FRESNO, Calif. -- It was not aesthetically pleasing.

But to Tad Boyle's eyes, Colorado's 50-43 victory over Fresno State on Wednesday night at the Save Smart Center was a Picasso.

The Buffs' leading scorer, Spencer Dinwiddie, missed all four shots from the field that he took and finished with just one point. However, the 6-6 sophomore point guard did help return these Buffs to dominance on the defensive end.

The Bulldogs' three starting guards finished a combined 7-for-23 from the field. Kevin Olekaibe, who scored 26 points in Boulder last season, was held to five points in 29 minutes.

"Spencer wasn't great offensively, but defensively he was pretty darn good," Boyle said after a satisfying road victory.

Dinwiddie, who was averaging a team-high 16.2 points entering the game, clearly accepted Boyle's challenge to refocus on defense and rebounding after the Buffs were drubbed 90-54 at Kansas four days earlier.

Entering Wednesday's game, CU ranked ninth in the Pac-12 in rebounding margin (+2.4) and 10th in field-goal percentage defense (.413).

"Those are the two things we pride ourselves on," Boyle said. "We're ninth in both those categories coming in here, so I said, 'Guys, how are we 7-2?'

"That's our identity, that's who we are, that's who we're going to be, and we're not there yet."

The Buffs (8-2) held Fresno State to 29.6 percent from the field and out-rebounded the home team 40-33.


Andre Roberson scored 17 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds. Josh Scott added 11 points and eight rebounds.

"We just wanted to get the taste of the Kansas game out of our mouth and get a road win," Roberson said. "I kind of feel good right now about the win. We need to just continue moving forward and get some more wins."

CU does not play again until hosting Northern Arizona on Dec. 21. The players will be practicing around final exams next week.

It will be important for Boyle to find some more minutes and perhaps some confidence in the bench before the Pac-12 season opens on Jan. 3 at No. 8 Arizona.

Fresno State's reserves outscored CU's bench 20-3.

"It's definitely important," said backup big man Shane Harris-Tunks, who had two points, one rebound and a steal in eight minutes. "We lapsed in the second half a little bit. If we can get more out of our bench, our starters will have better legs in the second half and will have a more consistent effort as well."

The Buffs escapweed with the victory despite making only 7 of 22 shots (31.8 percent) after leading 27-17 at the intermission.

CU also missed nine free throws and committed 18 turnovers in the game with just seven assists.

As far as the head coach was concerned, defense and rebounding got the job well done.

"Obviously we didn't play very well offensively in the second half. We missed some bunnies," Boyle said. "Fresno State is a scrappy bunch and it's never easy on the road. We wanted to establish our defensive identity and match them on the boards. Those are positives to build from. ...

"To win on the road when you don't play your best basketball is a sign that your team has something good."

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