Arizona's defense stifled Colorado all game long and the Buffs never seemed to have a chance as they lost to the Wildcats 69-57 tonight at the McKale Center. Without Spencer Dinwiddie, it was going to take a perfect game from Colorado to pull off the upset. But too many turnovers led to an 18-4 start for Arizona and the Buffs couldn't muster up enough to respond after that. For Colorado, Xavier Johnson led the way with 21 points and Askia Booker added 11. The Buffs are now 15-5 overall and 4-3 in Pac-12 play.
Things the Buffaloes did well:
There's only so much you could have hoped for from Colorado tonight. Arizona is the top ranked team in the nation and has the best defense in the country. The talent discrepancy was vast enough that a victory seemed out of the question. But the Buffs still managed to hang in the game and kept themselves somewhat close throughout the contest. Part of that was due to their success at the free-throw line where they went 13-of-14. They also corralled 10 offensive rebounds.
After a sluggish start, Xavier Johnson picked up his game in the second half and finished with a game-high 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting. He went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc as well. Josh Scott held his own against Arizona's strong frontcourt and finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Things the Buffaloes struggled with:
No player aside from Booker, Scott and Johnson managed to score more than four points and three were held scoreless. Wesley Gordon couldn't finish anything around the rim once again and ended up with zero points and missed all six shots he attempted.
Going into an intense road environment, the Buffs looked disinterested in the game and threw careless passes to start off the first half. Once they were down 18-4, it didn't seem like there was much of a chance for Colorado. Arizona forced the Buffs to commit 14 turnovers and Colorado never was able to get consistent good looks at the basket as there were a variety of off-balance contested runners. The Buffs were held to 37 percent shooting on the night and started the game out 1-of-10 and had four points through eight minutes. In the first 20 minutes, Colorado was 8-of-28 from the floor.
The real test of this weekend comes Saturday night in Tempe against Arizona St. The Sun Devils managed to sneak by Utah tonight 79-75 and will be looking for a sweep to help themselves in the Pac-12 standings. The Buffs definitely have a chance to win this game and they'll need stellar performances from Xavier Johnson, Askia Booker and Josh Scott for them to salvage the weekend.