The crowd at the Coors Event center fueled Colorado tonight as they beat No. 9 Arizona 71-58. Xavier Johnson had another fine performance against the Wildcats putting up 19 points and 9 rebounds while Spencer Dinwiddie led the way for Colorado with 21 points. At one point the Buffaloes were 1-4 in the Pac-12, but now they are 7-5 and have put themselves in position to possibly contend for a Pac-12 title.
Things the Buffaloes did well:
It was the Xavier Johnson show tonight at the Coors Event Center. The freshman continues to improve and was crucial for Colorado as he shot 4-5 from three and 7-9 from the field and finished with 19 points. Spencer Dinwiddie showed once again why he is the leader of this team. When he's on the floor, the offense runs smoothly. At times when the offense did break down, Dinwiddie was there either hitting a three, drawing a foul, or driving and kicking to players for open looks evident by his 7 assists. Shooting wise, he went 5-9 from the field and 9-9 from the free throw line.
Off the bench Xavier Talton and Shane Harris-Tunks both played very well. Talton was strong defensively and hit a big three after Arizona closed within as little as six points. Despite the low scoring total from Harris-Tunks, he had a major impact limiting Kaleb Tarcewski in the paint as he had only six points. Andre Roberson won't get as much credit as he deserves in this victory, but he was instrumental for Colorado. He had 7 points, but picked up 13 rebounds and 2 steals, and caused problems for Solomon Hill throughout the game. Hill shot 5-14 and never looked comfortable going against Roberson.
As a team, Colorado was excellent on the defensive side of the ball. They held Arizona to 1-10 shooting from the three point line in the first half and limited them to 5-19 from beyond the arc for the game. They didn't allow the Wildcats any open looks and were in great defensive position to disallow Arizona from getting any easy buckets around the hoop. Conversely, Colorado was very effective from the three point line as they shot 9-17 and shot 50 percent overall on the night. More importantly was how the Buffaloes once again were able to close out the game. For three straight games now, Colorado has won down the stretch with their defense and timely shooting.
Things the Buffaloes struggled with:
Colorado didn't do much wrong tonight. Tad Boyle had some offensively challenged lineups in the game for too long in both halves, but it ultimately didn't hurt the Buffaloes as they were able to pull off the upset.
Colorado takes on Arizona St. Saturday at 7 p.m in another big game in the Pac-12. If Colorado brings the defensive intensity they did tonight, they should be able to get revenge on Arizona St. and sweep the Arizona schools and win their fourth straight in the Pac-12.