The Colorado Buffaloes improve to (20-7, 9-5 in PAC-12 play) as they defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils in conference play, 61-52. The Buffs can attribute the win to the effort on the glass as they out-rebounded the Sun Devils, 48-27 — +21 margin.
It was an even and hard-fought out first-half at the Coors Event Center as both teams struggled from the field and would have foul trouble. Wesley Gordon checked in and gave the Buffaloes a boost early in the half, getting the hoop and the harm but missed his free-throw attempt. Then on the ensuing Buffs possession, Gordon would be wide open under the hoop for the easy dunk.
Arizona State’s Jahii Carson scored 7 first-half points on just 2-of-6 shooting, collecting 5 rebounds rallying his troops into the half. Colorado’s Josh Scott collected 8 first-half points on 2-of-5 shooting, with 6 rebounds as the Colorado Buffaloes took the lead into halftime, 27-26. Arizona State’s big-men Jordan Bachynski and Eric Jacobsen would both have two fouls entering the second-half.
The Sun Devils would start out the second-half on a 6-0 run led by Jahii Carson who recorded two lay-ups, putting them up 32-27 as Tad Boyle was forced to call a timeout after five turnovers. Whatever Boyle told his team during the timeout worked as Askia Booker took Colorado on a 8-0 run with three consecutive lay-ups and a dunk from Josh Scott to go up 35-32.
Arizona State was in need of a boost on the offensive end and brought in forward Jonathan Gilling. Gilling would go on scoring spree, knocking down a trio of three-pointers to bring the Sun Devils within two. Xavier Johnson would respond with two free-throw attempts on the 1&1 to expand the lead to four.
After an Askia Booker jumper, Shaquielle McKissic of Arizona State would knock down a three from the corner to bring it within three. The teams would trade buckets up until the point where Xavier Johnson cashed in a wide-open lay-up to put the Buffaloes up 55-50 and they controlled it from that point on. Askia Booker went to the stripe and sealed the deal for the Buffaloes as he went a perfect 8-of-8 from the charity stripe.
The Colorado Buffaloes improved to 6-4 in the absence of star point guard Spencer Dinwiddie and earned their 20th win of the season. Booker tied a game-high with 18 points on 5-of-17 shooting, collecting 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Jahii Carson would struggle from the field but cashed in 7-of-8 freebies to finish the game with 18 points.
The Colorado Buffaloes are back in action Saturday night as they host #4 Arizona Wildcats at the Coors Event Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 PM ET, 7:00 PM MT and will be televised on ESPN.