Fast break

What went right: CU was aggressive from the start and kept it up throughout the game, dominating Southern Cal on offense and defense.

What went wrong: Not much. If anything, the Buffs got a little lazy at times on defense late in the game, but they already led by more than 20 points when that happened.

Star of the game: Askia Booker. Attempted just five shots - his lowest single-game total in nearly two years - but finished with 13 points, tied his career-high with six assists, pulled down four rebounds and had one huge block.

What's next?: The Buffs will visit No. 1 Arizona on Thursday in Tucson, Ariz.

This past week has been a tough one for the Colorado men's basketball team.

The Buffaloes lost their best player to a season-ending knee injury. They lost another key player to a significant knee injury. While trying to recover from that mental shock, they got thumped in two straight games, including their first home loss of the season.

Even head coach Tad Boyle admitted after a loss to No. 25 UCLA on Thursday that his team was fragile mentally.

On Saturday, the 21st-ranked Buffaloes brushed all of that aside and got back on track - both mentally and in the win column.

Led once again by guard Askia Booker and forward Josh Scott, the Buffs routed Southern Cal 83-62 at the Coors Events Center.

"We needed it a lot," Booker said. "When the whole team gets in and everybody gets a little piece of the victory, it's great. We can only feed off of this."

Scott had 20 points and seven rebounds and Booker had another efficient night on offense, with 13 points and a career high-tying six assists to help the Buffs (15-4, 4-2 Pac-12) snap a two-game skid.

Xavier Johnson and Jaron Hopkins added 10 points each for the Buffs, who had lost their first two games since star point guard Spencer Dinwiddie suffered a season-ending knee injury Sunday at Washington. The Buffs also lost freshman Tre'Shaun Fletcher in that game.

"I'm really proud of our guys, from the end of the bench to the guys on the floor for the way they responded and the way they really tried to execute the game plan ,which they did a great job of," Boyle said.

"It's one game. We're going to move on. But, don't count this team out. These guys have toughness, they have grit and we can win some games in this league."

Colorado jumped on USC (9-9, 0-5) early, doing what everybody else in the Pac-12 has done to the Trojans so far. USC has lost all five of its Pac-12 games by at least 18 points.

An 18-0 run gave CU a 20-2 lead less than 8 minutes into the game. Johnson had a pair of layups and George King and Eli Stalzer came off the bench to sink 3-pointers during that big run.

"It was great, and I loved the pace of the game," Boyle said. "We knew with this quick turnaround (from both teams playing on Thursday) and USC coming in and playing at altitude, that pace was just what we wanted from the get-go."

CU took a 40-23 lead into the half and then exploded again early in the second half. Scott scored eight points during a 16-2 run that put the game away. His offensive rebound and put-back with 13:30 to go gave CU a commanding 56-29 lead.

The final stat sheet was full of great numbers for the Buffs. They out-shot the Trojans 48.4 percent to 36.8. They out-rebounded them 43-23. They held the Trojans to just 12 second-chance points. The Buffs had just four turnovers in the first half and 12 for the game.

In fact, when asked if there was a stat he didn't like, Boyle said, "Not really."

Throughout the afternoon, CU displayed the three principles Boyle preaches most: playing good defense, rebounding and taking care of the ball on offense.

Yeah, the Buffs do look different without Dinwiddie on the floor, but they showed on Saturday that they aren't planning on wasting any more time dwelling on it.

"Without him, it was rough the first game (against UCLA)," Booker said. "Tonight, it showed that we came together. We played as a team and we were all aggressive. Tonight's just a sign of letting our team know we can without him and Tre'Shaun."

The Buffs will get Fletcher back at some point. He's expected to miss six to eight weeks, so he could be ready in time for the Pac-12 Tournament in March. As for Dinwiddie, he won't be back this year, and may not be back ever. He was planning to go to the NBA after the season, and still might. That decision has yet to be made.

Regardless of what Dinwiddie decides, the Buffs know that at least for now, this is the team they have to work with, and on Saturday it looked pretty good.

"We're moving on," Boyle said. "I was planning on playing next year without Spencer Dinwiddie anyway. It's just it came a little bit earlier. You're getting a pretty good peek into next year's team.

"What we've talked about as a coaching staff, it's imperative that we don't get down. When we're frustrated, we have to understand that we just have to get better every day. That's the identity of our team. If we do that, we're going to be better as the season goes on. We've got to have that process start right now, and it's started."

Contact BuffZone.com Writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.