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Colorado Buffaloes lead wire-to-wire in 82-70 win over Arizona State

NCAA Basketball: Arizona State at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffs got some revenge for their three-point loss in Tempe earlier this year, this time pulling out a relatively-painless 82-70 win over Arizona State on Thursday night.

J’Vonne Hadley led the way with 19 points and 11 rebounds – his first career double-double –and three other Buffs (Cody Williams, KJ Simpson, and Tristan Da Silva) also reached double-digit points, as CU led wire-to-wore; Simpson’s three pointer to open the scoring was the smallest lead the Buffs had all night.

Not unlike a few other games this year, CU ran out to a big lead – they were up 12-0 by the time that Arizona State’s Frankie Collins got the Sun Devils on the board with free throw. The Buffs worked inside almost exclusively to start the game, exploiting Eddie Lampkin’s significant size advantage; he had at least 20 pounds on both of ASU’s starting forwards. 10 of their first 17 points were either in the paint or on layups, and they finished with 26 points in the paint on the night.

Arizona State started hitting shots, however, and used an 11-0 run – mostly because of back-to-back three from Alonzo Gaffney – to cut the Buffs’ lead to single digits a little over halfway through the first half. But CU stayed aggressive attacking the rim and were rewarded for it: they were already in the double bonus by the first half’s 6:30 media timeout, and hit 15 of their 16 free throws in the half (ended the night 26-29). The Buffs went into the locker room with a nine point lead, thanks to a 7-2 run to end the half.

For most of the second half, the lead fluctuated between nine and 12 points. The last real testy moment of the night came with about 2 minutes left, when a 5-0 ASU run cut the Buffs’ lead in half. B. Then, on back-to-back possessions, Hadley hit a long three as the shot clock expired and drew a foul on a fast break, hitting both free throws, bringing the lead back to 10. Clutch free throw shooting (6 for their final 6) sealed the game for the Buffs, giving them their first win since January 24th at Washington.

The Buffs now have a 13-game win streak at the Events Center, and are undefeated at home this year. Their next game is Saturday night, when the #8 Arizona Wildcats come to Boulder for a rematch of their game from early January, a 47-point blowout loss for the Buffs. Tipoff for that game is scheduled for 8P.M. MST.