BERKELEY, Calif. -The Colorado Buffaloes made their way into Haas Pavillion on New Year's Day and looked about the same way many felt on the first of the year, falling to the Bears of California by a score of 79-65.
The game was ugly from the beginning for Colorado, starting the game 0-9 from the field and finding themselves in a 10-0 hole from the start. After cutting it to six just a few minutes later, the Buffs never got that close again. In fact, after trailing 20-12, Colorado never saw another single digit deficit in the game.
Josh Scott lead the way for the Buffaloes with 16 points, but the ever-efficient big man needed 16 shots to get to that number. Wesley Gordon was second on the Buffs in scoring with 11, but even he was 3-9 from the floor.
On the other side, it was quite the opposite. Jordan Mathews, Jaylen Brown and Tyrone Wallace combined for 55 points on 17-of-29 from the field. The three players were able to do exactly what the Buffs didn't want them to do, Mathews shooting 5-for-5 from behind the arc in the second half and Brown and Wallace killing the Buffs with their ability to get to the rim.
Boyle also said the loss was based on execution and not effort, but the lack of execution was vast, giving fans flashbacks to the Buffs road struggles of old.
Despite all the ugliness that was the Pac-12 opener for the Buffs, it was, in fact, just that, just the opener, the game only counted for one loss. If there's anything we know about conference road trips in the Pac-12, it's that a split is huge and the Buffs will still have their chance to earn that split when they take on Stanford on Sunday.
When you talk Cal, you talk about, Ivan Rabb, Tyrone Wallace and Jaylen Brown, but as Tad Boyle pointed out all week -- if you focus too much on those two and let Mathews get hot, you're going to be in trouble.
The Buffs did just that and Mathews hit five consecutive threes in what seemed like the blink of an eye to officially put the nail in the Colorado coffin. He finished with a game-high 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting.