CU Above the Rim – December, 2013

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December 29th – Boulder         No. 12 Colorado women 75, Southern Utah 59

The CU women’s basketball team survived a scare from Southern Utah before pulling away for a 75-59 victory to conclude their non-conference slate with a 10-1 record.

Colorado put together a 19-2 run late to turn a two-point game with eight minutes to play into a comfortable win. Arielle Roberson had a double-double to lead the Buffs, scoring 18 points while pulling down 12 rebounds. Jasmine Sborov also had a double-double, with 12 points and ten rebounds, while Ashley Wilson had one of her better games of the season, connecting on 5-of-7 shots from the field on her way to 14 points. Neither team had any success from behind the arc (both teams going 1-for-13), but had plenty of opportunities at the line. A total of 48 fouls were called, with three Thunderbirds fouling out. Colorado hit on 24-of-36 free throw attempts on the game.

Game Recap … The final score was 75-59, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. The Buffs held small leads early in the game, clinging to a 19-17 lead with 6:28 to play. Colorado then pushed its advantage to a seemingly comfortable 36-24 margin at the break.

The 12-point edge was not enough to make the Thunderbirds go away, however. Southern Utah brought the lead back down to four, at 38-34, with 15:40 to play before the Buffs went on a 7-0 run to push the lead back to 11 points, at 45-34.

Southern Utah was not done, though, making yet another run. After the Buffs had pushed the lead up to 14, at 50-36, the Thunderbirds went on a 16-4 run of their own. Suddenly, with eight minutes still to play, it was a two-point game, at 54-52.

Then the Buffs – finally – showed why they were ranked as the No. 12 team in the nation. Over the next six minutes of play, the Buffs out-scored the Thunderbirds, 19-2, to eliminate any chance at an upset.

Southern Utah posted five consolation points in the final 1:16 of the contest, but the Buffs’ tenth win of the season had already been secured.

… The game with the Thunderbirds was the last non-conference game for the Buffs. Colorado heads to Los Angeles for the weekend, opening Pac-12 play with a game against USC on Friday, January 3rd (9:00 p.m., Pac-12 Mountain), and UCLA on Sunday, January 5th (8:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks), before returning home the following weekend to take on Pac-12 powers Cal and Stanford on January 10th and 12th …

December 28th – Boulder          No. 21 Colorado 84, Georgia 70

No. 21 Colorado never trailed against Georgia, taking out the Bulldogs at home, 84-70.

The Buffs hit more three pointers in the first half (seven) than they usually do in a game (six), going a perfect 26-for-26 from the free throw line to keep Georgia from mounting any sort of a comeback attempt. All five starters were in double figures for Colorado. The Buffs were led by Askia Booker, who had 19 points. Spencer Dinwiddie had 17 points, including a 7-for-7 night from the free throw line. Josh Scott posted his sixth double-double of the season, going for 14 points (8-for-8 from the line) to go with 13 rebounds. Xavier Johnson, who was hot early from behind the arc to spark the Buffs, finished with 13 points, while Wesley Gordon added ten points on a perfect night of action (three-for-three from the field; four-of-four from the line).

Colorado finished its non-conference campaign with an 11-2 record. The next game for the Buffs will be Thursday night, January 2nd (8:00 p.m., ESPNU), taking on Oregon State at home in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.

“I told our team in the locker room, this is a good win against a quality SEC opponent”, said Tad Boyle. “These guys are going to win a lot of games in the SEC. They are a talented group, but this is a time for us to exhale for a day. We are going to take tomorrow off even though there is no break and just try to enjoy what we’ve done up to this point, and then we are going to get back in the gym on Monday morning and start preparing for Oregon State. To be 11-2 with the caliber of schedule that we played says a lot about this group, and we’ve got a lot of basketball ahead of us. Season number one is over with, our nonconference portion is done, and now we are going into an 18 game marathon of the Pac-12. Our league is very good, and we’re going to have to be ready mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, the whole nine yards. We’re excited about it, and I’m proud of what our guys did tonight”.

Game Notes –

– The Buffs were 26-for-26 from the charity stripe, marking their first perfect outing from the line since Feb. 27, 2010 (12-of-12 vs. Iowa State). The Georgia game marked the first time in program history that a CU squad shot 1.000 from the line while attempting at least 15 free throws. This was just the 10th known time in CU history that CU was perfect from the free throw line and just the sixth time with 10 or more FTAs.

– An 11-2 record to start the season, matching the 1979-80 season (34 years ago) after 13 games.

– CU improves to 19-5 record in December games overall under the Boyle coaching staff, 16-1 in December home games.

– Under the Boyle coaching staff, the Buffs are now 30-1 (.968) at the Coors Events Center in November and December (only home loss, Wyoming, Dec. 9, 2011, 65-54 stopping CU’s 22-game non-conference home winning streak).

– During the opening two months of the season (Nov. & Dec.) CU is now 39-12 overall (.765) in home, road, neutral games.

– 9-0 home record this season at the Events Center and the 53rd win at home out of 60 games (.883) over the last four years.

Game Recap … The final non-conference game for Colorado of the 2013-14 season – and the final game of a great 2013 calendar year for CU basketball overall – began with Josh Scott feeding Xavier Johnson for an open three-pointer. Georgia answered with a three-pointer of their own before Johnson hit a second three-pointer for the Buffs – 6-3, Buffs, after two minutes. The Bulldogs settled for the first two-pointer of the game on their next possession, with Josh Scott then getting on the board with a pair of free throws and an 8-5 CU lead. One of two free throws by Georgia brought the Bulldogs back to within two points, with Xavier Johnson’s third three-pointer giving CU an 11-6 lead at the under 16 break.

A three-pointer by Georgia brought the Bulldogs back to within a basket, but Spencer Dinwiddie answered with a three-pointer for the Buffs on the other end. A put back by the Bulldogs made the score 14-11, with Xavier Johnson scoring CU’s first two-pointer of the game to push the lead back up to five. A transition basket for Georgia made it 16-13, with Spencer Dinwiddie answering with a pair of free throws for the Buffs. A runner by Georgia was then countered by a three-pointer by Jaron Hopkins. 21-15, Colorado, at the under 12 break, with CU 5-of-6 from behind the arc early … but only 1-of-6 inside it.

A layup for Georgia kept the Bulldogs close, with Tre’Shaun Fletcher knocking down two free throws to again push the lead to six points, at 23-17. One of two free throws for Georgia was met by a bucket by Josh Scott, pushing the lead up to seven points. A three-pointer by Askia Booker off of a steal made it a ten-point game, at 28-18. A transition layup by Georgia stopped the five point run, but the Buffs were still up, 28-20, at the under eight media timeout.

Josh Scott made a pair of free throws to make it a 30-20 game, with a Dinwiddie layup after a steal giving CU a 12-point bulge, generating a Georgia timeout. Another steal by the Buffs led to a jumper by Askia Booker. On Georgia’s next possession, Booker took a loose ball the length of the court for a layup and a 36-20 lead. A putback for Georgia stopped the run by the Buffs, with Josh Scott then hitting a pair of free throws on CU’s next possession. Georgia connected on its next possession, but a put-back by Scott and a Jaron Hopkins bringing about yet another Georgia timeout.

Even when the Buffs missed a three-pointer, they scored. After a Bulldog basket, Wesley Gordon got on the board with a put-back after a missed three pointer. A three-pointer for Georgia, followed by a layup by the Bulldogs on their next possession, made it 44-31, with two minutes to play in the first half.

Wesley Gordon next made it 12-for-12 for the Buffs from the free throw line in the first half with a pair of free throws. Askia Booker missed a pair of tough layup opportunities on the Buffs’ next two possessions, with Georgia making one of two free throws and hitting a three-pointer just before the half to cut into the Buffs’ lead. The final basket allowed the Bulldogs to endaed the first half on a 9-2 on what could have become a blowout.

Halftime score: No. 21 Colorado 46, Georgia 35

Xavier Johnson led the Buffs at the break with 11 points – all coming in the first seven minutes of the game. Josh Scott added ten points and seven rebounds, with Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker each contributing seven first half points.

After missing five of their last six attempts from the floor to end the first half, Askia Booker hit a jumper on CU’s first possession after the break. Georgia then answered with a basket of their own, with the teams then trading offensive fouls. A give-and-go between Dinwiddie and Wesley Gordon led to a pair of free throws for Gordon, and a 50-37 lead for the Buffs. A dunk for the Bulldogs was off-set by a three-pointer by Dinwiddie, making him the third Buff in double digits in scoring, with ten. Georgia hit one of two free throws to make it a 53-40 game, followed by a layup for the Bulldogs. Colorado 53, Georgia 42, at the under 16 media timeout.

Josh Scott made a layup to make it 55-42, with a layup on the other end keeping the lead at the 11-point margin it had been at halftime. Xavier Johnson next made his first basket of the second half on a dunk – assisted by Askia Booker. Colorado 57, Georgia 44, at the under 12 break.

A dunk by Georgia made it an 11-point game again, with a three-pointer by the Bulldogs making it a single digit lead for the first time in the second half, at 57-49. Josh Scott hit a pair of free throws to stop the 5-0 run for Georgia, restoring a ten point advantage for the Buffs. A Wesley Gordon short jumper pushed the lead back to 12 points, with Askia Booker giving CU an 8-0 run of its own with a traditional three point play. Colorado 64, Georgia 49.

The Bulldogs made a basket to stop the run, but a jumper by Booker answered for the Buffs. A layup for Georgia kept the Bulldogs within shouting range. Colorado 66, Georgia 53, at the under eight media timeout.

A layup for the Bulldogs was answered by a follow-up dunk by Dustin Thomas. A three-point play by Georgia made it a ten point game with six minutes to play, with Dustin Thomas making a pair of free throws to make CU 19-for-19 from the line for the game. An Askia Booker three-pointer pushed the lead back out to 15, giving him 17 points for the game. Georgia scored on its next possession, but now only five minutes remained. CU 73, Georgia 60.

Askia Booker made CU 21-for-21 from the line, giving him 19 points, and the Buffs a 75-60 lead. One of two free throws by Georgia made it a 14-point game (the point spread for the game) with less than four minutes left in the game. Spencer Dinwiddie kept CU perfect from the line, hitting two to make it a 77-61 game, with Georgia then hitting a pair of free throws on their end. A traditional three-point play opportunity for Spencer Dinwiddie pushed the lead to 80-63, giving him 15 points for the game.

One of two free throws by Georgia was offset by a pair of free throws by Dinwiddie. The teams then traded dunks, with CU’s coming from Wesley Gordon. A layup for the Bulldogs made it an 84-68 game as the Buffs were able to empty the bench. A jumper by Georgia ended the scoring.

Final score: No. 21 Colorado 84, Georgia 70 

December 23rd

Colorado/Nebraska amongst teams invited to Hawai’i tournament

From the Honolulu Star-Advertiser … Six of eight teams participating in the 2014 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic basketball tournament were announced Sunday, just prior to the start of the 2013 tournament.

Besides host Hawaii, the teams are Wichita State of the Missouri Valley Conference, Colorado of the Pac-12 Conference, George Washington of the Atlantic 10, Nebraska of the Big Ten and Ohio of the Mid-American Conference.

CU Press Release on tournament

The University of Colorado men’s basketball team will be one of eight teams playing at the 2014 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawai’i next Christmas.

The field for the sixth annual event also includes George Washington, Nebraska, Ohio, Wichita State and tournament host Hawai’i. Two more teams will be announced at a later date to round out the eight-team field. The Buffaloes (10-2) are one of two teams in the field that are nationally ranked in Monday’s national polls. The Buffaloes fell one spot to No. 21 in the Associated Press Top-25 Poll and remain No. 24 in the USA Today/Coaches, while Wichita State (12-0) is No. 8 in the Coaches’ and No 10 in the AP. George Washington (10-1) is on the cusp of the Top 25 and receiving votes in both polls. Nebraska and Ohio are both 8-3 this season, while the Rainbow Warriors are 7-3.

Four of the six teams in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic qualified for the postseason in 2012-13, highlighted by the Shockers who advanced to the NCAA Final Four. The Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, an eight-team men’s college basketball tournament, will feature 12 games through three days.

Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through the bracket. The two teams that remain undefeated throughout will face off in the championship game on the final day of the tournament. Previous tournament champions of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic include USC (2009), Butler (2010), Kansas State (2011) and Arizona (2012), currently the top-ranked team in the nation.

The family-friendly tournament includes three days of tournament play, practices, events and travel experiences unique to the islands of Hawai’i. The CU men’s basketball program is not a stranger to the Hawaiian Islands during the first two months of non-conference season. In November 2009, the Buffaloes competed at the EA Sports Maui Invitational, and in 2008, they participated at the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu. Both tournaments saw the Buffs achieve a 1-2 record. CU opened the 1996-97 season, playing its first four games at the Big Island invitational in Hilo, where they reached final achieving a 3-1 record. Under head coach Tad Boyle, the Buffaloes have participated in a mid-season tournament in either November or December all four years

December 22nd

Spencer Dinwiddie: “I think we’re a very good team”

Full story at the Daily Camera … A lot of hanging heads walked out of the Colorado locker room on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The 20th-ranked CU men’s basketball team gave No. 7 Oklahoma State a battle, but came away with a 78-73 loss. It snapped a 10-game win streak for the Buffs (10-2), whose only other loss came on Nov. 8 against Baylor, currently ranked No. 12 nationally. Both losses came on neutral courts.

While the Buffs weren’t happy with Saturday’s defeat, they did come away from it with a measure of confidence. “We lost to a No. 2 seed in the (NCAA Tournament) and we’d be like a No. 5 seed,” CU’s Spencer Dinwiddie said. “This is like a Sweet 16 matchup, and we lost by five on a neutral court. I think we’re a very good team.”

For most of the season, the Buffs have proven to be a very good team. They showed it again on Saturday in spurts against one of the top teams in the country. With quality wins against Harvard and Kansas and two fairly close losses to ranked teams, the Buffs believe they’re where they want to be at this point in the season.

“Two losses suck, but then again I feel like we’re one of the best teams in the country,” junior guard Askia Booker said. “We just lost to the No. 7 team by five and they shot over 60 percent in the second half. If we can cut that down, which I think we can, we’re in the cream of the crop in the country. We just have to show it from here on out, and I think we will.”

December 21st – at Las Vegas         No. 7 Oklahoma State 78, No. 20 Colorado 73

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado cut a 12-point Oklahoma State lead to four in the final minute here Saturday night, but that’s where the Buffaloes’ rally and their 10-game winning streak would stop. The No. 7 Cowboys held on for a 78-73 win in the second game of the MGM Grand Showcase.

No. 20 CU (10-2) struggled to get timely stops and had just as much trouble finding an offensive rhythm, and when Phil Forte III drained a long trey just under the 3-minute mark Okie State (11-1) had a 73-61 lead. The Buffs were running out of chances and time, but a 10-2 flurry brought them to within 75-71 on a put-back by Josh Scott with 26 seconds to play. OSU’s Marcus Smart hit a pair of free throws (77-71) with 23.4 seconds remaining but Scott answered with two (77-73) at the 16-second mark. Two seconds later, Forte hit one of two foul shots for the Cowboys’ final margin.

“I take the blame for this loss,” said CU coach Tad Boyle. “As a coach I didn’t do a good job on the sideline. I didn’t have our team ready to play tonight for whatever reason. I’ve got to look myself in the mirror.”

In hindsight, Boyle questioned whether he had the Buffs practice as much as necessary during semester finals week which preceded Saturday’s game. “That’s where I take responsibility as a coach, coming off of finals and we had two practices as a team,” he said. “I thought that at this time of the season we could carry over without those lengthy practices through finals; I want to respect our guys as students. So, as a basketball coach it’s really hard to take that time and back off, and maybe that hurt us tonight. It’s not an excuse, it’s just the fact that we weren’t as sharp and we need to become sharper and the only way you can do that is by practicing.”

Nonetheless, Boyle added, “We have so much room for improvement, we still haven’t put a (complete) game together, and yet we played the No. 7 team in the country to a five-point game on a neutral court and we don’t feel like we played well, at all.”

CU junior guard Askia Booker, who finished with a season-high 19 points, disagreed with Boyle shouldering the loss. “I don’t think the blame goes on coach Boyle,” he said. “He’s just tough on himself – just like I am on myself . . . the only thing we maybe could have done better was a have a couple more days of practice.”

The Cowboys’ 78 points were the most the Buffs have allowed this season. OSU shot 61.9 percent from the field (13-of-21) in the second half and finished at 52.1 percent (25-of-48). CU shot only 40.6 percent from the field (26-of-64). The Buffs outrebounded the Cowboys 41-30 and got 21 second-chance points to the Cowboys’ four.

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December 21st – at Louisville         No. 7 Louisville 69, No. 11 Colorado women 62

It was close throughout, with neither team taking more than seven points, but the Buffs were not able to put together a final push at the end, falling to No. 7 Louisville, 69-62.

From ESPN … Shoni Schimmel had a season-high 30 points and Bria Smith added 13 as No. 7 Louisville handed No. 11 Colorado its first loss of the season with a 69-62 win Saturday. Lexy Kresl led Colorado with 17 points.

The loss ended Colorado’s streak of 33 straight victories in nonconference, regular-season games. Jen Reese, wearing a protective mask after breaking her nose in practice this month, added 14 points and 14 rebounds for Colorado (9-1). A layup from Colorado’s Brittany Wilson closed the gap to 65-62 with 24 seconds left. Schimmel, who was 13 of 16 from the free-throw line, made two free throws and a layup to close out Louisville’s fifth straight win and improve to 12-1.

Kresl had nine of the Buffaloes’ first 12 points and her 3-pointer gave Colorado its first lead, 8-5. Louisville rallied and went ahead 16-12 on a three-pointer by Schimmel. On two straight possessions, Asia Taylor twice completed a three-point play after being fouled while making a layup, bolstering Louisville’s advantage to 22-16 midway through the first half. Jude Schimmel’s two straight layups closed out the first half to give Louisville a 33-29 lead at the break. The game remained close throughout the second half, with no team leading by more than five points until Louisville broke it open with a 7-0 run to go up 53-46.

December 13th – Boulder           No. 21 Colorado 80, Elon 63

Colorado won its tenth game in a row (fourth longest streak in school history), taking out Elon, 80-63.

In the final “easy” game of the schedule (Oklahoma State and Georgia left on the non-conference schedule), the Buffs were tested by the Phoenix. Elon led by seven points early, and got within seven point in the second half after making a run of three-pointers.

The Buffs were led by Spencer Dinwiddie, who had 17 points and seven assists. Xavier Johnson and Josh Scott both posted double-doubles, with Johnson putting up 12 points and 15 rebounds, while Scott had 12 points and 13 rebounds. The Phoenix were kept in the game with three-pointers – 13 in all – with Sebastian Koch hitting nine of them for 27 points.

“It gives you an idea of where our program is when you win a game at home by 17 and people are kind of disappointed and frustrated, so I guess that’s a good sign,” said Tad Boyle. “We beat a good Elon team tonight, and that team is going to win a lot of games in their league, their record is very deceiving. We did what we had to do, this was kind of a take care of business game and our guys did that, we rebounded the ball well, we got to the foul line, we played inside-out. It was a good win, and there’s still a lot of room for improvement with this team”.

Colorado now has a nine day layoff to finish up with finals before heading to Las Vegas to take on No. 7 Oklahoma State (9:30 p.m., MT, ESPN2).

The game against the Elon Phoenix, coming between games against two top ten teams in Kansas and Oklahoma State, represented a classic trap game for the Buffs. Throw in an opponent from a lower division, and a game played during finals week, and you had all the makings for a CU team not well motivated to play well. And that is just what happened. The Buffs didn’t score in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the contest, with five missed shots and four turnovers to open the game. Fortunately for the Buffs, Elon only managed one basket, a three-pointer, during that same time frame.

Xavier Johnson finally got the Buffs on the board with a three-pointer at the 16:19 mark, but the Buffs were still not showing much interest in the game, as the Phoenix scored the next five points to take an 8-3 lead. Free throws from unlikely sources – Ben Mills and George King – kept the Buffs within shouting distance, but the Phoenix built a 13-6 lead before the Buffs got their act together.

Xavier Talton, Josh Scott and Askia Booker made consecutive baskets to make it a 13-12 game before Elon hit another three-pointer to stretch the lead back out to four points. After a Josh Scott jumper, Xavier Johnson gave CU its first lead of the game, at 17-16, at the ten minute mark. After a basket by the Phoenix, the Buffs went on a 10-0 run to take control of the game. Spencer Dinwiddie hit a pair of three-pointers to key the run, giving CU at 27-18 lead at the six minute mark.

Five points by Dustin Thomas, with a three-point play and another pair of free throws, gave CU a 13-point lead at 34-21 at the under four timeout. Four free throws from Spencer Dinwiddie giving CU a 15-point lead with two minutes to play in the half, with each team getting three more points before the break.

Halftime score: Colorado 41, Elon 26

The Buffs did not play particularly well for much of the first half, as was reflected in their 42% shooting (12-for-28) in the first half. The Buffs also left points on the table at the free throw line, missing ten first half opportunities. Spencer Dinwiddie was already in double figures, with ten points, with Xavier Johnson contributing seven points and 11 first half rebounds.

In the first three minutes of the second half, the Buffs pushed the lead out to 19 points, at 49-30, with a pair of Askia Booker layups to go with free throws from Josh Scott and Xavier Johnson. Apparently, the Buffs figured the game was over, because perimeter defense then became an optional activity. Over the next two minutes of game time, the Phoenix hit not one, not two, not three, not four, but five three-pointers. At the 13 minute mark, the CU lead was down to seven points, at 52-45.

Two Xavier Talton baskets, one a three-pointer, to go with a traditional three-point play by Josh Scott, helped to end the bleeding. With the lead back up to double digits, the teams were content trade baskets and free throws over the next few minutes of play. At the nine minute mark, the Phoenix hit three-pointer number 12 for the evening (12-of-25) to make it a ten point game, at 66-56. George King hit one of two free throws before getting a follow up dunk on CU’s next possession. At the under eight break, it was a 13-point lead, at 69-56, but the Phoenix were not yet out of the game.

A pair of free throws for the Phoenix was followed by a CU turnover and an Elon layup – 69-60, CU, with six minutes still to play. Spencer Dinwiddie then missed the front end of a one-and-one, to go with four (yes – four!) missed free throws by Jaron Hopkins gave Elon three chances to make it an even closer game.

The Phoenix couldn’t covert, however, and Spencer Dinwiddie took matters into his own hands on the Buffs’ next possession, converting a three point play to make it a 12-point lead, at 72-60. Another Dinwiddie layup after a missed three-pointer by Elon made it a 14-point game, but then Sebastian Koch hit his ninth – ninth! – three-pointer of the night. 74-63, with three minutes to play.

A layup by Xavier Talton gave the freshman nine points, with a Xavier Johnson layup in transition finally put an end to the concern about the final outcome – 78-63, Colorado, with two minutes to play. A free throw by Elon was countered by a dunk by Spencer Dinwiddie to end the scoring.

Final score: No. 21 Colorado 80, Elon 63

 

December 12th

No. 11 CU women take out Denver

From ESPN … Arielle Roberson scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds Thursday night and No. 11 Colorado dominated Denver 83-61 to remain unbeaten. Michaela Neuhaus hit a layup and a free throw to put Denver up 15-12 in the first half, but Colorado scrapped back and took an 18-17 lead on a layup by Rachel Hargis, then went on runs of 11-3 and 9-0 to lead 47-32 at halftime.

Colorado opened the second half with a 7-0 run and steadily pulled away, extending their lead to 26 points on a layup by Jamee Swan with 1:32 to play. Roberson grabbed five offensive rebounds and five defensive boards as Colorado (9-0) out-rebounded Denver (1-8) 49-35 and outshot them 44.3 percent (27-61) to 37.1 percent (23-62). Jen Reese scored 18 points for Colorado, Lexy Kresl scored 13 and had a game-high six assists, and Brittany Wilson added 12.

December 10th

Sports Illustrated feature on CU head coach Tad Boyle

The headline might make you wince a bit, “How Tad Boyle built downtrodden Colorado into a Pac-12 contender“. but the article is great.

SI writer George Dohrmann does a great bio of CU coach Tad Boyle, giving Buff fans some insights to Boyle’s history from his days as a high school star to his becoming a fan favorite at Colorado.

Did you know that, but for a car accident, Boyle might still be a stock-broker in Longmont? Did you know that, if he had the choice to do it over again, Boyle would have played for Colorado instead of Kansas?

A few excerpts:

… The reason for Colorado’s ascent is best imagined as a series of dominoes that fell perfectly in a line. The first domino was Boyle’s near-death experience, which motivated him to try and make a career out of coaching. There was also a bold hire by the school’s former athletic director, the move to a new conference, some luck and foresight on the recruiting trail, and then a star Colorado prep player learning from Boyle’s greatest mistake. In total, it has positioned Colorado for a return to the NCAA tournament this season and potentially for years to come as eight of the team’s top 10 players are underclassmen. “It is amazing what is happening there and where that team is going,” says Maryland coach Mark Turgeon, who played with Boyle at Kansas and coached with him at Oregon, Jacksonville State and Wichita State. “People keep talking about the future of programs like Arizona or UCLA, but Colorado is right there.”

… “You want to talk about dominoes. If [Bzdelik] had left one year earlier, I’m not an attractive candidate to Colorado,” Boyle says. “I won 14 games that year (at Northern Colorado). [Bohn] can’t sell that to alumni. If Jeff doesn’t leave right when he did, I don’t get the job.”

… During his four years as a player at Kansas from 1981-85, Boyle did little to distinguish himself, to put his stamp on that storied program. He was a captain his senior year, but he was nothing more than a role player, and he spent his college years and some years after wishing he had gone to Colorado instead. It wasn’t that he didn’t enjoy Lawrence; he is grateful for the basketball education he got under Ted Owens and Larry Brown. “It is just very rare to have the opportunity to make a huge difference in a program and at a school, and to do that as a homegrown kid,” Boyle says. “That is something very special that as a high school kid you don’t often understand. I know I didn’t understand that then and if I could have gone back in time I would have gone to Colorado.”

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-basketball/news/20131210/colorado-basketball-on-the-rise/#ixzz2n6Idxqb4

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December 9th

Askia Booker Pac-12 Player-of-the-Week (and Arielle Roberson women’s POTW)

From CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado junior guard Askia Booker was named Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday.

Booker’s second career conference player of the week nomination comes on the heels of the Buffaloes making the Associated Press Top-25 poll for the first time this season as the No. 21 ranked team. The men also received 42 votes in the Coaches’ Poll and are slotted at the No. 27 team overall. Booker helped CU upset then-No. 6/6 Kansas, 75-72 last Saturday, launching the game-winner with a 30-footer as time expired to keep the Buffaloes unbeaten at home (7-0). The victory also matched their longest winning streak since the 2005-06 season with nine wins in a row.

The junior guard from Los Angeles, tied for team-high honors against KU with 15 points, three rebounds and a steal. In addition to his game-winner, Booker also made pair of three-pointers to keep pace with the sixth ranked team in the country. With 3:39 remaining in the game, Booker gave the home team a six-point lead, then when the first half ended, hit his first trey of the game pushing CU to a 33-30 lead at the break. It’s the third time that Booker has made three treys in a game this season. Earlier in the week, the Buffs won at Colorado State for the first time since 2007 with a 67-62 victory. Booker iced the game with 3 seconds remaining with a pair of free throws (12 points overall).

It is Colorado’s fourth player of the week honor all-time since joining the Pac-12. As team, it’s the first time the Buffaloes are ranked nationally since last season when they were the No. 19 ranked team in both polls on Nov. 26. They made their initial Top-25 breakthrough as the No. 23 ranked team on Nov. 19 when they started the season 6-0 en route to the Charleston Classic championship last November.

It’s also marks the first time since the end of the 1996-97 season that both CU men’s and women’s basketball programs are ranked at the same time. The men were ranked in the final AP Top-25 at No. 24, while the women ended that season No. 15 in the Coaches’ and No. 18 in the AP. This season, the CU women are No. 11 in the latest AP poll for the second consecutive week. “It’s nice for our University, the program and players that we are recognized as one of the elite teams in the country,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “But we aren’t going to get carried away with it.  Just like we won’t be disappointed if we’re not in it. College basketball is different than college football in that polls don’t matter at the end of the day.  I put more stock in RPI because the RPI doesn’t care who you are, it’s based on who you’ve played, strength of schedule, to me that’s more of a true indication, it’s less arbitrary.”

Ironically, it’s the second time in as many seasons the Buffaloes have entered the Top-25 when Booker was named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week. Last season, Booker was named the MVP of the Charleston Classic after averaging 19.3 points, 3.0 assists, 2.7 steals and 2.3 rebounds per game, helping the Buffs knock off Dayton, No. 16 Baylor and Murray State in four days. Prior to last season, the CU men were last ranked in the Coaches’ Poll during the 2005-2006 campaign as the No. 25 team in back-to-back weeks (Jan. 30-Feb. 5; Feb. 6-12).

It’s only the second time the Buffs have been ranked before the start of conference play in 44 years, since a showing on the Dec. 30, 1969 poll, coming in at No. 20. Overall, it is the 34th time the Buffs have appeared in the AP rankings. CU’s highest ranking came on Dec. 18, 1963, coming in at No. 6.

CU All-Time in AP Polls

• CU has been ranked in 34 polls all-time.

• A top 10 ranking nine times.

• Highest ranking was No. 6, Dec. 18, 1963, the third poll of that season.

• Consecutive weeks ranked: 10 – last 7 polls of 1969, first three of 1970; in one season – 8; last 8 polls of the 1997 season.

• Most times ranked in one season – 8 in 1997; 7 in 1969; 6 in 1963.

• The AP poll was 20 teams from 1949-60, 10 teams from 1961-68 and back to 20 from 1969-1989, then 25 since 1990.

Colorado ranked 21st in latest AP poll; 27th in USA Today / coaches’ poll

Colorado spent two weeks in the polls last November, but are hoping for a longer stay this season.

The Buffs entered the Associated Press poll at No. 21, coming in at 8-1 and fresh off of a 75-72 upset of No. 6 Kansas (down to No. 13 this week). Arizona is the new No. 1 team in the nation, with Oregon (at No. 15) the only other team from the Pac-12 ranked this week. UCLA dropped to No. 26 in the latest poll.

Meanwhile, the CU women’s team remained at No. 11 in the AP poll this week. The Buffs, who went 2-0 this past week, defeating Wyoming on the road and Illinois at home, passed Penn State (the new No. 12), but were jumped over by South Carolina (the former No. 12), who had “impressive” wins over North Carolina Central and Charlotte.

December 7th – Boulder          No. 11 Colorado women 79, Illinois 56

The No. 11 Colorado women’s team ran their record to 8-0 with a 79-56 win over Illinois Saturday night in Boulder.

Arielle Roberson had a double-double, with 17 points and ten rebounds to lead the Buffs. Jen Reese added 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, with Rachel Hargis (12) and Jasmine Sborov (10) also in double figures. Guard Brittany Wilson only had seven points, but pulled down 13 rebounds. I thought it was a great win for our team,” CU coach Linda Lappe said, acknowledging Illinois’ athleticism, quickness and different defensive looks. “There were a lot of different obstacles and adversities through the game – not having the normal warm up time, having a fire alarm . . . I liked how we came out of being in the locker room for 15 minutes and got back into it (after a delay caused by a sprinkler setting off alarms). So, there were a lot of positives to take out of it.”

The undefeated Buffs will take on Denver on Thursday night before travelling to Kentucky to take on No. 7 Louisville on December 21st.

December 7th – Boulder          Colorado 75, No. 6 Kansas 72

Buff junior guard Askia Booker hit a three-pointer at the buzzer, giving Colorado a 75-72 upset win over No. 6 Kansas.

“I’m not quite sure what to say after that one, it’s hard for me to put this win into historical perspective,” said Tad Boyle after the game. “I know for where our team is right now, and where our program is in the evolution stage, this was a hump game. Especially after what Kansas did to us last year at Allen Field House and the amount of talent they have on their team, it was just a great day”.

The Buffs broke a 19-game losing streak to Kansas, defeating KU coach Bill Self for the first time. Colorado fell behind early, 7-0, struggling to keep up with the Jayhawks early in the game before switching to a zone defense and taking Kansas center Joel Embiid (ten first half points, zero second half points) out of the game.

Colorado was led by its guards, Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker who each had 15 points. Xavier Johnson and Josh Scott each added 14 for the balanced Buff attack. Kansas All-Everything freshman guard Andrew Wiggins had 22 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Kansas from falling to the Buffs for the first time since 2003 (Ironically enough, the Jayhawks were ranked No. 6 for that game as well).

In case you missed the game, here is a link to the highlights, along with KOA play-by-play.

Game recap … Andrew Wiggins opened the game with a three-pointer and a block, giving notice that Kansas – and its all-star freshman – were not intimidated by the pro-Buff crowd in the Coors Events Center. The score was 7-0, Kansas, before a slam dunk and a three-point play by Xavier Johnson at the 17:34 mark got CU into the scoring column.

An inside layup by Kansas center Joel Embiid was offset by two free throws by his CU counterpart, Josh Scott. Another three-pointer by the Jayhawks pushed the lead to 12-5, but Josh Scott answered at the other end to make the score 12-7, at the under 16 minute break.

A drive and a layup by Spencer Dinwiddie got the Buffs to within three, with Askia Booker missing a pair of free throws which could have gotten the Buffs closer. On the next exchange, though, Andrew Wiggins picked up his second foul, sending him to the bench with 15 minutes still to play in the first half. After a Xavier Johnson travel gave Kansas the ball back, KU center Joel Embiid got a three point play (but, more importantly, Spencer Dinwiddie picked up his second foul of the game on the play).

Dustin Thomas missed two free throws and a three-pointer for the Buffs, with Kansas making a three-pointer in between, giving KU a 6-0 run and an 18-9 lead.  Tre’Shaun Fletcher then stopped the bleeding with a three-pointer, making the score 18-12 at the under 12 media timeout.

Embiid made one of two free throws to give KU a seven-point lead, following that up with a short jumper on the Jayhawks’ next possession. Kansas 21, Colorado 12, at the midway point of the first half. A layup by Josh Scott off of a feed by Spencer Dinwiddie got the Buffs back to within seven, with Tre’Shaun Fletcher continuing CU’s woes at the free throw line – four-of-nine after Fletcher made one of two. A layup by Xavier Johnson gave CU a five point run, but that was offset by a layup by the Jayhawks. Kansas 23, Colorado 17, at the under eight break.

Spencer Dinwiddie, playing with two fouls, hit a pair of free throws to make it a four point game at 23-19. Kansas countered with Embiid, whose short jumper gave him ten first half points. Askia Booker missed one of his two free throw attempts, with Dustin Thomas hitting a pair to make it 25-22 with six minutes to play in the half.

Ben Mills – yes, Ben Mills – then hit a short jumper to pull the Buffs to within one. Timeout, Kansas, with the score 25-24. A layup on a fast break by Ben Mills – yes, Ben Mills – gave CU its first lead of the game, at 26-25. A steal and a layup by Andrew Wiggins – back in the game despite his two fouls – gave Kansas a 27-26 lead at the under four timeout.

Dustin Thomas made one of two free throws to tie the game at 27-all, with the Colorado zone defense forcing a shot clock violation at the other end. Askia Booker then gave CU a two-point lead, at 29-27, but a dunk by Kansas re-tied the game. Xavier Johnson then made one of two free throws (where have we heard that before?), with Kansas making one of two free throws on its end to tie the game at 30-all.

Spencer Dinwiddie missed a three-pointer, but Ben Mills got an offensive rebound to give the Buffs the last shot of the first half. Askia Booker then hit a three-pointer as time expired to give CU its largest lead of the first half.

Halftime score: Colorado 33, No. 6 Kansas 30

A trio of Buffs – Josh Scott, Xavier Johnson, and Askia Booker – had six points apiece in the first half. The Buffs had the lead despite missing eight free throw attempts (11-19), with a big assist going to Tad Boyle’s decision to go to a zone defense to try and keep the ball away from KU center Joel Embiid, who had a third of the Jayhawks’ first half points.

Josh Scott made a short jumper to give CU a 35-30 lead to open the second half, but Kansas also scored on its first possession to again make it a three point game. A layup by Askia Booker made it 37-32, but Andrew Wiggins made a three-point play to cut the lead to two, at 37-35. Spencer Dinwiddie then made a basket in transition, with the Jayhawks making a pair of free throws on their end. A Josh Scott jumper continued CU’s hot start, making it 41-37 three minutes into the second half.

After a KU turnover, Dinwiddie fed Scott for a layup and a six-point CU lead. Andrew Wiggins then made a pair of free throws to cut the lead to four, at 43-39, at the under 16 break. A Xavier Johnson three-pointer made it a seven point lead for the Buffs, with Tre’Shaun Fletcher missing a three-pointer which would have made it a ten-point game.

Andrew Wiggins, quiet in the first half due to foul trouble, then made a traditional three point play to make it 46-42, Buffs. Xavier Johnson next made one of two free throws to give CU a five point lead at the 14 minute mark. A long three-pointer by Spencer Dinwiddie gave the junior nine points, and CU an eight point lead. Timeout, Kansas, with CU up 50-42.

A layup by Kansas made it a six point game, 50-44, at the under 12 media timeout. Tre’Shaun Fletcher made one of two free throws coming out of the timeout, with Fletcher then stealing and dunking the ball to make it a nine point game at 53-44. A layup for KU off of a loose ball, followed by a three-pointer by Frank Mason, gave Kansas a five-point run. The Buffs then gave up the ball on a shot clock violation on their next possession. A layup off for KU off of a three-point miss made it a 7-0 run for the Jayhawks. Timeout, Colorado, up 53-51, with 9:17 to play.

A Xavier Talton miss led to a Kansas layup and a tie game for the first time in the second half. Xavier Johnson then got a great feed by Josh Scott, but missed the free throw which would have made it a three point game. Spencer Dinwiddie then picked up foul No. 3 trying to take a charge. At the under eight break, CU clung to a two point lead, at 55-53.

Wiggins made one of two free throws to cut the lead to one point, with Frank Mason also making one of two on KU’s next possession. Tie game, 55-55, with seven minutes to play. Jaron Hopkins, who had no points and four fouls in the game, then hit a three-pointer to give CU a 58-55 lead. A shot clock violation for Kansas gave CU a chance to extend the lead, with Xavier Johnson hitting a pair of free throws to make it five point Buff lead. The teams exchanged misses before Mason made a layup for the Jayhawks to cut the lead to three, at 60-57, with Askia Booker answering from the corner with a three-pointer to make it a six point game. A Wiggins put back gave the freshman star 18 points, making it a four point game at the under four timeout, 63-59.

Spencer Dinwiddie made one of two free throws coming out of the break to give him ten points, and give CU a five point lead. A three-pointer by Kansas made it 64-62, with Josh Scott hitting a jumper to push the lead back to four. A missed front end of a one-and-one by Kansas left CU with a four point lead with two minutes to play.

Dinwiddie then fouled out Embiid (zero points in the second half), making two free throws to make it 68-62. A basket by Kansas cut the lead to four, with Askia Booker missing a three pointer with a minute to play, giving the ball back to Kansas. Wiggins then made a layup for the Jayhawks to make it a two point game, 68-66, with 50 seconds to play.

Spencer Dinwiddie then calmly hit two free throws with 45 seconds to play. Colorado 70, Kansas 66. A tip-in for the Jayhawks with 30 seconds to play made it just a two point game again. Askia Booker was then fouled with 18.7 seconds to play. Booker made the first, but missed the second, giving Kansas a chance. Wiggins was then fouled by Spencer Dinwiddie in the act of shoot a three pointer. With a chance to tie the game with 12.8 seconds to play, Wiggins made two of three to make it a one point game, at 71-70.

Spencer Dinwiddie was fouled on the inbounds play, missing the first before making the second. It was now Colorado 72, Kansas 70, with Kansas calling a timeout with 11 seconds to play. Kansas then made an uncontested layup with four seconds to play. Tied at 72-all, with a timeout for Colorado.

The Buffs were just able to get the ball inbounds, getting the ball to Askia Booker in the backcourt. Booker then drove into the frontcourt, hitting a three-pointer for the ages at the buzzer.

Final score: Colorado 75, Kansas 72.

December 4th

No. 11 CU women escape Laramie with a win

The 11th-ranked CU women’s basketball earned a hard-fought victory against Wyoming Wednesday night, 63-59.

The Buffs tried to give away a victory, going scoreless for four minutes late as Wyoming turned a 57-47 deficit into a 57-57 tied before the Buffs pulled away in the last minute. Brittany Wilson had a game-high 19 points, including a layup with 55 seconds left to give CU a 59-57 lead. Arielle Roberson posted a double-double, scoring 13 points while pulling down 12 rebounds.

It was a game of streaks, as the Buffs got on top early, building a 15-10 lead midway through the first half. The Cowboys (Cowgirls?) then went on a 17-6 run the remainder of the half to take a 27-21 advantage into the break.

Wyoming got a three-pointer to open the second half, but then the Buffs went on a tear of their own. Colorado went on a 19-2 run over the next six minutes, turning a 30-21 deficit into a 40-32 advantage. The game went on with CU holding a lead of between 4-8 points for several minutes, before the Buffs put a string of baskets together to build a ten point lead.

When Brittany Wilson hit a jumper with 4:55 remaining, CU had a seemingly comfortable 57-47 lead. Wyoming then went on a 10-0 run over the next four minutes, tying the game at 57-all. With 55 seconds remaining, Brittany Wilson broke the drought, scoring on a layup to make it a 59-57 game. After a Wyoming miss, Lexy Kresl hit two free throws to up the lead to 61-57 with 17 seconds left. A pair of free throws by Wyoming again made it a two point game, with the Cowboys fouling Jasmine Sborov with five seconds remaining.

The game was still in doubt when Sborov, who was one-for-ten from the field, calmly made both free throws to put the game out of reach.

—-

 

December 3rd – at Ft. Collins          Colorado 67, Colorado State 62

Colorado overcame a four-point halftime deficit to post a comeback victory over Colorado State, 67-62.

Spencer Dinwiddie went for a season-high 28 points, including a three-point play with 2:57 to play to give the Buffs the lead for good at 61-58. Jaron Hopkins went for ten points, including two crucial three-pointers in the last five minutes of the game, while Askia Booker had twelve points on 4-of-12 shooting (0-for-6 from behind the arc). Xavier Johnson struggled, fouling out without scoring a point, while Josh Scott had to settle for six points and seven rebounds. CSU star J.J. Avila led the Rams with 16 points, but he was only 4-of-19 from the field, including a miss on a three-point shot with seven seconds to play which would have tied the game.

Game story at CUBuffs.com … Spencer Dinwiddie has little difficulty believing in himself or his game. His lone hang-up – and it’s receding by the day, maybe by the hour – is knowing when to turn it up and take over.

Just past the halfway mark of Tuesday’s first half in frenetic Moby Arena, Dinwiddie sensed he should be doing both. So he did.

Getting help in a second-half stretch run from freshman Jaron Hopkins, Dinwiddie pushed Colorado past rival Colorado State 67-62 for the Buffs eighth consecutive win.

“I’m proud of our guys and Spencer was the big difference,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “He was the best player on the floor and it wasn’t even close.” In passing 1,000 points for his career, Dinwiddie finished with a game-best 28 – one off a career-high set in last season’s win against CSU in Boulder.

But Tuesday night’s production might have been more impressive; Dinwiddie scored 19 of his total in the second half as the Buffs were trying to overcome themselves, hit seven of seven second-half free throws (he was 11-of-11 for the night), and scored seven of CU’s final nine points. The 6-6 junior also capably defended CSU’s Daniel Bejarano, who surpassed his 13.6 average with 15 points but hit only four of 15 from the field.

Redshirt freshman Wes Gordon held CSU’s leading scorer, J.J. Avila (19.0), to 16 points, and like Bejarano, Avila didn’t do much that wasn’t contested by the 6-9 Gordon. Avila needed 19 attempts to make his four field goals. Boyle called Gordon’s defense “terrific” and said the Buffs “battled . . . we made plays when we had to make plays and got stops when we had to get stops. It wasn’t a pretty game offensively when you go three for 19 from three (point range). I mean it’s tough – and there were some good looks.”

Game recap … The game started out slow, with only a free throw by Askia Booker posted in the first two minutes of play. A free throw and a dunk off of a Xavier Talton turnover then gave CSU a 3-1 lead. Xavier Johnson picked up an early second foul on the play, giving the Rams the three-point play, while sending Johnson him to the bench just three minutes in. The first basket for the Buffs didn’t come until a dunk by Josh Scott after a CSU free throw, making it 4-3 at the under 16 minute break.

The Rams stretched the lead to 6-3 with a jumper, but Jaron Hopkins countered with a jumper for the Buffs to make it 6-5 six minutes in.  A pair of free throws for CSU restored a three point advantage, but Dustin Thomas hit a jumper to bring the Buffs back to within one. Jaron Hopkins then became the second Buff with two fouls, putting the Rams into the bonus at the under 12 media timeout.

Two free throws by CSU made the score 10-7, with Askia Booker responding for the Buffs with his first field goal of the game. Spencer Dinwiddie then finally got into the scoring column, hitting two free throws to give CU its first lead, 11-10. At the nine minute mark, however, Askia Booker became the third Buff to pick up a second first half foul. Wesley Gordon then hit a free throw to extend the Buff run to five points, At the eight minute mark, Dustin Thomas became the fourth Buff with two fouls, with CSU making a jumper on their next possession to tie the game at 12-all at the under eight timeout.

A pair of Spencer Dinwiddie free throws made it 14-12, Buffs. The Buffs’ first three-pointer of the game, by Spencer Diwiddie, followed by a Xavier Talton jumper gave CU a 7-0 run and a 19-12 lead. Two free throws by the Rams stopped the run, with a layup by CSU then cutting the lead to 19-16. Another basket by the Rams’ J.J. Avila was offset by a Xavier Talton jumper. CU 21, CSU 18.  The teams then continued their better shooting, with a Dustin Thomas jumper countered by a CSU layup and a three-pointer to tie the game at 23-all. Xavier Talton became the fifth Buff with two fouls at the under four break.

Two free throws gave CSU a 7-0 run and a 25-23 lead. Dustin Thomas missed a pair of free throws which would have tied the game, with a layup by J.J. Avila giving the Rams a 27-23 lead. Josh Scott then missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Tre’Shaun Fletcher got a put back to stop the bleeding. A jumpshot by the Rams restored a four point lead for the Rams, at 29-25. Askia Booker then made one of two free throws to make it a three point game, but a three-pointer by CSU doubled the lead to six, at 32-26. A basket by Booker was countered by a dunk by the Rams. CSU 34, CU 28. A Spencer Dinwiddie layup made it 34-30 at the break.

Halftime score: Colorado State 34, Colorado 30

The Buffs finished the first half one-of-ten from three-point range, and only 7-of-13 from the free throw line. Spencer Dinwiddie, about the only Buff not in foul trouble, had nine first half points, followed by Askia Booker with six. The two Ram stars, J.J. Avila and Daniel Bejarano, had nine points each at the half – taking 18 of CSU’s 31 first half shots from the field.

A layup by the Rams opened the second half, restoring a six point lead for CSU. Askia Booker then answered for the Buffs with a jumpshot to make it 36-32, Rams. Another layup, this one by Avila, gave CSU a 38-32 advantage, but a pair of Spencer Dinwiddie baskets cut the lead to two, at 38-36. Baskets by Booker and Dinwiddie were countered by just one basket for the Rams. Timeout, CSU, with 16:49 to play. CSU 40, CU 40.

Spencer Dinwiddie hit a pair of free throws to give him 17 points, and the Buffs their first lead of the second half, 42-40. Two free throws by the Rams tied the game at 42-all, with another pair of free throws by Avila giving the lead back to the Rams, at 44-42. A Josh Scott layup tied the game at 44-all, but a jumpshot by Bejarano gave the Rams a 46-44 lead at the under 12 break.

Two free throws by Avila gave him 15 points, and gave the Rams back their four-point halftime advantage, at 48-44. Two free throws by Josh Scott cut the lead to two, at 48-46, but the Rams’ first three-pointer of the second half made it a five-point game, at 51-46. A layup by Spencer Dinwiddie made it 51-48 at the midway point of the second half, but a jumper for the Rams made it 53-48 with nine minutes to play.

Two free throws by Spencer Dinwiddie gave him 21 points, but the Buffs still trailed, 53-50. A steal and a dunk by Jaron Hopkins made it a one point game with seven minutes to play. A dunk by the Rams was followed by a missed three pointer by Dinwiddie, leaving CSU with a three point lead and the ball with six minutes left in the game.

A blocked shot by Josh Scott gave the Buffs the ball back, but Xavier Johnson, held scoreless on the night, picked up foul number four on an offensive foul. Jaron Hopkins then made up for the Johnson miscue, hitting a three-pointer to tie the game at 55-all at the last media timeout. Jaron Hopkins then picked up his fourth foul, putting CSU into the bonus. Two free throws by the Rams gave CSU a 57-55 lead, but a second Jaron Hopkins three-pointer gave Colorado the lead, at 58-57. The Rams made one of two free throws on their end to tie the game again, at 58-all, with Spencer Dinwiddie giving CU a 61-58 advantage with a traditional three point play with 2:58 left.

After a timeout, a layup by Dinwiddie pushed his total to 26, and gave CU a 63-58 lead with two minutes left. At 1:44 to play, the Rams scored to cut the lead to three, 63-60. Jaron Hopkins collected a CSU miss with under a minute to play, but turned the ball over. Xavier Johnson then committed a foul (line for the night – zero points, three rebounds, five fouls), sending the Rams to the line with 42 seconds to play. The Rams made only one of two, but got the offensive rebound on the miss. Josh Scott then committed a foul with 24 seconds remaining, giving the Rams the chance to tie the game at the line. J.J. Avila made the first free throw, but missed the second.

Spencer Dinwiddie was fouled with 13 seconds to play, and calmly made both, giving CU a three-point advantage, at 65-62. J.J. Avila then missed a three point attempt, and, with three seconds to play, Askia Booker put the game out of reach with a pair of free throws.

Final score: Colorado 67, Colorado State 62.

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