This time, there wasn’t any collapse or controversy that would sting Colorado with a bitterness that was hard to shake. This time, there were fans storming the court in celebration.
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 21 points and freshman Xavier Johnson added a season-high 19 points and 9 rebounds as Colorado avenged a painful overtime loss at Arizona with a 71-58 rout of the 9th-ranked Wildcats.
On Jan. 3, the Buffaloes’ apparent game-winning 3-pointer in Tucson was waived off at the end of regulation although replays showed Sabatino Chen’s shot was taken in time. The smarting Buffaloes got smoked in overtime, and then went into a prolonged funk, dropping 3 of their next 4.
”Of course, we were disappointed in ourselves for the way we closed it out and it doesn’t need to be said that we were disappointed with the call at the end,” Dinwiddie expounded. ”Of course, this was a revenge game.”
His coach would disagree, but certainly the certainly section that emptied onto the floor would side with Dinwiddie.
The Colorado Buffaloes (17-7, 7-5 Pac-12) have won 6 of 7, and this win over the Arizona Wildcats was by far their most impressive yet. They played stingy defense, moved the ball efficiently, held their own on the boards and controlled the speed from tip-off to buzzer.
”What makes this win sweet is it has nothing to do with revenge,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle expounded. ”It has everything to do with the respect I have for Arizona and Sean Miller and their basketball program. We beat a top 10 team in the country that’s legitimate and they are going to win a lot of games as this season unfolds.
”And I believe if we play the way that we did tonight we will, too.”
The Arizona (20-4, 8-4) had no answer for Dinwiddie, who scored 19 points in the 2nd half to hold Wildcats in check.
The Arizona Wildcats were cold from the floor, shooting just 42% overall and 5 for 19 from outside the arc. Solomon Hill led Arizona with 12 points and Mark Lyons had 11. Basketball odds
”It’s never as bad as it seems and the sky isn’t falling,” Miller said.
The Colorado Buffaloes led 30-23 at halftime and were never seriously threatened over the final 20 minutes.
”I thought Colorado had an incredible environment. This was a big game for them,” Miller said.
”They’re playing really well. … This is a crucial home game for them. They were ready to go.”
Buffaloes started the 2nd half with 3 free throws from Dinwiddie that gave the Colorado Buffaloes a double-digit lead. Dinwiddie added a dunk off a steal by Johnson and Andre Roberson’s 3-pointer made it 38-23 with 17:50 left, prompting Miller to call his 2nd timeout.
The Wildcats got back in it with consecutive 3s from Lyons and Nick Johnson, and when Grant Jerrett hit a 3-pointer from the top of the circle, the Wildcats had chipped the lead down to 45-39 with 10:43 remaining.
After Boyle’s timeout, the Buffs went on an 8-0 run. Dinwiddie had a fast-break basket and a 3-pointer during the spurt that reserve Xavier Talton started with a 3 that got the crowd going again.