BOULDER, Colo -
On a cold, snowy Colorado night, if the guys from the desert needed a blanket, their hosts were happy to oblige. The Buffaloes draped themselves over No. 9 Arizona, smothering the Pac-12 Conference’s highest-scoring team and leaving a delirious Coors Events Center with a resume-enhancing, think-Big-Dancing 71-58 win.
As nasty as CU’s defense was in limiting Arizona to its lowest point total of the season, the offense provided by sophomore Spender Dinwiddie and freshman Xavier Johnson was Valentine’s Night sweet for the Buffs. Dinwiddie finished with a game-high 21, Johnson with a career-high 19.
But they had loads of help in different areas. Sophomore guard Askia Booker added 10 points, two assists and three steals, and junior Andre Roberson contributed seven points and a game-best 13 rebounds to move past Cliff Meely into second place (978) on the school’s board list.
“It was a great atmosphere for college basketball,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “The whole state of Colorado can be proud . . . this had nothing to do with revenge, but everything to do with respect for Arizona. They’ll win a lot of games as the season unfolds, but we will, too.”
Particularly if the Buffs continue to play ‘D’ as they have over the past month. The Wildcats came into the game averaging 76.2 points a game and featured two of the league’s top nine scorers in Mark Lyons (17.5) and Solomon Hill (15.4). Lyons got 11 points, Hill 12 on Thursday night as the Wildcats were limited to 42.3 percent from the field.
CU entered the night as the Pac-12 leader in scoring defense (64.2 ppg) and field goal percentage (40.6). But Boyle said his team’s defensive effort on Thursday was nothing short of a milestone in his time at CU.