Simpson scores 28, Hadley 20 and Colorado blows past Utah 89-65

Utah forward Lawson Lovering, right, who used to play for Colorado, waits to check in as he makes his first appearance back in Boulder, Colo., in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Colorado, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Cliff Grassmick)

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — KJ Simpson scored 28 points, J’Vonne Hadley added 20 and Colorado poured it on in the second half to defeat Utah 89-65 on Saturday night.

After leading by nine points at halftime, Colorado turned it into a rout with runs of 9-0 and 7-0 midway through the second half. The Buffaloes led 75-51 after the 7-0 run, then four minutes later a 3-pointer by Simpson put them up by 28. The lead peaked at 31 on a 3-pointer by Luke O’Brien before Utah scored the final seven points.

Simpson made 10 of 15 shots, including 5 of 8 3-pointers. Hadley shot 7 of 10 and grabbed nine rebounds. Eddie Lampkin scored 13 points and Tristan da Silva added 12 for Colorado (18-9, 9-7 Pac-12).

Gabe Madsen scored 18 points and Deivon Smith had 15 for Utah (16-11, 7-9). The Utes made only 4 of 23 3-point tries.

Hadley scored 17 points in the first half and Colorado took the momentum from an early 12-0 run to build a 43-34 halftime lead. The Buffaloes shot 52% in the first half, slightly better than Utah’s 50%. Madsen scored 16 in the first half for Utah.

Up next for Colorado is a home game against California on Wednesday. Utah hosts Stanford on Thursday.

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