Despite some lapses defensively, Colorado still managed to lead for 40 minutes and beat Georgia 84-70 tonight at the Coors Event Center. Five players finished in double figures for the Buffs and Askia Booker led the way as he made multiple jumpers in transition and had 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Josh Scott added 14 points and 13 rebounds. With the win, the Buffaloes improved to 11-2 on the season and end non-conference play with an undefeated record at home.
Things the Buffaloes did well:
They came out of the gate with a lot of energy and were scoring early and often. Xavier Johnson had three threes in just over four minutes and provided an instant scoring boost for Colorado. He finished with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting and added four rebounds. His success from beyond the arc carried over to the team as well. The Buffaloes were 8-of-20 from three for the game and were patient offensively finding open looks against Georgia's zone.
Although the Buffs have struggled with free-throw shooting throughout the season, it certainly wasn't a problem tonight as Colorado hit all 26 free throws they attempted. The offense used its length to gain multiple extra possessions and collected 11 offensive rebounds with five of them coming from Josh Scott. Scott was aggressive on the glass all night and continues to be a great post threat for the Buffaloes as he draws doubles and willingly passes out of them. Spencer Dinwiddie added a quiet 17 points while Wesley Gordon finished with 10 points and six rebounds.
Askia Booker had another strong performance tonight and his shooting success as of late will be crucial for conference play. Last season going into Pac-12 play, Booker was struggling from all over the floor, but the case is not the same this season. In the past four games, he's shot 40 percent or above from the field.
Things the Buffaloes struggled with:
Georgia isn't a good team and there were multiple times in the game when Colorado could've pulled away, but failed to do so. The defense was subpar and the Bulldogs were able to get open shots and into the lane at times when they shouldn't have been able to. Georgia shot 50 percent from the field and went 5-of-8 from three. The offensive success allowed the defense to make multiple mistakes, but going into conference play, the Buffs still need to be more consistent defensively.
Colorado will start conference play against the schools from Oregon. First up is Oregon St. on Jan. 2 at 8 p.m at the Coors Event Center. The Beavers are one of the worst teams in the Pac-12, but that was true the last time these two teams met and Oregon St. came in and won on the road. The Buffs will be looking for revenge and will have to put together a much better performance to start off the new year with a win.