CU Buffs beat Arizona State Sun Devils on the road
Colorado remains alive in Pac-12 title chase
02/11/2012 06:38:13 PM MST
CU Buffs guard Askia Booker drives between Arizona State Sun Devils defenders Ruslan Pateev, left, and Carrick Felix during the Buffs victory Saturday in Tempe, Ariz.
buffzone.com/ci_19605463'>CU 56, Texas Southern 51
CU men's basketball schedule
Nov. 11 - Ft. Lewis 57, CU 85
Nov. 17 - Wichita State 67, CU 58
Nov. 18 - Maryland 78, CU 71
Nov. 20 - CU 81, W. Michigan 76
Nov. 23 - Air Force 73, CU 76, OT
Nov. 28 - CU 70, Georgia 68
Nov. 30 - CU 64, Colorado State 65
Dec. 7 - CU 71, Fresno State 64
Dec. 9 - Wyoming 65, CU 54
Dec. 19 - CU 70, CSU Bakersfield 64
Dec. 22 -
Dec. 28 - CU 92, New Orleans 34
Dec. 31 - CU 73, Utah 33
Jan. 5 - CU 87, Washington 69
Jan. 7 - CU 71, Washington State 60
Jan. 12 - Cal 57, CU 50
Jan. 14 - Stanford 84, CU 64
Jan. 19 - CU 69, Arizona State 54
Jan. 21 - CU 64, Arizona 63
Jan. 26 - CU 74, USC 50
Jan. 28 - UCLA 77, CU 60
Feb. 2 - CU 83, Oregon State 57
Feb. 4 - CU 72, Oregon 71
Feb. 9 - Arizona 71, CU 57
Feb. 11 - CU 63, Arizona State 49
Feb. 18 - CU at Utah, 3 p.m.
23 - Stanford at CU, 7 p.m.
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Feb. 26 - California at CU, 3:30 p.m.
Mar. 1 - CU at Oregon, TBA
Mar. 3 - CU at Oregon State, TBA
March 7-10 - Pac-12 Basketball Tournament, Los Angeles, Ca.
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Nate Tomlinson and Austin Dufault were 0-10 on the road as true freshmen.
Colorado finished 9-22 overall and dead last in the Big 12 with a 1-15 conference record during the painful 2008-09 aging process.
The seniors were all smiles after Colorado's beastly yet beautiful 63-49 victory over Arizona State on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Buffs (17-8 overall, 9-4 conference) remain tied for third-place in the Pac-12 with Arizona (9-4) and Oregon (9-4), one game behind Cal (10-3) and a half game behind Washington (9-3) in the standings.
"It feels good," Tomlinson said after CU's critical Grand Canyon State split. "We've played everyone, and I feel confident in my team that we should be in this top echelon of the league.
"If we keep improving, we can win this thing."
This year's freshmen duo -- Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie -- aren't exactly suffering the way their senior point guard and forward did three years ago.
Booker scored all nine of his points in the first half while Spencer Dinwiddie poured in all 15 of his points in the second half.
The one-two punch knocked the Sun Devils out cold.
"I let my team down on Thursday night against Arizona a little bit," said Booker, who went 0-for-6 from the field during CU's 71-57 loss in Tucson. "I wasn't there mentally. Tonight, I came out prepared and I was able to compete."
Dinwiddie, who played a team-high 16 minutes in the first half without taking a shot, went 4-for-6 from the field and 4-for-4 at the free-throw line after the intermission.
"This is a big win for us to stay in the Pac-12 race," Dinwiddie said. "The ride home after a loss is terrible. The coaches don't speak to anybody, the players are kind of silent. It's going to be a fun mood flying back after this win."
Dinwiddie made a 3-pointer to get the Buffs started in the second half. After a triple by Tomlinson and a put-back by Dufault, CU suddenly had a 10-point lead.
"I think (Dinwiddie) was more aggressive," head coach Tad Boyle said. "He didn't take a shot in the first half, and I really respect Spencer for that because he's a good offensive player. He let the game come to him."
Dinwiddie finished off the decisive 18-5 run with another rhythm jumper from behind the arc to make the score 39-26 with 14:40 remaining.
The Sun Devils (8-17, 4-9), who lost 69-54 in Boulder on Jan. 19, fell to 3-3 at home in Pac-12 play. CU improved to 2-4 on the road in the conference.
"You can tell your program has come a long way when you go on the road and expect to win," Boyle said. "We expected to win this game."
CU closed the first half on a 7-0 run and took a 28-21 lead into the locker room.
Booker sparked the lethargic Buffs off the bench. CU turned the ball over eight times but forced 12 miscues by Arizona State before the break.
The Sun Devils only made eight field goals and shot 34.8 percent from the field in the first half, however, four 3-pointers and four second-chance points kept them in the game.
"Our biggest problem was turnovers," Arizona head coach Herb Sendek said. "Obviously, those really helped fuel Colorado's transition game, which can be a challenge even on made field goals."
The Buffs fell behind 5-0 and failed to get on the scoreboard until Carlon Brown's layup 3:53 into the game. A 6-0 run capped with an Andre Roberson dunk provided CU with its first lead (8-7) with 13:01 left before the intermission.
Arizona State did not score again in the first half after a driving hoop by Carrick Felix tied the score with 2:54 remaining.
CU finished the game with a 31-22 scoring edge in the paint, converted 15 points off 15 Sun Devil turnovers, and had an 11-2 edge in fast-break points. Those statistics more than offset the Buffs' 14 turnovers and seven missed free throws.
Dufault finished with 12 points and six rebounds. Roberson added 12 points and nine rebounds for the visitors. Tomlinson had five points, four assists and did a solid job of guarding Trent Lockett (3-for-8 shooting, 10 points), Arizona State's leading scorer and rebounds.
The Buffs don't play again until next Saturday at Utah.
"Old people like me need rest," Tomlinson said with a sly grin. "We'll be able to take a couple days off and get ready for Utah and another road win."