BOULDER, Colo. (AP) Tyler Bey pulled down 17 rebounds and scored 11 points, including a reverse layup off a sensational spin on his way to the basket in the closing minutes as No. 21 Colorado fended off scrappy Sacramento State 59-45 on Saturday night.
The Buffaloes improved to 6-0 for the second time in three seasons, but it wasn't easy. The Hornets (4-1) were within striking distance at 45-40 after the only basket of the night by their leading scorer, Joshua Patton.
Evan Battey added 11 points and McKinley Wright IV scored 10 for Colorado, which closed the game on a 14-5 run, the Buffs' only dominant stretch of the night.
Ethan Esposito's 12 points led the Hornets, who only got four points from Patton, 14.5 below his average, on 1-for-8 shooting.
Colorado coach Tad Boyle said on the Pac-12 Network's pregame show that he was worried the Buffs, who were coming off a big win over Clemson to claim the MGM Resorts Main Event Championship in Las Vegas, would have a ''turkey hangover.''
Sure enough, the Buffs came out lethargic, plodding their way to a 24-16 halftime lead but holding Patton to zero points. Lucas Siewert blocked one of his shots just as he jumped for a fast-break basket.
The arena might have been rocking at that point, but a trio of factors combined to keep most seats empty: The Buffaloes football team was playing at Utah at the same time; students were off for Thanksgiving break; and nasty weather kept a lot of people home as strong winds whipped up the foot of snow on the ground.
Patton finally got on the board with a pair of free throws with 14 minutes left, but he picked up his fourth foul on his next trip down the court and took a seat again. When he returned, his basket made it 45-40 with just over four minutes left.
But he fouled out with 3:43 remaining and Shane Gatling sank both free throws. Battey followed with two quick baskets to make it 51-40. The first one, a finger-roll, came at 3:16 and was the Buffs' first field goal in 7+ minutes.
Fourteen of Bey's 17 rebounds came off the defensive glass.
Sacramento State: The Hornets gave the Buffs a good run but they needed the usual production from Patton to really have a shot at the stunner.
Colorado: The Buffaloes committed too many turnovers - 19 - and missed too many free throws - nine - but they outrebounded the Hornets by nine and came through in the clutch.
This one wasn't pretty, but it was a good test and the Buffs passed it with another double-digit victory for the 12th 6-0 start in program history.
Sacramento State: The Hornets return home to face UC Merced on Tuesday night.
Colorado: The Buffaloes host Loyola Marymount on Wednesday night before a big trip to Kansas to face the fourth-ranked Jayhawks next Saturday night.
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