NASHVILLE, Tennessee. (AP) CJ Simpson scored 23 points and 10 rebounds, both career highs for a sophomore, to lead Colorado to an upset 78-66 victory over No. 11 in Tennessee on Sunday.
Tristan de Silva added 14 points for Buffalo, who shot 43.5% from the field compared to 25.4% for the Volunteers.
“Today was about Colorado and (Simpson) was amazing,” said Buffalo coach Tad Boyle. “KJ, I thought, really took control of the game and really controlled the pace. 23 points, he will probably have the same nights, but the 10 rebounds were fantastic.”
Josiah-Jordan James and Tyrek Key led Tennessee with 15 points each.
“We definitely didn’t approach this game with the right mindset,” James said. “This is a good lesson for us. It’s a long basketball season. Of course, I’m disappointed and upset that we lost, but I’m also excited just to see how this team reacts.”
Vols (1-1) were unable to overcome poor shooting to rally in the second half after losing the lead for good with 18:12 to play. Buffalo (2-1) led with 14 points in a dominant second half in which they beat Tennessee 46-32.
“They deserved to win,” said Vols coach Rick Barnes. “They, it seemed to me, controlled the game almost from start to finish.”
Simpson scored 15 points in the second half.
“We just wanted to focus on coming out in the second half with even more energy than we did in the first,” he said. “We just wanted to really tune in and focus on coming out even better than the first time.”
Tennessee led 34–32 at halftime, shooting just 23.1% from the field. Before the break, Colorado was eight points behind.
Key outscored the Vols in the first half by 12 points, with all but three points coming from the free throw line.
The Colorado bench outscored Tennessee 52-34.
The win was Buffalo’s first over the Vols after losing the previous four high school games.
CONSEQUENCES OF THE SURVEY
Tennessee is likely to drop sharply when the next poll is released as all 10 teams ahead of it have won in their first two games.
THE BIG PICTURE
Colorado: After Friday’s disappointing loss to Grambling State, the Buffalos held the Vols to 66 points for an average loss of 74.5 points per game, splitting their first two seasons.
Tennessee: As the season progresses, the Vols need to find their shot from the field. They hit 40% in their season opener victory over Tennessee Tech but struggled with the Colorado.
Colorado: Face UMass on Thursday at the Myrtle Beach Invitational.
Tennessee: Hosts Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday before heading to the Bahamas next week for Battle 4 Atlantis.
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