- Associated Press - Sunday, December 4, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Xavier Johnson’s 19 points helped Colorado hand Portland its first home loss in the Terry Porter era on Saturday night, 76-63.

“We gave away too many offensive rebounds and turned the ball over too much,” Pilots senior guard Alec Wintering said. “But we were hanging close (and then) just let it get away.”

Josh Fortune added 14 points, Derrick White had 13 and George King 12 for Colorado (6-2), which was coming off a 14-point loss to in-state rival Colorado State on Wednesday. Johnson hit 8 of 10 from the line and was 5 for 11 from the field.

Jazz Johnson led Portland (4-3) with 18 points, Wintering added 17 and D’Marques Tyson had 14.

A 3-pointer from Tyson with less than nine minutes left brought Portland within three and the Pilots’ bench to their feet but the celebration was short lived. A jumper from Johnson ignited Colorado’s offense and Portland soon trailed by double-digits.

“We knew coming into the game that their physicality and ability to rebound would be a game changer,” Porter said. “They really scrapped and we didn’t do a good enough job of keeping them off the boards and then we turned it over too many times.”

But the Pilots gave Colorado a run for their money in the first half.

Both teams opened slow and struggled offensively - neither capitalizing on the first five possessions. The Pilots gave up 10 turnovers, including five from Wintering and the Buffs committed eight. A 12-2 Portland run put them up by as many as eight but a 7-0 run by the Buffs cut the Pilots’ halftime lead to two.

In the second half, an early 7-0 run by CU tied the game up at 35. The two teams traded points before Colorado was able to pull away on Deleon Brown’s 3-pointer with just over 11 minutes remaining. Although the Pilots later got within three, and had some good minutes from Tyson late, they never caught up.

“The second half we were better,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “We battled. We competed and guys stepped up and made plays. Josh Fortune made plays, X (Xavier) Johnson made plays. West (Gordon) made a big play at a critical time. Derrick (White) made plays down the stretch. That’s what you have to have. Your fifth year seniors are only good if they play like fifth year seniors. In the second half tonight, they did.”

Wintering and Johnson never sat, playing all 40 minutes for Portland.

BIG PICTURE

Colorado: The Buffaloes led the pac-12 in 3-point percentage last season and finished just 26.3 percent from outside the arc against the Pilots on Saturday.

Portland: The undersized backcourt of Johnson and Wintering - who are fourth in scoring in the country behind Central Michigan’s Marcus Keene and Braylon Rayson, St. Bonaventure’s Jalen Adams and Matt Mobley and Pittsburg’s Jamel Artis and Michael Young - put up a combined 35 points against the Buffs. The pair is coming off a combined 62-point performance.

UP NEXT

Colorado: Returns home to host Xavier on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.

Portland will stay at home and host UT Rio Grande Valley at 7 p.m. on Monday and will look to end their last home game for two weeks with a win.


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