ORLANDO, Fla. — - The better Josh Scott got this season, the more attention he got.
In the latter part of the season, the Colorado forward was dealing with double-team defenses almost constantly.
Pittsburgh took notice, and the Panthers post defense proved to be a key factor in Colorado's 77-48 loss on Thursday in the NCAA Tournament at Amway Center.
"We knew they were going to double the post," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "We didn't handle the doubles out of the post. It wasn't just Josh, it was all of our guys."
Scott finished with 14 points and six rebounds, but had just five points at halftime, as Pitt made him a non-factor when it mattered most.
"It's something I've had to work on all year, and they were a good defensive team and they rotated out of it," Scott said. "They covered a lot of space. So credit to them."
In the early minutes of the game, CU tried to go inside, but couldn't get anything going in the paint. The Buffs had four turnovers in the first few minutes and it took 6 minutes, 19 seconds for them to get their first shot attempt inside the 3-point arc.
"We really wanted to guard the ball screens, we really wanted to take away their post offense and we did that early, and I think that was evident," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said.
Pitt dominated inside, out-scoring the Buffs 44-14 in the paint and out-rebounding them 33-29.
Looking ahead to next season, Scott and the Buffs realize that learning how to handle double teams in the post will be important.
"That's something we have to work on as a program and as individual post players, because going inside is a big part of what we do and getting to the free-throw line is a big part of what we do," Boyle said.
As good as advertised
This week, Boyle compared Pittsburgh to Arizona, in terms of their emphasis on defense. Thursday, the Buffs came away impressed with just how good the Panthers are on defense.
"I think they're pretty similar (to Arizona), actually," CU guard Xavier Talton said. "I know they were getting to the ball. They were getting 50/50 balls, as well. It just seemed like they wanted it more."
Poor passes led to a lot of CU's 17 turnovers, and the Buffs had just five assists. Pitt, meanwhile, had 18 assists and just three turnovers.
"Pittsburgh is night and day better than us passing the basketball," Boyle said. "They're really good passers, and we knew that coming in, as well. We needed to get some deflections, but they were getting the deflections that turned into steals."
Gamble, Mills finish careers
Boyle said he was most disappointed about the loss, because it was the final game for seniors Beau Gamble and Ben Mills.
"(They) don't get a chance to play much," Boyle said. "They come to practice every day and battle and they don't get a chance to come back, but these (other) guys do."
Gamble said that he and the Buffs ought to be pleased with what they accomplished this season, despite Thursday's loss.
"Looking back as a whole, you have to realize that this team really had a good season, considering the circumstances," he said. "I don't even know if our guys realize that yet, but what we overcame this year to still come to the NCAA Tournament as a No. 8 seed, and not just (barely) getting in, I think that's an accomplishment."
Gamble and Mills got to play the final two minutes - the first NCAA Tournament action of their careers. Gamble, in fact, hit a 3-pointer at the final buzzer, which didn't mean much, other cutting the deficit slightly.
"I can tell my kids I had a buzzer-beater in March Madness," Gamble said with a slight smile.
The Buffs were held under 50 points just twice this year - in each of the last two games. ... CU's 18-point first half was its lowest scoring half of the season. The previous low was 19 against Arizona in the second half last Friday. ... The loss was CU's worst since a 90-54 loss at Kansas on Dec. 8, 2012. ... Askia Booker passed Fred Edmonds on CU's list for career starters. Booker ranks 21st, with 69 starts.