Simpson scores 23, makes key plays in Colorado’s 64-59 victory over Richmond at Sunshine Slam


November 21, 2023

In a riveting display of college basketball prowess, the Sunshine Slam tournament witnessed a clash between No. 18 Colorado and Richmond that will be etched in the memories of fans. The game unfolded as a low-scoring thriller, ultimately culminating in a 64-59 triumph for Colorado. The spotlight, however, was firmly on KJ Simpson, who orchestrated a masterclass in the second half, scoring 23 points and making key plays that propelled the Buffaloes to victory. From the opening moments, it was evident that the matchup was destined to be tightly contested. Colorado set the tone by scoring the first six points of the game, only to be matched by Richmond, who clawed their way back, tying the score at 13 with a timely 3-pointer by Isaiah Bigelow. However, Simpson responded promptly with a 3-pointer of his own, propelling the Buffaloes to a 22-15 lead and establishing a 28-25 halftime advantage.

The real spectacle unfolded in the second half, where KJ Simpson showcased his basketball prowess. Making 6 of 11 field goals and an impressive 9 of 10 from the free-throw line, Simpson's performance was nothing short of spectacular. With the game hanging in the balance, he made two critical free throws, providing Colorado with a 54-51 lead with just four minutes remaining. This moment triggered a pivotal stretch where the Spiders of Richmond managed a mere two points in 3 minutes and 40 seconds, allowing the Buffaloes to extend their lead to 62-53. As the game approached its climax, J’Vonne Hadley added to the drama by sinking two crucial foul shots with 12 seconds to go, securing a 64-56 lead for Colorado. Richmond's Jordan King attempted to keep the hope alive with a 3-pointer in the waning seconds, but it wasn't enough to alter the outcome. The final scoreline of 64-59 encapsulated the intensity and drama that unfolded on the Sunshine Slam court.

Throughout the matchup, the lead changed hands multiple times, showcasing the competitiveness of both teams. The largest lead in the second half came at 62-53, marking a critical juncture in the game. Despite the tight competition, Colorado managed to maintain their composure, with Simpson's free throw and subsequent 3-pointer turning the tide definitively in their favor. While Simpson undeniably stole the spotlight with his standout performance, the collective effort of the Colorado team cannot be overlooked. Tristan da Silva played a pivotal role, contributing 15 points and securing eight rebounds. It was a testament to the team's depth and resilience that allowed them to weather the storm in a game where every possession mattered.

Richmond, to their credit, displayed resilience and determination throughout the game. Jordan King, with 20 points and seven rebounds, emerged as a standout performer for the Spiders. Dji Bailey, coming off the bench, provided a valuable spark with 11 points. Despite falling short in this encounter, Richmond's performance showcased their competitive spirit, setting the stage for future matchups. With this hard-fought victory, Colorado advances to the championship game, where they will face off against Florida State. The Sunshine Slam has undoubtedly lived up to its billing as a showcase of top-tier college basketball, and the championship clash promises to be a fitting culmination to the tournament. The resilience, skill, and determination exhibited by both Colorado and Richmond have left fans eagerly anticipating the final showdown. Beyond the on-court action, the Sunshine Slam has become a platform for emerging talents to showcase their skills and for established teams to prove their mettle. The allure of tournaments like these extends beyond the wins and losses, providing a stage for the next generation of basketball stars to make their mark on the collegiate scene.

In the annals of college basketball, the clash between No. 18 Colorado and Richmond at the Sunshine Slam will be remembered as a game of resilience, skill, and sheer determination. KJ Simpson's standout performance, the ebb and flow of the scoreline, and the late-game heroics have etched this contest into the collective memory of basketball enthusiasts. As the Sunshine Slam approaches its climax, the anticipation for the championship game is palpable, promising another chapter in the thrilling narrative of college basketball. .

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Miguel Rivera Author

Miguel Rivera, dedicated Puerto Rican journalist, passionately tells stories, amplifying voices, fostering change, and connecting communities through insightful reporting.