The opening round of the 2011 Puerto Rico Tip-off Classic got underway on Thursday and three of the final four teams from the 2011 NIT are playing in it. While the Alabama Crimson Tide, the runner-up, already advanced on Tuesday, Defending champion Wichita St. Shockers are winning, 33-26, at halftime over the Colorado Buffaloes, who made it to the semis before losing to Alabama.
At times, the Buffs were able to keep the game close, often putting the game into a tie. However, the Shockers were able to come out of timeouts and steadily build several multi-point leads. Shockers forward Ben Smith led all scorers with 11 points, connecting on 3-of-5 three-points. Guard David Kyles added eight points, including two threes.
The Buffs, however, committed nine turnovers in the first half, two each by starters Nate Tomlinson and Austin Dufault. Guard Carlon Brown had a team-high six points while Andre Roberson picked up five rebounds in the first half.
This is the first real test of the season for the Buffs since they opened the season against Division II Fort Lewis. Will they be able to make the necessary adjustments to come back in the second half?
For all your postgame coverage, be sure to visit The Ralphie Report, SB Nation's Colorado Buffaloes blog.