LAS VEGAS —- Arizona has a knack for getting the crowd energized with dunks.

On Friday night, the Wildcats' Aaron Gordon got the crowd going by preventing a dunk.

With Colorado down by eight, the Buffaloes' Xavier Johnson leaped in the air to attempt a dunk, but Gordon was there to stuff the attempt.

Rather than a momentum-shifting play for CU, it raised the volume of the thousands of Arizona fans in attendance. The Wildcats used that play to fuel them to a game-changing 13-0 run.

"It's beyond big," CU's Askia Booker said of Gordon's play. "Not every day you see somebody contest dunks, and when somebody does and they block the shot, that can be the difference in the game. Arizona has a great fan base and they showed it tonight and they erupted when they got that block."

Colorado guard Askia Booker, left, goes up for a shot against Arizona’s Jordin Mayes on Friday in Las Vegas. More photos:
Colorado guard Askia Booker, left, goes up for a shot against Arizona's Jordin Mayes on Friday in Las Vegas. More photos: (Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

That play was symbolic of Arizona's physical advantage. The Wildcats out-rebounded CU 41-25, outscored the Buffs 24-18 in the paint and limited CU's production at the rim.

"One thing about Arizona is you better match their physicality, because they're a very physical team," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "We battled, but we got beat. At 41-25 on the boards, it's kind of the tale of the game in my opinion."

Miller impressed with Buffs

With Friday's loss, CU fell to 9-8 in the 17 full games it has played since star guard Spencer Dinwiddie suffered a season-ending knee injury. But, Arizona head coach Sean Miller was impressed with CU down the stretch.


"People who aren't coaches or part of a college basketball team cannot comprehend how difficult it is to move forward when someone like Spencer Dinwiddie has a season-ending injury," Miller said. "I mean, it knocks you back.

"What Tad and his staff have done and what those players have done has been really nothing short of remarkable. The fact they're sitting in the NCAA Tournament, our hat's off to them, and we wish them nothing but the best."

Not-so-great Scott

CU's Josh Scott struggled throughout the Pac-12 Tournament. After averaging 14.5 points and 8.8 rebounds during the regular season, Scott posted just 9.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game in Las Vegas.

Charlton honored

Former CU great Ken Charlton was one of 12 former student-athletes inducted into the Pac-12 Men's Basketball Hall of Honor on Friday at the MGM Grand.

Each school in the conference had one inductee, and Charlton was pleased to be selected to represent the Buffaloes. From 1961-63, Charlton led CU to back-to-back Big Eight Conference titles, two top-10 national rankings and two NCAA Tournament berths. He was an All-American in 1962-63.

"It's a surprise, because I was not aware of the Pac-12 having a Hall of Fame like this," said Charlton, who lives near Sarasota, Fla. "It's probably a cap (to his career). I'll never have anything like this to happen to me again."

Charlton, who was elected to the CU Hall of Fame in 2010 had six family members with him, including his wife, his two children and his two grandchildren.

"It's pretty special," he said.


CU averaged 27.1 free throw attempts during the regular season. In three games this week, the Buffs attempted 14.7 per game - and no more than 16 in any one game. ... CU had just five assists, its second-lowest total of the season. The Buffs had four against Wyoming on Nov. 13.

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