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White, Colorado hold off Eastern Washington 76-68

Colorado’s Wesley Gordon goes to the basket on Eastern Washington’s Bogdan Bliznyuk during the first half of Colorado’s 76-68 win on Thursday. (Cliff Grassmick / Associated Press)
Colorado’s Wesley Gordon goes to the basket on Eastern Washington’s Bogdan Bliznyuk during the first half of Colorado’s 76-68 win on Thursday. (Cliff Grassmick / Associated Press)
By Pat Graham Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. – Derrick White scored 17 points, Deleon Brown drew a momentum-changing charge and Colorado rallied from an abysmal start to beat Eastern Washington 76-68 on Thursday night.

The Buffaloes (10-3) missed their first eight shots and fell into a 19-2 hole before getting on track. Colorado took the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Xavier Johnson with 8:25 remaining. Soon after, Brown stepped in the way of a driving Sir Washington and followed that up with a pivotal steal as the Buffaloes averted the upset despite turnover after turnover down the stretch.

Bogdan Bliznyuk scored 21 of his 25 points in the first half to lead the Eagles (8-5), who have lost 20 straight games to Pac-12 teams. Eastern Washington wore down in the second half as the team played its third road game in five nights. The Eagles wrapped up their pre-holiday trip 0-3.

EWU’s Felix Von Hofe hit a 3-pointer with 1:18 remaining to make it a 72-68 contest. Wesley Gordon sealed the win with a ferocious dunk with 46 seconds remaining. Gordon finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Colorado barely out-rebounded the much smaller Eagles by a 38-36 margin.

The Eagles were a 17-point underdog against Colorado and played by far their most competitive game on the road swing. They lost to Northern Kentucky 70-48 on Sunday and Xavier 85-56 on Tuesday. The Eagles finished 15 of 24 from the free throw line.

Eastern Washington opens Big Sky play on Dec. 30 at Idaho.

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