After the celebration moved from the floor of the CU Events Center to the locker room, a strange reality struck the Colorado men’s basketball team amid the team’s excitement.
The Buffaloes have a lot of new players this season, the number of players who don’t know all the words to CU Fight Song, who do.
This proved to be a momentary break in the fun. As he did on the floor just moments earlier, CU senior Ivan Batey led the young buff through the uncertainty, this time against Montana State in the after-party to rally CU to an opening overtime win of the season’s 94-90 season. Belted the fight song to cap it.
Under head coach Tad Boyle at CU, the season opener improved to 10-2 and it was the Buffs’ 14th consecutive win in the home opener. It was the first overtime win in the season opener for CU since the 1996–97 Buffs led by the Chauncey Billups, 82–80 against Drake.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Boyle said. “I am really proud of my players and the fight they have shown. It’s funny, a lot of us don’t even know the fight song. We sang it in the locker room, like Ivan (taught) them. But the fighting part of this team is on display tonight. We weren’t great. It was kind of an ugly victory. But he showed a lot of patience down the stretch.”
Montana State led 38–35 at halftime after Washington’s transfer. Raikkonen Battle swung an off-balance 3-pointer on the buzzer, and the Bobcats took command by opening the second half with 13–3 runs.
Montana State led 68–58 before the Buffs opened a rally, 15–5 off a dunk from Nick Clifford, to tie the game 73–73. The game was tied at 75-75 when Montana State’s Xavier Bishop pulled out 30 feet of water at the end of the shot clock time limit. The Bobcats added two free throws from Abdul Mohamed, putting the Buffs into a five-point hole with 53.1 seconds to spare.
However, on a night marred by mess and poorly timed turnover for CU, the buffs did not budge. Batty connected a pair of free throws with 43.1 seconds remaining and, when the Bobcats missed two free throws with 38 seconds left, CU senior guard Eliza Parquet caught the 3-pointer with 17 seconds remaining, closing the game to 80. Tied to -80.
The Buffs found a defensive stop to force overtime and immediately scored the first five points of the extra season, soon taking a nine-point lead. A few missed free throws in the last minute kept things close, but the Buffs managed to stop the Bobcats.
Point guard Keshavan Barthelemy took the five Buffs players to double digits with 19 points. Parquet finished with a career-high 17 points and Batty recorded 16 points.
Batty battling a foul overnight, relegating to the bench for the last 10 minutes of the first half after taking his second foul. Batty, who struggled for a 0-for-10 mark in the Buffs’ presidential finale in Nebraska, picked up his fourth foul with 12 minutes, 47 seconds to spare. But Batty still made his mark down the stretch, finishing 6-for-6 and grabbing five rebounds.
“Things keep happening. As you grow up, this is my fifth year in Colorado, I have seen a lot happen,” Batty said. “I have seen a lot of games. For me, just keep my head, keep my restraint. Never go too high, never go too low. Just get ready to make an impact.”
Colorado 94, Montana St 90 (OT)
State of Montana (0-1)
Bello 6-7 4-5 16, Mohammed 5-13 3-3 16, Adamu 5-9 2-2 14, Bishop 3-12 2-3 11, Patterson 4-10 0-0 10, Battle 3-6 0 -0 8, lecholat 4-5 1-19, osobor 2-2 0-0 4, tines 0-4 0-0 0. total 33-69 12-14 90.
Batty 6-6 3-5 16, Walker 4-8 4-5 14, Da Silva 1-2 4-4 6, Barthelemy 6-11 4-5 19, Parquet 5-11 6-9 17, Clifford 3 -7 4-6 11, O’Brien 1-3 0-0 2, Loving 1-4 1-1 3, Simpson 2-5 1-2 6. Total 29-57 27-37 94.
half time – Montana St. 38-35. 3-point target – Montana St 12-30 (Mohammed 3-6, Bishop 3-9, Adamu 2-3, Battle 2-3, Patterson 2-7, Lecholet 0-1, Tynes 0-1), Colorado 9-19 (Barthlemy 3) -3, Walker 2-4, Batty 1-1, Simpson 1-2, Clifford 1-3, Parquet 1-5, Da Silva 0-1). foul out – Bishop, fight, lover. rebound – Montana St 29 (Md 9), Colorado 38 (Clifford 9). helps – Montana St. 22 (Tynes 4), Colorado 14 (Barthelemy 5). Total foul – Montana St. 27, Colorado 17. a – 6,931.