Second-seeded Texas rolled to a 25-point halftime lead and never looked back in drubbing fourth-seeded Colorado 68-55 Wednesday night in the NIT quarterfinals at Erwin Center in Austin.
Dylan Osetkowski paced the balanced Longhorns (19-16) with 15 points, while Kerwin Roach II stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, six rebounds and three assists in only 21 minutes. Matt Coleman chipped in 11 points as Texas clinched its third matchup of the season with Big 12 rival TCU in Tuesday night’s semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Tyler Bey scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Buffaloes (23-13), which also got 11 points from McKinley Wright IV. But Colorado was mostly terrible offensively, making only 32.7 percent of its shots and committing 14 turnovers.
The Longhorns never trailed in the game and led for the last 37 minutes, 3 seconds. An early 9-0 run gave them a 14-5 lead when Osetkowski canned a jumper at the 13:51 mark of the first half.
The Buffs’ one burst of competence came immediately after that. They rattled off eight straight points to close within 14-13 after Shane Gatling made a foul shot with 10:31 left. They would manage just six points for the half’s remainder.
Texas got hot from the 3-point line to turn this one into a blowout. It outscored Colorado 30-6 over the half’s final 10:14, hitting five 3-pointers in that span. Consecutive 3-balls by Gerald Liddell and Roach capped off a 15-0 spurt that made it 29-13 with 5:44 left.
Coleman and Osetkowski added 3-pointers in the final 4:40 of the half to help the Longhorns take a 44-19 lead into intermission.
Texas didn’t come close to that level of efficiency in the second half, but didn’t need to. It scored only two points in the first seven-plus minutes of the half, but still led by 15 because its defense kept the Buffs under wraps at the other end.
The margin got back up to 25 with 5:26 left on an Osetkowski layup. Colorado only made the final score look respectable with a 19-7 burst to end the game.
—Field Level Media