Colorado won their third straight game in the Pac-12 today as they beat Cal 81-71 at the Coors Event Center. This was another game the Buffaloes needed to win and they did just that. The Buffaloes are now 4-4 in the Pac-12 and have rebounded very well since their disappointing 1-4 start. Xavier Johnson played even better than he did against Stanford as he had a career high 18 points and 12 rebounds and Askia Booker had his best game in a while with 20 points. Colorado continues to play superb defensive basketball and has found their stride offensively.
Things the Buffaloes did well:
Josh Scott and Andre Roberson got into early foul trouble, but Xavier Johnson and Askia Booker were there to produce for the Buffaloes. Booker's shot selection is always questionable, but everything was going in today and he also hit four threes. He had 20 points and did it on 8-12 shooting. Offensively, Colorado looks much more patient as of late. They're sharing the ball and relying on the inside rather than settling for jumpers when plays break down. The three point shooting is finally back. Colorado shot 7-15 from three and a ridiculous 59 percent from the field.
Despite barely playing in the first half, Andre Roberson responded well in the second scoring 15 points and picking up five rebounds in the game. Although Spencer Dinwiddie didn't have his best game offensively, he was key down the stretch hitting free throws going 9-10 from the line. Overall, the team's free throw shooting was great today as they went 18-22. Defensively, Colorado was once again very tough to score on and they were rotating and recovering well. Cal only turned it over ten times, but they were struggling in the half court and in transition. Justin Cobbs and Allen Crabbe combined for 43 points, however, they needed to take 42 shots to get there.
Things the Buffaloes struggled with:
There was a stretch in the first half that was very sloppy. The Buffaloes were playing carelessly and looked like they forgot how to play transition basketball. Colorado turned the ball over 20 times in the game, but they were able to overcome their lazy play with strong shooting.
The Buffs only play one game this upcoming week and will take on Utah on the road on Saturday. If Colorado can play similar to how they did against Cal or Stanford, they should be able to be 5-4 going into a monumental showdown against Oregon the following Thursday. However, this is Colorado and they are playing on the road. A win looks likely, but you never know with this team away from the Coors Event Center