heated up in the second half, when it went 15 for 28 (53.6 percent), including 5 for 13 from 3-point range.

Tennessee struggled offensively all game, going 16 for 63 from the field (25.4 percent), including 10 for 37 (27 percent) from deep.

Colorado outrebounded Tennessee 47-38 and scored 16 points off the Vols’ 16 turnovers.

Trailing 34-32 at halftime, Colorado opened the second half by making seven of its first 13 shots to take a 51-45 lead following Wright’s layup with 11:51 remaining.

After Zeigler’s layup pulled Tennessee to 57-52 with 7:36 left, the Buffaloes put the game away by going on a 9-0 run capped by da Silva’s 3-pointer that made it 66-52 with 5:01 to go.

Tennessee took a 34-32 lead at halftime after both teams struggled to shoot and take care of the ball in the first 20 minutes.

The Volunteers made just one 2-point field goal in the first half, as they shot 6 for 26 (23.1 percent) from the field, including 5 for 17 (29.4 percent) from 3-point range. Tennessee committed nine turnovers that led to 10 Colorado points.

Colorado shot 12 for 34 (35.3 percent) from the field in the half, including 3 for 13 (23.1 percent) from 3-point range, and outrebounded the Volunteers 24-21. But the Buffaloes committed 11 turnovers that the Volunteers converted into 11 points.

–Field Level Media