The CU men’s basketball team took on the Utah Utes at home on Thursday night in their second meeting of the season but this time the game had a very different outcome. The Buffs beat the Utes 60-50.
In their first match at Utah, Colorado lost by 3 points after coming back from a 22-point deficit midway through the second half. In Thursday’s rematch, the momentum shifted in Colorado’s favor.
Utah started the game with a 2-3 zone defense and Colorado utilized a man-on-man formation, which proved difficult for the Buffs without the help of starting center Josh Scott.
Coach Boyle benched the 6’10” freshman forward after he suffered a concussion during Saturday’s home game against Arizona State. With Scott’s absence, the sizable height difference in the paint was an obstacle for CU as they fought to keep Utah’s 6’10” center Jason Washburn away from the basket.
After a back-and-forth first half, the score remained close with almost equally matched shooting and defense. At the 9:40 mark in the first half, Colorado freshman forward Xavier Johnson scored a 3-point basket to tie the game at 17, but Utah wasn’t about to give up just yet.
The Utes went on a 9-4 run until the Buffs responded a 9-2 run themsleves. With 1:22 remaining in the half, Colorado regained the lead off of a 3-point bucket by Spencer Dinwiddie, who added to their advantage by sinking a crucial free throw with 5 seconds left on the clock.
The second half picked up right where the first half left off with a very tight-knit game until the Buffs offense significantly increased.
“Our pressure defense really got us going; we created some offense with our defense.” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. After an 8-3 run during the first four minutes of play, the Utes were forced to call a timeout, but that didn’t stop the Buffs from dominating the Utes in the next 4 minutes.
Askia Booker’s layup with 12:22 remaining in the game gave Colorado their biggest lead at 47-36. Utah responded narrowing the lead with Jordan Loveridge’s layup to 5 points with 6:26 left on the clock. CU dominated the Utes 9-4 for the rest of the game and finished with a ten point lead.
“We won this game in the second half, holding them to 31% and out rebounding them by 8,” Boyle Said.
Junior forward Andre Roberson, who currently leads the NCAA in rebounding, earned his 1,000th career rebound among his 11 boards on the night making him the second-best rebounder in CU history behind Stephane Pelle, who had 1,054 rebounds in his time at Colorado.
“Andre Roberson is the best defender in America. He’s without a doubt the best defender in the Pac 12.” Coach Boyle noted.
Spencer Dinwiddie lead the Buffs with 13 points and was aided by an additional 12 from Sabatino Chen and 10 from Andre Roberson. Loveridge carried Utah with 12 points and 7 rebounds.
The Buffs will take the next few days off before heading to California to face the Stanford Cardinal on February 27th.
Contact CU Independent staff writer Alissa Noe at Alissa.email@example.com.