Colorado wants better ball control vs. Maine

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The Colorado Buffaloes have had some growing pains, but the good news is they've experienced them while winning their first two games.

Colorado goes for three straight when it hosts the Maine Black Bears on Monday night.

The Buffaloes squeaked out a win over Montana State in their opener last week, had a little easier time against New Mexico on Saturday and now have a quick turnaround for Maine.

Coach Tad Boyle is concerned with his team's penchant for turnovers. Colorado has averaged 17 a game so far.

"We've got to become better defensively, and we've got to become better at taking care of the basketball," he said after Saturday's game. "We had 16 turnovers against Montana State with 18 tonight against New Mexico. That is an area of concern for us in practice the last three weeks so at some point, if we don't get that under control, it's going to cost us a game."

Despite the struggles, the Buffaloes have found a way to pull out victories.

Maine has split its first two games and is coming off a victory over Division III University of Maine at Farmington on Friday night. The Black Bears were routed by Virginia Tech in their opener and have struggled offensively in the first two games.

In the opener, Maine shot just 32.8 percent from the field and it didn't do much better Friday, hitting 36.1 percent of its shots. The Black Bears did turn up their defense against their instate opponent.

"We focused in a little better on our defense in the second half," Maine coach Richard Barron said after Friday's win.

The Buffaloes will be a much more formidable opponent. Colorado has averaged 90.5 points in its first two games. Keeshawn Barthelemy is averaging 19.5 points in the first two games while trying to master running the offense.

"Keeshawn is a guy who can get a shot because he's quick and he's got a good release. And so we know he can score," Boyle said. "And now he's trying to figure out how to run a team and score, and take care of the ball and score, and that's the learning curve."

--Field Level Media