Colorado used a strong second half to hold off Texas, 68-54, in the consolation game of the Legends Classic on Tuesday afternoon at Barclays Center.
Colorado dominated this one throughout, keeping the momentum going from their strong second half against Notre Dame on Monday, in a game they ultimately lost.
Colorado jumped out to a 20-12 lead in the first ten minutes. Texas responded with an 8-3 run before Colorado went on an 8-0 run, capped by a George King three-point play, at the 13:13 mark of the first half to make it 31-20. They led 33-24 at halftime, and King led Colorado with seven points and six rebounds in the first half.
In the second half, Colorado started to pull away. They took a 12-point edge, 47-35, on a Derrick White layup that capped an 8-2 run at the 11:56 mark.
Texas got back into it, and pulled to within three, 54-51, at the 5:12 mark. Colorado responded with an 11-2 run capped by a Wesley Gordon layup with 2:07 left that made it 65-53, and closed the game on an extended 14-3 run.
Colorado Head Coach Tad Boyle said of his team's performance, "We needed that one. In November, it's crazy to think that it's a must-win game. That's what it felt like approaching the game today. Coming to a place like this, you don't want to go home 0-2. The guys really responded. We told the team before the game that the tougher team would win. The team that wanted it more and hungrier team would win today. I thought we came out and really showed that. I'm really proud of the way they responded after the disappointing loss last night."
Colorado was led by Derrick White, who had 16 points on superb 7-10 shooting, with five rebounds and two assists.
George King finished with 12 points (5-9 FG, 1-2 on threes) and 13 rebounds, including five on the offensive end, with an assist.
Boyle said of King's performance, "After looking at his second half last night and tonight's game, I think the light bulb may have come on for him. We haven't had a guy rebound like that since (Andre) Roberson was with Colorado. He was terrific on the boards tonight. I thought our whole team was."
King said of his rebounding efforts in this one, "As Coach Boyle would say, it doesn't take talent to go to the boards. We tried to go 90 percent of the time. I'm not sure if if I did that, but I felt like I was able to get my hand on the ball and come down with it. With these last two games, I was able to do that. Hopefully, I can keep it up."
Texas was led by Kerwin Roach, Jr., who had 16 points on 6-16 from the field, including 1-4 on threes, with two rebounds and an assist. Jarrett Allen had 15 points on 6-9 shooting and six rebounds.
Texas Head Coach Shaka Smart said of the loss, "In the first half our first-shot defense was actually pretty good, but they had 14 points off second shots. In the second half we just weren't where we needed to be defensively, and at the same time offensively we didn't shoot the ball well. We're just at a point right now where we need to play more for each other and create more for each other, and as coach I need to find ways to make that happen."
Texas lost both of their games in this tournament, as they fell to Northwestern on Monday night.