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Strong second half sends Colorado past Cal

Tristan da Silva scored 17 of his game-high 20 points in the second half as Colorado beat Cal 59-46 in Boulder, Colo., on Thursday.

KJ Simpson put up 10 points for the Buffaloes (13-11, 5-8 Pac-12), who snapped a two-game skid.

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Kuany Kuany scored 10 points for the Bears (3-19, 2-9), who lost their sixth game in a row.

Colorado’s J’Vonne Hadley didn’t play after hurting his left hand/wrist in the first two minutes of the game. Javon Ruffin returned after missing the previous four games with a knee injury, and he had two points and two rebounds in 12 minutes.

The Buffaloes made just four field goals until the final two minutes of the first half but were able to stay within 10 points of Cal. Julian Hammond III hit a 3-pointer with 1:40 left before the break and Jalen Gabbidon made two free throws and a layup to get the Buffaloes within 27-24 at intermission.

Cal jumped out to a 34-28 lead early in the second half, but Colorado responded behind da Silva. He scored the Buffaloes’ first 12 points out of halftime to give the Buffaloes a 36-34 lead with 14:11 left.

The Bears remained cold and Colorado kept scoring. Luke O’Brien hit a 3-pointer and Gabbidon scored on a layup to cap a 13-0 run for the Buffaloes.

Grant Newell ended Cal’s drought of 5:24 with a layup, but Colorado kept adding to the lead. Lawson Lovering hit two jumpers, Simpson made a pair of layups, O’Brien had a dunk and Ethan Wright split a pair of free throws during an 11-0 run that increased the lead to 54-39 with 5:35 left.

The Bears called a timeout and answered with a quick surge. Sam Alajiki hit a 3-pointer off a steal and Lars Thiemann scored two baskets to cut the deficit to 54-44 and forcing a Buffaloes timeout with 4:18 to go.

Colorado had two empty possessions and Thiemann’s dunk got Cal within eight. The Bears had a chance to get closer, but Newell missed a 3-point attempt with 2:21 left.

The Buffaloes sealed it with a 3-pointer from da Silva with 53 seconds remaining.

–Field Level Media

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