Tristan da Silva scores 20 points as Colorado outlasts Boise State 60-53 to cap the First Four

Boise State coach Leon Rice gestures during the second half of the team's First Four game against Colorado in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Wednesday, March 20, 2024, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Boise State coach Leon Rice gestures during the second half of the team’s First Four game against Colorado in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament Wednesday, March 20, 2024, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Tristan da Silva scored 20 points and Colorado won its first NCAA Tournament game in three years, wrapping up the First Four with a sloppy 60-53 win over Boise State on Wednesday night.

A layup by Eddie Lampkin Jr. and a pair of foul shots from J’Vonne Hadley capped an 11-0 run that gave the Buffaloes a 56-49 lead with 24 seconds left in what had been a back-and-forth game. Boise State had to start fouling and Colorado didn’t miss from the line — and that sealed it.

Colorado outscored Boise State 15-4 over the last 4 1/2 minutes.

KJ Simpson had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Buffaloes (25-10), who advanced as a No. 10 seed to face seventh-seeded Florida in Indianapolis on Friday.

“KJ was really positive, which I thought was great because you need that positivity in the NCAA Tournament when you go down four late,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle. said. “And we got five straight stops in a row. Our defense just kind of cranked up a notch.”

Simpson, Colorado’s top scorer all season, was 6 for 18 from the floor and made all six of his foul shots.

“Obviously, it wasn’t my best night shooting the ball, and I had a lot of kind of bad shots tonight,” Simpson said. “So that was kind of frustrating. But I (was) understanding that my team needed me out there to do other things.”

Chibuzo Agbo had 17 points for Boise State (23-11), who dropped to 0-10 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.

“The guys battled and battled, even when the shots weren’t dropping,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said. “We competed on the glass, we guarded really well. And it was two really good defensive teams.”

But the start was lethargic for both teams, who had combined for just 25 points at the 10-minute mark of the first half. Boise State went up by six late in the half, but Colorado cut it to 26-24 at the break.

Boise State was 1 for 10 from 3-point range in the first half, while the Buffs were just 1 of 8 from long range.

COLD SHOOTERS

Colorado shot 44%, but Boise State finished at just 34%. That followed a 29% effort in a 76-66 loss to New Mexico in a Mountain West Tournament quarterfinal on March 14. The Broncos were just 2 for 18 from 3-point range.

“In the first half, we were right there,” Boise State guard Max Rice said. “Then we just had so many balls that rattled in and out.”

Added Rice: “This is a really, really tough draw and then a tough, tough, tough loss that we’ll have trouble with for the rest of our lives. That’s the way it is.”

GOOD DAYTON VIBES

The people of the state of Colorado will have reason to remember this year’s First Four. Not only did the Buffs win on Wednesday, Colorado State blew out Virginia 67-42 in the late game Tuesday night. Colorado State also moved on as a 10th seed and play No. 7 seed Texas in Charlotte on Thursday.

UP NEXT

Colorado will board the bus for an easy two-hour ride west on Interstate 70 to Indianapolis, where they’ll play Florida at 4:30 p.m. ET.

___

AP March Madness bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket and coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness

Sports Headlines

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed AP

Trending on NewsNation