Colorado doubles up to down Iona 99-54
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Colorado tied a school-record by cashing 17 threes in a 99-54 blowout win over Iona.
“They were making everything,” said Iona senior guard E.J. Crawford. “They hit a lot of shots.”
The Buffaloes tallied a season-high 57% from the field and had nine different players connect from downtown.
“This is what we get in the gym for,” said Colorado junior guard McKinley Wright IV, who also set his season mark with three triples.
Wright finished with 13 points and 10 assists in his second straight double-double performance the last of which came in points and rebounds. Colorado’s Evan Battey also had a double-double, his first of the season, scoring 12 and snatching 12 boards.
“What a feel-good when as we finished non-conference play,” Colorado head coach Tad Boyle said. “Going into this game I was nervous, and I don’t think we got Iona’s best shot.”
Behind a 45-12 run sandwiched around the halftime break, the Buffaloes (11-2) stepped on the gas and blew away the Gaels (2-5). The second half started strong for Colorado, nabbing 11 of the first 12 rebounds of the period and starting on a 15-of-20 shooting tear from the field.
Battey was dominant in that stretch, scoring all of his dozen during the run. But the Buffs were also buoyed by blistering shooting from outside at a 61% clip. D’Shawn Schwartz knocked down four 3s and had a game-high 14 points in the wire-to-wire win.
“I think our offense was scoring really well,” Wright said. “We shared the ball, it was clicking that high level
Seven Buffaloes ended in double figures for the first time since 2013 and the team recorded a Boyle-era best 26 assists.
The Buffaloes also had a season-best rebounding margin of 47-23.
“That’s what Colorado basketball is all about,” Battey said.
The Gaels had a brief run in the second half and were led by Crawford’s 14 points, nine of which came in the second half. Iona’s leading-scorer Tajuan Agee was held to just nine points.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Colorado’s banged 17 threes which tied the school-high set on Jan. 30, 2005 against Oklahoma State. The Buffaloes began the day as the 146th best 3-point shooting team but have had two-straight games where triples have been a big factor. The Buffs got their last win over a ranked Dayton team by a buzzer-beating, game-winner from Schwartz.
The Buffaloes have won four straight and finished non-conference play 11-2. Just outside the rankings, Colorado’s only losses were at Kansas and against Northern Iowa.
Coming off of last year’s NCAA Tournament appearance the Gaels have started slow and have lost three straight games. Next weekend they’ll travel to Monmouth for a rematch of the 2019 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Title game.
Colorado fell just two spots shy of The AP Top 25 Poll last Monday and could certainly re-enter the poll with their win. If the Buffaloes do re-enter the poll, CU Events Center would play host on Thursday to just the third ranked vs ranked matchup in the stadium’s 40-year history.
Iona begins conference play with a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference matchup against Saint Peter’s on Friday.
Colorado plays host to No. 6 Oregon on Thursday. The two were picked to finish first and second in the Pac-12 Preseason Media Poll, and the game will open conference play for each side.
“Big-time game, it’s gonna be a war,” Wright said. “They’re gonna come in here trying to beat us. They’ve never won here.”
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