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Buffaloes Top Trojans 86-65

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Dustin Thomas scores a career-high 17 points in Colorado's second-straight win

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

After an emotional and cathartic 62-56 win over UCLA, it would have been easy for Colorado to overlook a USC team, who had won just one of its previous 13 Pac-12 road games coming into Sunday.

Instead, Colorado avoided a letdown, topping the Trojans 86-65 with a balanced attack that saw seven players score six or more points.

"I thought it was a workmanlike effort by our guys," said head coach Tad Boyle. "We did what we had to do. I thought offensively we hit our numbers, we shot the ball well (55.2%), our assists to turnover ratio was great (22:10). It's amazing how when that happens, the percentages move in your favor."

The Buffs led for the entire game, and used a 14-0 run that started with about six minutes to play in the first half to take a commanding 43-27 halftime advantage.

All nine players who saw the floor in the first half hit at least one field goal. CU outscored the Trojans 12-0 in fast break points, and tallied 10 assists to seven turnovers.

Freshmen Dominique Collier and Tory Miller both provided valuable contributions in the first half, with Collier breaking USC's zone, and Miller playing excellent interior defense, as the Buffs were once again without Josh Scott, who sat with back spasms.

Dustin Thomas (2), Askia Booker, and Xavier Johnson all hit threes in the first four minutes of the second half, stretching the Colorado lead to 55-33.

USC cut the lead down to 14, as Colorado started to relax on defense, but the Buffs responded by going on a 9-2 run keyed by Booker to put the lead back at 76-55.

Walk-ons Brett Brady, Josh Repine, and Geoff Bates were all able to see the court in the game's waning moments, as Colorado improved to 9-5, and 2-0 in the young Pac-12 season.

Booker led the Buffs in scoring with 18 points. Thomas set a new career-high with 17 points, knocking down all three three-pointers he took. Johnson also added 17 points in the victory.

Colorado now enters the most difficult portion of their schedule - a three-game road trip to Utah and Arizona to face the No. 10 Utes, the No. 8 Wildcats, and Arizona State. CU will face the Utes on Wednesday at 7 p.m., MST.