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Colorado Earns First Regional Bid Since 2009
Colorado, ranked No. 60 in the nation (GolfStat; No. 67 Golfweek) is the No. 10 seed in the field.
“We’re obviously really pleased about the selection, and it’s representative of a strong year by the team and all the hard work has paid off,” said head coach Roy Edwards. “Everyone is excited to advance to the regional, and we’re really excited that we get the chance to advance to the Finals from there.”
“We’re obviously really pleased about the selection, and it’s representative of a strong year by the team and all the hard work has paid off,” said head coach Roy Edwards. “Everyone is excited to advance to the regional, and we’re really excited that we get the chance to advance to the Finals from there.”
Edwards indicated that he would select which five players will make the trip to Fayetteville in the coming days. Four Buffs, seniors Jason Burstyn and Derek Fribbs, sophomore David Oraee and freshman Philip Juel-Berghave played in all 12 tournaments (38 rounds) this season, and most likely will be among that quintet. If so, the fifth player will come from a pool of four others who have competed at various times throughout the season.
Juel-Berg led CU with a 24th place finish at the recently completed Pac-12 Championships, as Colorado placed 10th as a team. A disappointing final round cost the Buffs as high as a sixth place finish.
“We were really close to having a top six finish, and in a six-count-five format, and even though we finished 10th, the performance wasn’t that poor,” Edwards said. “We were only a few shots short of finishing much higher, but the important thing that happened is that the golf course (Los Angeles Country Club North) taught our guys a lot of how we have to play the game. So no matter where we finished, that was a very valuable experience that I believe we can carry over into regionals.”
How good is the Pac-12 Conference? The league received three No. 1 seeds (California, UCLA and Washington), and is sending 10 teams into regional play. Thus, all nine schools that bested CU in the league meet are also in the postseason, though none are joining the Buffaloes in Arkansas.
Old Big 12 Conference foes Texas (No. 1 seed) and Oklahoma State (No. 3) are in the Fayetteville draw, with the two ranked Nos. 5 and 16 in the nation, respectively; in-between is host and 13th-ranked Arkansas. The remainder of the field in seed order includes No. 21 SMU, No. 28 Kent State, No. 32 Illinois, No. 40 Liberty, No. 45 Tulsa, No. 53 Kentucky, No. 60 Colorado, No. 67 Indiana, No. 72 UNC-Wilmington, UM-Kansas City and Alabama State.
The Buffaloes will attempt to advance to the NCAA Championship Finals for the first time since the 2001-02 season; five times since that year CU has qualified to the regional but would go no further.
“It’s really everybody’s first time except for Derek, who played last year as an individual, so it will be a new experience for everyone,” Edwards said. “We’re going to embrace it and are looking forward to playing well.”
The top five teams and top two individuals who are not members of those squads will advance to the NCAA Championship Finals, which are scheduled for May 28-June 2 in Atlanta, Ga.
Associate AD/Sports Information
University of Colorado Buffaloes
357 UCB / Fieldhouse Annex #50
Boulder, CO 80309-0357
LOS ANGELES – After the first day of competition at the Pac-12 Championships, University of Colorado senior Brianne Beemer is in third place in the heptathlon with 3,153 points.
Beemer leads a trio of Buffs in the heptathlon. She is 45 points in front of teammate, redshirt freshman Abrianna Torres, who is in fourth with 3,108 and junior Genny Mayden also had a good day and is sixth with 3,053 points. Arizona State’s Keia Pinnick is first overall with 3,441 points.
“The Buffs have kicked off the Pac-12 Championships in a big way,” Beemer said. “We hope to set the tone for tomorrow and the following weekend.”
Beemer had a solid effort on the first day, starting the day running 14.13 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles. The time is the fastest she has ever run in a heptathlon and ranks sixth all-time in CU heptathlon history. Beemer came close to her personal best in the high jump when she cleared 5-4.25 and was also close to her shot put PR with a toss of 35-1.75. She finished the day by running 25.45 in the 200.
Torres wasn’t far behind Beemer, finishing the 100-hurdles with a PR of 14.61. She cleared 5-1.25 in the high jump and then came out with a huge throw of 41-11.25 to win the shot put portion of the heptathlon. Torres is already the CU heptathlon shot put record holder (42-7), but this throw was good for second all-time. She finished her day by clocking 25.97 in the 200.
Mayden, who is just 55 points behind Torres and 43 points behind fifth place holder Kimberly Conner (UCLA), also had a nice day. She ran the 100-hurdles in 15.23 and cleared 5-4.25 in the high jump. Mayden, who is also a very good thrower, placed third in the meet with a PR of 40-5.50, which was good for sixth in CU’s heptathlon record book. Mayden ran 26.11 in the 200 to finish her day.
In the decathlon, Emory had a very nice start and currently sits tied for sixth with 3,680 points. He is tied with Arizona’s Keegan Cooke. Both are just 30 points from fifth place holder, Washington State’s Spencer Wordell (3,710). Washington’s Jeremy Taiwo is first with 4,200 points.
Emory ran to a PR, and the eighth best time in CU’s decathlon history, in the 100 at 11.11. His long jump was just short of his personal best, jumping 20-6.50. Emory did extremely well in the shot put and recorded a PR by almost three feet when he earned a mark of 41-9.75, improving from his previous toss of 38-8.75. The throw also ranks third amongst CU decathletes. In the high jump, Emory cleared 6-4.25 before finishing the 400 with a PR of 50.31.
Overall the Buffs are poised very well with one day of action remaining in the combined events.
“It’s truly amazing to have all four Buffs in scoring position going into day two,” Mayden said. “All three girls finished day one well over 3,000 points, so we all have a lot of momentum going into tomorrow. We are all looking forward to seeing the Buffs dominate the podium tomorrow.”
The second and final day of the combined events championships is Sunday. The remaining events will all be contested next weekend, May 11-12, at Katherine B. Locker Stadium on the campus of USC.
CU press release
BOULDER – The CU women won their second game against a PAC 12 opponent in three years..
“I’m really proud of the players,” CU head coach Nicole Kenneally said. “We came out and competed. It’s been a tough couple of weeks of competition that we’ve had, playing the top four schools in our conference, who were really, really tough. I think we all learned from that, and it really helped us today. I think they really bounced back well. We’ve got three more teams coming into town over the next couple of weeks and we look forward to having those teams here.”
The Buffaloes pick up their first win over a ranked opponent since taking down No. 62 Stephen F. Austin 6-1 on February 2. This marks the highest ranked opponent the Buffs have defeated since beating then-ranked No. 46 New Mexico on February 7, 2009. All nine of CU’s most recent opponents have either been ranked, had at least one ranked player or both (as is the case for six of the teams, including Oregon). The Buffs are now 2-6 against ranked opponents this season, and an impressive 5-2 at home, opening home outdoor play against the Ducks.
“It means something when players don’t necessarily play their best and still win and find a way,” Kenneally said. “I think we did that in several positions today in singles and doubles. That’s what I’m most proud of because it just shows that mentally they’ve taken a step forward, which is great.”
Colorado improves to 7-11 overall, 2-5 Pac-12, matching last year’s overall win total, and marking the first time since the 2009-10 season that the Buffs won at least two conference matches. Oregon, having been ranked in the ITA top-75 in all but two matches this spring, falls to 11-5, 1-4 Pac-12. CU leads the overall series 10-6.
The Buffs sprang into action early, taking the doubles point. The freshman duo of Dhany Quevedo and Mazy Watrous got its first ever win as a pair, besting Hughes/Hager 8-1. Juniors Winde Janssens and Carla Manzi Tenorio continue to be a power for the Buffs, earning their 10th win together this season with an 8-5 win over Metzger/Neubert.
After facing seven straight ranked opponents, Julyette Steur claimed a win over the eighth, defeating No. 102 Nicole Long, who has lost only twice this spring, 6-1, 6-1 for her 14th win of the season. All but one of her wins this spring have been in straight sets. The victory was Steur’s first over a ranked opponent since she beat then-ranked No. 104 McCall Jones of UCLA on March 23, 2012.
Janssens and Manzi Tenorio each earned their 40th career singles win with victories in straight sets. Janssens bested Patricia Skowronski 6-1, 6-3. Janssens leads the Buffs with 16 wins this season, including four in-conference. Manzi Tenorio got her 14th win of the season and her second over a conference opponent with a solid 6-4, 7-6 win over Lana Buttner.
Senior Erin Sanders once again clinched the match for the Buffs, defeating Pascale Neubert 6-3, 6-3. Sanders now has seven wins this season, including two major conference victories.
The Buffs return to action next weekend as the season draws to a close. CU takes on Washington State at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 5 and Washington at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 7.
from CU SPORTS PRESS RELEASE!!!
CU is matched against former Big Eight/12 Conference foe Kansas in its first game on Saturday, approximately 4:40 p.m., at the Coors Events Center. The Buffs (25-6) are a fifth seed, the Jayhawks (18-13) a 12th seed. A win would send CU against the winner of Saturday’s No. 4 South Carolina vs. No. 13 South Dakota on Monday night, at 7:30 p.m., at the CEC. South Carolina and South Dakota State will tip at 2:10 p.m. on Saturday at Coors.
“I’m excited to play a Big 12 opponent; we spent a lot of years in the Big 12 and the Big Eight,” said coach Linda Lappe, who in her third season guided the Buffs to their first NCAA Tournament appearance 2004 and the 13th in school history.
Lappe initially believed another former Big 8/12 conference foe – Nebraska – might wind up matched against her team. She said she was “excited for that opportunity (but) Kansas is going to be a tough opponent; I think anybody who makes it into the NCAA is going to be high level competition.”
During their final years in the Big 12, the Jayhawks had the Buffs’ number – a 7-1 record against them in their last eight meetings. In Lappe’s first season (2010-11) at CU, KU won all three games (two regular season, one postseason tournament).
CU senior guard Chucky Jeffery can recall KU’s domination before the Buffs said goodbye and headed for the Pac-12.
“Oh yeah, we remember,” Jeffery said at a Selection Show gathering Monday afternoon. “As soon as our name and Kansas came up on the screen, we all looked at each other like, ‘This is our time right here’. So we’re excited to have them come and play on our home floor, it’s definitely going to be a good game.
“I think, like coach Lappe said, we are a better team on our home floor so they (Kansas) can bring as many fans as they need, but I think we are going to have a pretty good turnout and play well.”
The Buffs were one of four Pac-12 teams to make the NCAA Tournament, joining Stanford, California and UCLA. Those teams were responsible for CU’s five conference losses, with the Cardinal ousting the Buffs from the league’s postseason tournament. Stanford is a No. 1 seed, Cal a No. 2 and UCLA a No. 3.
Lappe said her team’s seeding in the 64-team field was near what she anticipated: “We were expecting a five or six, right in that area, so we’re happy with that. The committee took a look at what we did all season long and I felt like that was a great seed with the wins we were able to get and having no bad losses.
“I know the committee takes a lot of things into consideration so you never quite know where you are going to be, but we are happy with that seed. It shows the committee gives us a lot of respect.”
The Buffs’ 25 wins are the women’s program’s most since the 1995-96 team finished 26-9. CU’s all-time NCAA Tournament record is 17-12, which includes an 8-2 mark in first-round games (9-3 in opening games, reflecting two first-round byes).
When Boulder was chosen for a first-round site, CU’s goal was to be included in the four-team field. Lappe called playing at the CEC, where her team was 15-0 this season, “a huge advantage; it’s a place we’ve had success all year, we’ve had great fan support. Being able to have our fans come out and support us, I think it is going to be one of the best first and second round games in terms of attendance that you are going to find out there.
“I think having that support always helps you, but you can’t take that for granted, you still have to come out and you still have to play well. But to be able to sleep in our own beds and to be in our comfort zones and not have to travel will be something that really helps us out, and obviously I like the altitude as well.”
By the time they tip off in Saturday’s first game, the Buffs will be on the last day of a 14-day break. They haven’t played since March 9, when they lost 61-47 to Stanford in the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament in Seattle.
Lappe said the layoff can be viewed in “a few different ways. We’ve used it as some time to get some rest, and get some time away, so I think that is going to be very beneficial for us. I think we feel good, our legs are going to feel great. Obviously there’s that period of time if you have a long layoff where you haven’t competed, but we have practiced hard, we have a great group of practice guys that come in everyday and help us out.
“The most important part is what we do this week. This week will be like any normal week, we have four days to practice and then we will be getting ready to play on Saturday, so it’s a pretty typical week in terms of what were used to in the Pac-12.”
Jeffery, the team’s leading scorer (13.9 ppg) and rebounder (8.3 rpg), will close out her home career with an NCAA appearance she’s dreamed of.
“It means a lot,” she said. “It just shows how far we have come as a program, and how great the coaches have been at turning it around. And it’s all a tribute to my team, we have good players and we play together and we’ve had a great season. It’s just really satisfying to go out as a senior like this, and I just want to thank my teammates and my coaches for that.”
In the days preceding Monday’s Selection Show, Jeffery and the Buffs engaged in their own “bracketology” and tried to determine who they might play and the other two teams that would land at the CEC.
“We’ve been trying to figure that out for a long time, looking at the brackets and stuff like that, but you can’t really know,” she said. “We were way off (on their projections), we thought we were going to be up with Notre Dame, but we were off. We’re excited though.”
If the Buffs win their two home games, the Irish still could be in their future. Notre Dame is the No. 1 seed in the Norfolk bracket but plays its opening games in Iowa City. CU and Notre Dame would play in a Sweet 16 game on March 30.
The Buffs reaching the NCAA Tournament has caused a quandary for the family of CU redshirt freshman forward Arielle Roberson. Her brother, Andre, is a junior forward on the CU men’s team, which plays Illinois Friday in Austin, Texas, in the men’s tournament.
In high school in San Antonio, Arielle said she and Andre competed in the playoffs at the same time, creating a similar dilemma in the Roberson family. She called this week’s NCAA play at different sites “a great opportunity for both (of us), but it’s another competition in the family – who’s coming to who’s game.”
Maybe this is what they can hope for: Arielle and the CU women win two in Boulder and advance to Norfolk, Va.; Andre and the CU men win two in Austin and advance to Washington, D.C. That’s close enough for a close family to commute.
Story by Caryn Maconi, CUBuffs.com
Colorado took a step down on Saturday afternoon, losing to the Pac-12 Conference team in last-place team entering the final weekend of play. But the Buffaloes won’t have to wait long to avenge the loss.
Oregon State upset CU 64-58 at the Coors Events Center in the final regular-season game for both teams. CU defeated OSU 72-68 last month in Corvallis, and the Buffs will get the chance to play the Beavers again next week in the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas.
With Washington State upsetting Southern California on Saturday, Oregon State becomes the tournament’s No. 12 seed, drawing No. 5 CU on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. MST at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The last time the Buffs ended the regular season with an opponent they would play five days later occurred in the 2009-10 season. CU defeated Texas Tech at the CEC, the lost to the Red Raiders in the first round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament.
CU shot only 35 percent from the field Saturday and had only one player – Spencer Dinwiddie with 18 – in double figures. The Beavers shot 43.5 percent and out-rebounded the Buffs 38-32.
The Buffaloes finished with a 20-10 overall record and a 10-8 league mark, while the Beavers closed out at 14-17 and 4-14. Colorado’s 20-win season is its third straight, a school record for three consecutive years and the first time a CU coach has recorded three 20-win seasons. Spencer Dinwiddie had 18 points
But third-year Buffs coach Tad Boyle wasn’t happy.
“I want to apologize to everyone in this building for our performance,” Boyle said to the crowd before recognizing senior Sabatino Chen and graduating junior Shane Harris-Tunks at the post-game Senior Day ceremony. Chen scored nine points while Harris-Tunks added four.
The Buffs got off to a sloppy start, committing five turnovers in the first 10 minutes compared to the Beavers’ one. At the 12:42 mark, a three by OSU’s Victor Robbins followed by an Eric Moreland jumper gave the Beavers a 14-9 lead.
But Colorado, led by Chen, responded. Over the next 2.5 minutes, Chen scored on a layup, assisted a Xavier Talton layup, then grabbed a steal and turned that into a three-pointer to put the Buffs up 16-14. CU held onto the lead for the rest of the half and led 29-27 at the break.
Boyle said Chen did just what he should offensively against OSU’s zone defense.
“Usually when a team plays zone, they’re playing because they don’t feel like they can guard you man-to-man, so you let them off the hook by taking quick jump shots and by not attacking and moving the ball,” Boyle said. “Sabatino, with all the things he gives you, [is] the epitome of what we want young men to be as student athletes at the University of Colorado.”
At intermission, Chen led in scoring with seven points, the first time in his career he has been the Buffs’ leading scorer at half.
Out of the locker room, though, OSU found its momentum. The Beavers went on a 15-6 run to take a 42-33 lead with 15:08 remaining, and the Buffs spent the rest of the half trying to recover.
Sophomore guard Askia Booker, who ended the game with eight points and no rebounds, said that recovery attempt just didn’t have enough energy.
“There was no sense of urgency whatsoever,” Booker said. “Especially on the defensive end, and that’s where we’re going to win games.”
While the Beavers built their largest lead of the game – eight at the 10:15 mark – the Buffs did put together a late comeback attempt in the final two minutes that nearly made up the difference. CU was down 56-50 with 2:10 remaining when a Dinwiddie trey closed the gap to three.
Dinwiddie was the only scorer for CU in those final minutes. While he would hit another basket with 51.2 seconds on the clock and make three of three free throws with 28.8 remaining, OSU’s Roberto Nelson responded on nearly every Beaver possession.
By the final buzzer, the Buffs were down six to close out their regular season with a rare home loss to the Pac-12’s lowest-ranked team. CU is 12-3 in the CEC this season and 44-7 at home in Boyle’s three season. Of the three home conference games CU has dropped this season (UCLA, Arizona State, Oregon State), Saturday’s was by the largest scoring margin.
Boyle made no excuses for his team’s performance, saying that while he’d already talked to his players about his disappointment, he’d take the blame for the loss outside of the locker room.
“This one is on me as head coach. We weren’t ready to play today, mentally, emotionally or physically,” Boyle said. “You get what you deserve in life, and we got what we deserved.”
The 2011-12 Buffs were in a similar position at the end of the regular season, as they dropped their final two contests against Oregon and Oregon State on the road and nearly missed out on an NCAA Tournament berth. Knowing that they would need a conference tournament championship to earn their spot, they responded and took home the Pac-12 Conference Tournament trophy.
Dinwiddie said last year’s postseason story was all about the seniors.
“We just kind of banded together as brothers, we understood what we were playing for,” Dinwiddie said. “We had four seniors on the roster that were never going to have this opportunity again . . . so we just wanted to give them a special time.”
This year’s Buffs are young. Just two players — Chen, a senior, and Shane Harris-Tunks, who is graduating in May as a redshirt junior — see this postseason as the beginning of the end.
And while Boyle won’t reflect for long on last season’s glory, he said his team will enter Wednesday’s Pac-12 Tournament first round with a very similar mindset.
“We are going to approach the Pac-12 Tournament this year just like we did last year,” Boyle said. “We have to get ready to play whoever is placed in front of us. It is not about winning four games in four days, it is about beating whoever our first round opponent is and living for another day.”
Freshman Jamie Swan’s late game baskets iced the win
Story by B.G. Brooks, CUBuffs.com
Overcoming a first half of near and sometimes bad misses, fourth-seeded CU finally took control in the final 20 minutes and ousted fifth-seeded Washington 70-59 at KeyArena.
The No. 18 Buffs (25-5) earned a Saturday night date with top-seeded Stanford (29-2) in the Pac-12 semifinals. The No. 4-ranked Cardinal, which defeated the Buffs twice during regular-season play, advanced by disposing of Washington State 79-60 in Friday night’s first game.
No. 2 seed California (28-2) and No. 3 seed UCLA (24-6) play in Saturday night’s first semifinal game. The CU-Stanford tip is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. MST (Pac-12 Network).
“There’s only one way to look at a matchup with Stanford, and that’s as an opportunity,” said CU coach Linda Lappe. “We’re going to look at it that way.”
Stanford’s two wins against CU were by 17 points (57-40) in Boulder on the opening weekend of Pac-12 play, then by three points (59-56) at Stanford on January’s last weekend. The Buffs believed they had improved at least that much from the first to the second meeting, and they believe they’re even better now.
They’ll probably need a better start than they had Friday night, when they were forced to overcome a first half that saw them miss 13 of their first 16 field goal attempts and go to their locker room to ponder their 28.9 percent (13-for-45) shooting.
“We knew we had to settle down, quit missing easy shots and quit fouling,” said senior guard Chucky Jeffery, who scored 12 of her game-high 19 points in the second half. “Now we know how the floor feels, the jitters are gone and the first (game) is out of the way. Now it’s about quick memory loss and going on to the next one – and it’s a big one. We want to come out and play better Saturday.”
Lappe used 11 players against UW (20-11) and not only did all of them score, all but one of them collected at least two rebounds and all but two contributed at least one assist. In addition to her 19 points, Jeffery also had a game-best four assists, while freshman forward Jamee Swan scored a career-high 15 points and hauled in 10 of CU’s 58 rebounds – UW had 36 – in her 19 minutes of court time.
“I feel like I played the best I ever played,” said Swan, who also blocked three shots. “It was really nice to be out there and not be afraid and have my teammates behind me.”
All of them were. CU’s bench outscored UW’s 33-18. The Buffs had 25 offensive rebounds to the Huskies’ 13, outscored them 40-18 in the paint and won the second-chance point duel 20-9.
“I like how we crashed the offensive glass,” Lappe said. “We needed to get a lot of extra shots in this game and we did. We showed a lot of resolve in chasing down loose balls to get us extra shots.”
Lappe applauded Swan and freshman guard Kyleesha Weston, who contributed two points and six rebounds in 21 minutes. “I’m really proud of our players,” Lappe said. “I thought we stepped up big at certain times . . . it seemed like whoever we brought into the game, we never missed a beat. That allowed us to get some rest so we could make a push at the end.”
In their 68-61 win over the Huskies last month in Boulder, the Buffs limited the Pac-12′s No. 2 scorer, Jazmine Davis, to nine points. Friday night, Davis got 17 – two below her average. She hit two of UW’s seven three-pointers, which were two more than CU allowed in Boulder and two above Friday night’s goal. U-Dub leads the conference in three-pointers made (8.2 a game). The Huskies’ final two treys Friday night came in the last two minutes when they were trying to cut into a 10-point Buffs lead.
UW got as close as four (63-59) before Jeffery scored five consecutive points – a jumper and three of four free throws – and Swan sank two free throws with 13 seconds left to account for a 7-0 run to close out the game.
The Buffs were up 29-26 at the half, but it took them almost 18 minutes to get their first lead. Blame that on shooting that was somewhere south of frigid. UW led by as many as six points (14-8) before the Buffs finally began finding their range – if they ever did.
Lappe said her team was “really excited to play. I think anytime that’s the case you miss some easy shots . . . but I like how we stayed with it.”
After a Jeffery three-pointer – her team’s only trey of the first half – tied the score at 23-23, she hit a pull-up jumper from the free throw line following a UW turnover to give CU its first lead, 25-23, with 2:41 before intermission.
The final 20 minutes would belong to whoever wanted them, and based on the first 21/2 it appeared that was CU. After scoring the first eight points the Buffs surged to a 37-26 lead and were threatening to rip this one open.
It didn’t happen. Talia Walton’s trey started an 8-0 UW run and Davis’ traditional three-point finished it, pulling the Huskies back to within three (37-34) with 16:09 remaining.
CU went back ahead by as many as seven points on an Ashley Wilson layup and maintained at least a four-point lead until a pair of free throws by Kristi Kingma pulled UW to 45-43 with 10:29 to play.
The Huskies could get no closer. Pulling ahead twice by 10 on a pair of layups by Swan in the final two minutes, the Buffs looked like they could begin making semifinal plans for Saturday.
But three-pointers by Heather Corral and Walton, who finished with 13, closed UW’s deficit to 63-59 with less than a minute left. Jeffery answered with a layup and three of four free throws, and when Swan sank a pair with 13 seconds remaining, those semifinal plans to face Stanford were complete.
“We’ll have to make sure we’re ready and playing really well together,” Lappe said. “They’re the giants of the Pac-12 and we’ve got a shot at them.”
By B.G. Brooks, CUBuffs.com Contributing Editor
BOULDER -After thee, one-point victories over the Ducks. Colorado put the hurt on Oregon 76-53.
It was an outrageous, out-of-sight blowout Thursday night at the sold-out (11,013) Coors Events Center, and at night’s end CU savored a sweep of Oregon and its fourth win in six games this season against a Top 25 opponent.
If the Buffs needed another highlight on their NCAA Tournament resume, this was it. And if coach Tad Boyle needed another milestone win in his three-year CU career, he can put a check by this one.
“I told the team in the locker room I have been coaching division one basketball for 18 years now and I am not sure I have been more proud of a group of guys with what they did and how they stepped up,” Boyle said. “Our starters, bench, whoever we put in there played their hearts out and we beat a good solid basketball team.
Unfortunately, we cannot enjoy it as much as we would like to, we have to get ready for Saturday, and this was a gutty effort with a great basketball team.”
The Buffs, now 9-3 in their last 12 games, close the regular season on Sunday against Oregon State (2:30 p.m., CEC).
In the absence of the 6-7 Roberson, who is day-to-day with a viral illness, the Buffs took up the slack by committee. Their headliner was freshman Xavier Johnson, who responded with a career-high 22 points. He was perfect from the field, hitting seven-of-seven, including three-of-three from beyond the arc, and was five-of-six from the free throw line.
Boyle called Johnson’s performance “terrific . . . his performance was big time, when you make shots it covers up a lot of things and we were not able to do that at Cal but we were able to do it tonight. I was really proud of him stepping up because he is a guy that with Andre being out we needed to count on.”
Sophomore guards Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker added 17 and 11, respectively. Dinwiddie contributed seven rebounds and Booker six. Junior Jeremy Adams left the bench for seven points, and senior Sabatino Chen – opening in Roberson’s place – got six.
Oregon has three players with 10 points each – Jonathan Lloyd, Ben Carter and Arsalan Kazemi.
Chen returning the starting five gave the Buffs a smaller than usual lineup that produced matchup problems for the Ducks. Said Oregon coach Dana Altman: “They went small and we had a little trouble with that and then (Xavier) Johnson stepped up and hit a lot of shots, so he played really well. (He) really made a big difference in the game.”
Even without Roberson’s 11.5-board average (he also averages 10.8 points) and fierce defensive presence, the Buffs outrebounded the Ducks 38-35 and held them to 35.7 percent shooting. CU now has held nine consecutive Pac-12 Conference opponents under 70 points – the most since 16 foes were held under 70 during the entire 1962 Big Eight season and the first two games of the following season.
“Rebounding is always our emphasis,” Dinwiddie said. “We like to say that defensive rebounding is the pillar of our program. But of course when someone like Andre goes out and rebounding is their specialty, you have to pick up the slack in that area. We just all had to pick up the rebounds as a team.”
CU improved to 20-9 overall – its school-record third 20-win season, all under Boyle – and 10-7 in the Pac-12. Oregon, needing a win to clinch a tie for first place in the conference, leaves Boulder 23-7, 12-5.
CU has had its share of injury/illness problems over the past three weeks. Freshman center Josh Scott was in his second game back since missing two with a concussion. He returned last weekend at California, scoring four points but hauling down 11 rebounds, and he collected eight on Thursday night with another four points.
Then comes Roberson’s illness . . . but the Buffs were a team on a mission. Johnson said Roberson’s absence “puts a lot of pressure on the freshman and everybody else, knowing that we have to make up for those rebounds. So, we just tried to do the best we could.”
The Ducks scored the game’s first basket – a jumper by E.J. Singler – but it was their last lead of the night. By intermission, despite Boyle having to sub liberally because of two fouls each on five of his key players, CU had rolled to a 37-21 lead – the Buffs’ largest halftime advantage of the season in Pac-12 play.
CU’s first-half defense was stifling, limiting Oregon to 18 percent shooting (3-for-16) in the first 10 minutes. By intermission the Ducks’ shooting had improved, but not by much – 7-for-26 (27 percent). The Buffs, meanwhile, improved on their 23 percent shooting last weekend at Cal, going 13-of-27 (48 percent) and hitting half of their eight three-point attempts.
Needing to at least maintain their intensity to open the second half, the Buffs took it a step further, outscoring the visitors 8-4 over the first 5 minutes to race ahead by 20 (45-25).
With 12:31 to play, CU pushed its advantage to 24 (55-31) on a pair of Dinwiddie free throws after a flagrant foul on Oregon. The Ducks could only get as close as 17 points in the final 10 minutes, and the Buffs pushed their advantage to 25 (71-46) before it was over.
The Cal Golden Bears are one of the hottest teams in the PAC-12 right now, having won seven in a row. The Buffs poor shooting doomed them from the start.
CU, ranked fifth in the Pac-12 Conference going into Saturday’s game, falls to 19-9 overall and 9-7 in the Pac-12. The third-ranked Golden Bears, winning their seventh consecutive game, improved to 20-9 overall and 12-5.
Colorado struggled offensively Saturday with a season low in points, field goals made (15) and field goal shooting percentage (23.1). Freshman forward Xavier Johnson was the only CU player in double figures with 14 total points. Freshman Josh Scott returned to the lineup after missing two games with a concussion. He scored four points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Cal’s Justin Cobbs and Tyrone Wallace scored 16 points each, while David Kravish added 14 points and 11 rebounds. Wallace also hauled down 11 boards.
“We didn’t have one guy offensively make a shot tonight, but you have to credit Cal, they man-handled us,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “Our first shot defense was pretty good but those second-chance shots were tough.”
The Buffs came into Saturday’s matchup looking to smother guard Allen Crabbe, the leading scorer in the Pac-12 at more than 18 points per game. But when Crabbe recorded his third personal foul with 5:11 remaining in the half, he took to the bench.
An improving Cal team executed offensively without its star scorer, though. The Golden Bears went on an 8-0 run over the next four minutes to go up 22-15, and while senior guard Sabatino Chen hit a three to end the half on an energetic note, the Buffs were still down four (24-20) at intermission.
The Golden Bears held the Buffs to just 26 percent shooting in the first half, CU’s worst first-half field goal percentage this season, and the Buffs’ 20 first-half points tied a season low recorded earlier this season at Washington.
Much of CU’s shooting woes came from a failure to capitalize off of Cal turnovers, as CU had a +2 turnover margin going into halftime, but had five fewer points off of turnovers than its opponent.
The Buffs found some energy out of the locker room, closing the gap back to two on a Xavier Johnson trey with 14:16 left in the game. Cal responded, though, with an 8-3 run over the next five minutes capped by a SC Top-10-worthy dunk by guard Tyrone Wallace.
Cal had widened its gap to nine by the 5:32 mark — and with a final shooting percentage of 23.1 from the field, the Buffs’ comeback attempt came nowhere close. By the final buzzer, CU was down 16 for a 62-46 loss.
“Cal wasn’t this Cal when they came to Boulder a month ago,” said Boyle, whose team won the first meeting 81-71. “So they’ve improved We were the best defensive team in the league for a stretch there but these guys have overtaken us and you can see why.”
CU returns to the Coors Events Center next weekend for its final two regular season matchups, against No. 24 Oregon on Thursday (7 p.m.) and Oregon State on Saturday (2:30 p.m.).
Boyle called Saturday’s contest “a big time game and we didn’t answer the bell. But it wasn’t because of our lack of effort and we can’t get too down on ourselves. We have two big games at home to finish out the season.”
At 12-4 in the Pac-12, the Ducks currently hold the top spot in the conference, while the Beavers are ranked 11th at 3-13.
Recent close game losses haven’t dimmed the coaches enthusiasm for her team. Colorado tennis team fell 4-3 to Princeton on Saturday.
“After seven hours, we lost a close one 4-3 to Princeton,” CU head coach Nicole Kenneally said after the match. “It came down to the wire. I couldn’t be more proud of our players. They really left it out there, and I think if you look at the scores, you’re going to see that we really gave it our best effort as a team today. I believe that in matches like this, obviously we’ve had a lot of close 4-3 losses, this team is going to grow stronger, and they’re going to get better from it. We’re going to get the better side of it at some point. As long as we keep going and keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep putting ourselves in position to take one. I believe this group will do that, and it’s just a matter of time.”
The Buffaloes take a 5-5 record into Pac-12 Conference play. CU is 1-1 all-time against Princeton and 1-1 against ranked teams this spring. Princeton holds a 5-2 record, with each of its losses coming against ranked opponents.
In what was a true marathon of a day, four singles matches were pushed to three sets, with two Buffs coming out victorious. Freshmen Dhany Quevedo and Mazy Watrous both fought off first set deficits to claim victories. After Quevedo dropped her first set against Katherine Flanigan 6-4, she lost only four games total for the remainder of the match to claim the win. Quevedo now has a 2-0 record when dropping the first set. Watrous shined against Emily Hahn for her second career win and her first victory in three sets. After falling 6-3 in the opening set, she dominated the rest of the match, 6-2, 6-1.
Julyette Steur stands out in the No. 1 singles position, defeating Lindsay Graff 6-4, 6-3. Steur leads the Buffs with 13 wins this season. She is on a four-match winning streak and has dropped just two matches this spring. All but one of her eight wins in the spring have been in straight sets.
The Buffs continue their home-stand by starting conference play. CU takes on Arizona in the conference opener at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 8 and Arizona State at 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 10. Stay tuned to CUBuffs.com for location updates.
LARAMIE, Wyo. – The University of Colorado tennis team’s three-match winning streak against the University of Wyoming was cut short Thursday with a 4-3 loss at the UW Indoor Tennis Complex.
“Hats off to Wyoming, they played a great match,” said CU head coach Nicole Kenneally. “They’re one of the top returning teams in our region. We had some great performances in our lineup today, but unfortunately, we couldn’t put ourselves in contention in some of them. If we are to continue to have success, we are going to have to have everybody fully engaged, with all nine positions, digging, diving and scoring in every match. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still room to grow. I expect our players to rise to the occasion and to rise to the challenge and to continue to dig deeper. We’ve done a great job so far this year, and we look forward to our matches coming up.”
The Buffaloes fall to 5-4 in dual play, holding a 3-1 series lead over the Cowgirls. All of the Buffs’ losses this spring have been tight 4-3 decisions. Wyoming improves to 5-3 this spring.
Colorado fought down to the last matches in both doubles and singles, but couldn’t claim the overall victory. The No. 1 and 2 doubles teams came just shy of extending their winning streaks and earning the first point of the match. Julyette Steur and Erin Sanders fell in a tiebreaker, while Carla Manzi Tenorio and Winde Janssens were handed their first defeat in nine tries in close 8-6 loss (their smallest margin in either victory or defeat this season).
Three Buffs found success in individual play, in what coach Kenneally said were stellar performances for the top of the lineup. All of the victorious Buffs have dropped three or fewer matches this spring, and each have at least 11 wins this season.
“If you look at Wyoming’s top performers’ records and rankings, their No. 1 is top four or five in our region,” Kenneally said. “I think it was the best win of Julyette’s career.”
Steur extended a three-match winning streak and improved her overall season record to 12-6 with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Veronica Popovici. All of Steur’s victories this spring have been in straight sets.
Janssens and Manzi Tenorio both fought back after dropping the first set. The two have now fought off first set deficits a team-high five times each.
Janssens has won five matches in a row, and seven of eight this spring. After dropping the first set, she came back with a vengeance, dropping just four games in the remainder of the match, including battling through a game that saw an amazing 16 deuces.
Manzi Tenorio had what Kenneally described as a marathon (something she would like the rest of the lineup to find success in as well) of a match. Manzi Tenorio eased through the second 6-1 and won the third set tiebreaker (though her 7-4 win was a breeze compared to her 16-14 victory on Monday).
The Buffs return to Boulder for a three-match home-stand. They end the week against No. 73 Princeton at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 2. CU begins Pac-12 Conference play against Arizona at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 8 and continues against Arizona State at 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 10. Stay tuned to CUBuffs.com for location updates.
Wyoming 4, Colorado 3
UW (5-3), CU (5-4)
Thursday, Feb. 28 UW Indoor Tennis Complex
Story by B.G. Brooks, Contributing Editor, CUBuffs.com
BOULDER – The No. 20 Colorado Buffaloes outlasted Washington 68-61 on Sunday afternoon at the Coors Events Center and took a large step toward securing the No. 4 seed for next month’s Pac-12 Conference Tournament.
The Buffs, winning their seventh consecutive game, improved to 11-5 in the Pac-12 and moved into a fourth-place tie with the Huskies. But Sunday’s win gives CU the head-to-head tiebreaker, and the Buffs’ remaining schedule appears more favorable than the Huskies’ for securing the No. 4 seed.
CU (22-5) closes the regular season with games at Oregon (March 1) and Oregon State (March 3), while UW (19-8) finishes with home games against Pac-12 co-leaders Stanford and California. The conference tournament is March 7-10 in Seattle.
CU had four players in double figures against UW, topped by Arielle Roberson’s 16. Brittany Wilson added 13, with Chucky Jeffery and Jen Reese chipping in 11 each. Five of Reese’s points came in the final 2:55, with her critical pair of final field goals coming after the Huskies had closed to 59-57.
Jeffery, one of three seniors playing their final regular-season home game, added 13 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season and 29th of her career. Jeffery left the game with 8.5 seconds to play, while seniors Meagan and Brenna Malcolm-Peck came onto the court about three seconds earlier.
Kristi Kingma led UW with 19 points. Aminah Williams added 12, Talia Walton 11 and Mercedes Wetmore 10. Guard Jazmine Davis, the Pac-12′s No. 2 scorer with a 19.7 average, was held to nine points on two of 13 shooting from the field.
CU never trailed by more than three points in the first half, and after Kingma hit a three-pointer to send the Huskies up 16-14, the Buffs launched a 16-3 run that produced a 30-19 advantage.
An acrobatic put-back by freshman Jamee Swan enabled CU to maintain that 11-point lead (36-25) at intermission. The Buffs got 11 first-half points from Brittany Wilson, who was the only player on either team in double figures.
UW opened the game hitting six of its first 11 shots, but made only three of its final 18 attempts to close the first half. CU hit 15 of its 32 first-half field goal attempts (47 percent) and outrebounded the visitors 25-15.
The Huskies scored the first six points of the second half, pulling to 36-31. The Buffs, meanwhile, had Jeffery leave the game with what appeared to be a left ankle injury at the 19:12 mark. But she was back about four minutes later, and her return might have given CU an emotional lift.
After UW crept to within five points, CU went on an 8-1 run and shot ahead 44-32 with 12:41 to play. Roberson scored six of the Buffs’ points during that surge.
But that 12-point CU lead disappeared quickly.
UW, the Pac-12 leader with 8.5 treys a game, put together an 11-0 run that featured treys by Wetmore and Kingma and another three free throws by Kingma. That pulled the Huskies to within one twice in the final 9:58, but an 8-0 CU that included four points by Jeffery opened a nine-point Buffs lead (56-47).
UW wouldn’t roll. The Huskies outscored the Buffs 8-2 over the next three minutes, closing to 58-55 with 3:38 to play, then pulling to 59-57.
But Reese got her pair of monstrous mid-range jumpers to give CU breathing room at 63-57, and the Buffs hit five of six free throws in the final 48.5 to tuck away the win.
Story by Caryn Maconi, CUBuffs.com
TEMPE, Ariz. – The No. 21 Colorado women’s basketball team turned an eight-point first-half deficit into an eight-point victory here Sunday afternoon, earning a 71-63 win over Arizona State.
Having defeated Arizona 55-42 on Friday, the Buffs swept their Arizona road trip, marking the first sweep on conference road games for the Buffs in their Pac-12 Conference history.
Sophomore forward Jen Reese led the Buffs with a career-high 22 points, six more than her previous high.
The victory was CU’s fifth straight fand its 20th this season, improving the Buffs to 20-5 overall and 9-5 in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils fall to 11-15, 3-11 and are now on a seven-game losing streak.
Both teams scored in surges in the first half, but the Sun Devils had momentum on their side. After ASU scored the first two baskets of the game, CU scored seven straight. But the Sun Devils responded with a 10-0 run of their own, building an eight-point lead with 13:26 left in the half.
Though the Buffs would add another 6-0 run to close the gap to three (23-20) with six minutes remaining, the Sun Devils’ offense surged from there. ASU would eventually gain its largest lead of the half – 12 – at the 2:05 mark and enter intermission up 35-27.
CU outrebounded ASU 26-16 in the first half but struggled from the field, shooting less than 30 percent while the Sun Devils shot close to 50.
The Sun Devils held onto that momentum for the start of the second half, but with 16:22 on the clock, the Buffs – led by Reese and redshirt freshman forward Arielle Roberson – turned up the energy.
Roberson scored three treys in nine minutes as part of an 18-6 CU run, and the Buffs finally took the lead (54-49) on Roberson’s third three-pointer with seven minutes remaining. They held onto their advantage until the final buzzer.
Roberson, who had gone scoreless in the first half, surged to finish the game with 16 points and eight rebounds. Reese’s 22 points were a game and career-high; the sophomore also added eight rebounds and was a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line.
Senior guard Chucky Jeffery was the third CU player in double figures, earning her 28th career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Colorado head coach Linda Lappe said before the game that it would be difficult to prepare for ASU’s offense in the absence of one standout scorer, and that balance showed Sunday afternoon.
“They have a number of different players that are doing some good things for them,” Lappe said. “When they don’t have a go-to player, it’s about everybody stepping up on defense and understanding that at any point anybody on their team can get hot. Sometimes that’s more dangerous than maybe having one player.”
The Sun Devils had three players in double figures; forward Janae Fulcher, guard Promise Amukamara and guard Adrianne Thomas ended the game with 14 points apiece.
The Buffs outrebounded their opponents 50-35, with four CU players grabbing seven or more boards. CU also committed just 10 turnovers compared to ASU’s 13, an improvement from Friday’s matchup against Arizona in which the Buffs’ turnover total was 20.
Colorado returns home this week to take on Washington State on Friday (7 p.m.) and Washington on Sunday (2 p.m.) at the Coors Events Center.
By B.G. Brooks, CUBuffs.com Contributing Editor
BOULDER – A Saturday night of bumping, grinding, pounding and flailing ended with a soft buzzer-beating layup. And that ended the night badly for the Colorado Buffaloes.
Arizona State’s Evan Gordon split CU’s defense down the right lane, driving for the game-winning basket in overtime as the Sun Devils stunned the Buffs 63-62 at the sold-out, bummed-out Coors Events Center.
“Welcome to college football . . . I thought the season was over in December,” said disgruntled CU coach Tad Boyle. “It was an unbelievable physical game, the most physical game I’ve ever been a part of – college, high school, YMCA.”
CU freshman Josh Scott took the brunt of the night’s physicality. Matched against Jordan Bachynski, Scott and the 7-2, 250-pound ASU center became entangled and spun to the floor with 16:02 remaining in the second half.
Bachynski got up, Scott didn’t. Motioned to come to the court by CU players, trainer Trey Tashiro rushed to attend to Scott. When Scott was able to sit up and finally stand, Tashiro escorted him to the locker room, where he remained for the rest of the game.
Boyle said Scott, after catching an elbow to the head, “blacked out and got a concussion.” Further tests are scheduled to determine Scott’s status for Thursday’s game against Utah (CEC, 8 p.m., Pac-12 Network).
Boyle credited Arizona State but said the night’s rough-and-tumble play and the scarcity of blown whistles – 35 fouls were called and maybe that many or more uncalled – “affected both teams . . . I thought our guys reacted well and played their hearts out. I had no problem with their effort and energy; they did everything we asked them to do on defense.”
He called Gordon’s drive “a hell of a play . . . a bang-bang play and we weren’t able to stop them.”
On ASU’s winning possession, which started with 8.3 seconds left after Spencer Dinwiddie’s layup gave CU a 62-61 lead, Buffs sophomore Askia Booker he and his teammates were aware of Sun Devils point guard Jahi Carson.
Boyle said the Buffs wanted to “get the ball out of (Carson’s) hands, and Booker added, “I think Jahi is so great with ball and can create his own shot, everybody was looking to him. Gordon had a straight-line drive . . . we just didn’t guard the ball well enough.”
Saturday night’s bitter defeat came two nights after CU had shocked No. 9 Arizona. Losing for the first time in four games, the Buffs fell to 17-8 overall and 7-6 in the Pac-12 Conference. ASU, which defeated CU 65-56 in Tempe last month, improved to 19-7, 8-5. Saturday night marked CU’s sixth sellout at the CEC this season, breaking the school record of five set in 2010-11.
The Buffs rallied to win close games last week at then-No. 19 Oregon and Oregon State, which left Boyle philosophical about Saturday night’s loss. “We stole two games in Oregon,” he said. “I can’t get too down . . . (but) it stinks. It’s college athletics and losing is no fun. The guys in our locker room are hurting, I’m hurting, our staff is hurting and BuffsNation is hurting.”
A foul-line jumper by Andre Roberson gave CU a 60-59 lead with 1:46 remaining in overtime, but Carson banked in a runner from the right side to push the Sun Devils ahead 61-60.
Boyle called a timeout but the Buffs went empty on that possession. At the other end, Carrick Felix missed two free throws with 24 seconds to play, giving the Buffs a chance.
Dinwiddie took it, making a layup to put CU up 62-61 with 8.3 seconds left. But the Buffs couldn’t cut off Gordon’s drive to the basket, and his layup trickled in as time expired, sucking the life out of the CEC.
Dinwiddie led CU with 24 points, with Booker adding 17 and Xavier Johnson 10. Carson’s 18 topped ASU, with Gordon scoring 14 and Bachynski 12.
Behind 15 rebounds by Roberson and 14 by Johnson, the Buffs won the board battle 41-26. Roberson collected 14 of his rebounds in the second half. The Sun Devils shot 46 percent from the field, the Buffs 35.1 percent. ASU’s biggest statistical edge was in the paint – 30-20.
CU trailed for the final 6:38 of regulation and had only one field goal from the 5:33 mark until a pair in the final 46.6 seconds by Booker and Johnson. It was Johnson’s dunk on a dish from Dinwiddie that tied the score at 54-54 and sent the game into overtime.
While the Buffs were struggling to hit a shot in the final 5 minutes, Dinwiddie hit 10 of 10 free throws before the baskets by Booker and Johnson. Dinwiddie finished 14-of-14 from the line.
The Buffs ran hot and cold in the first half, encountering a pair of scoring droughts and winding up three points behind (27-24) at halftime. That’s not to say Arizona didn’t have its first-half offensive troubles; the Sun Devils went 7:18 without a point and the Buffs took advantage, rolling to a 22-15 advantage behind the three-point shooting of Dinwiddie and Xavier Talton.
But as quickly as that seven-point lead appeared, it evaporated in the half’s final 4:10 as Arizona closed with a 12-2 run. In home games this season in which they trailed at halftime, the Buffs had been 1-1 (beating Texas Southern, losing to UCLA). Now they’re 1-2.
In most areas, CU clearly needed a quick reversal to open the second half. Less than two minutes in, Booker tied the score at 27-27 with a three-pointer from the left wing. But a rough patch – literally – was coming for the Buffs.
Inside play had been physical from the opening tip, with Bachynski trying to overpower Scott from the outset. Their duel intensified in the second half’s first 4 minutes, resulting in the entanglement that took Scott out of the game.
In Scott’s absence, the Buffs used 6-11 Shane Harris-Tunks and the 6-7 Roberson on Bachynski. By this time, the sold-out CEC was doing its part, but both teams were still having difficulty on the offensive end – mainly because anything seemed to be allowed on the defensive end.
With 7:11 to play, the score was tied at 38-38, and if the Buffs were going to win this one it wouldn’t be done softly.
A trey by Jonathan Gilling gave ASU a 41-38 advantage, then he added a pair of free throws to put the Sun Devils up by five (45-40) – their largest lead of the night – with 5:01 to play.
After Arizona went ahead 47-42, Dinwiddie hit four consecutive free throws to pull CU to within 47-46 with 3:56 to play. Just over a minute later, Gordon’s three-pointer from the right wing gave the Sun Devils a 50-46 advantage, but once again Dinwiddie cut CU’s deficit to 50-48 with a pair of free throws. Bachynski, who had missed a pair of foul shots at the 3:36 mark, hit a pair with 1:50 showing – and down 52-48, the Buffs were in trouble. It deepened when Carson sank another pair with 1:19 left, putting CU six points (54-48) down.
All that was keeping the Buffs afloat were Dinwiddie’s free throws – he got two more at 1:15 – until Booker hit a runner in the lane to bring the Buffs to within 54-52. It was CU’s first field goal since 5:33, that coming on another Booker basket.
ASU called timeout with 34.7 on the game clock and 24 seconds on the shot clock. The Sun Devils took the shot clock to zero, leaving the Buffs with 10.6 seconds to tie or win.
Dinwiddie fought his way through a double team to get the inbounds pass, raced up court and after going airborne, dished to Xavier Johnson for a stuff. It was 54-54 with 2.5 seconds to play.
ASU’s Carrick Felix got off a shot at the buzzer, but it bounded off the back iron. OT, along with heartache for the Buffs, were on the way.
Booker said the Buffs missed Scott “without a doubt. He’s our low-post presence . . . Coach told us it would be a physical game and that (Bachynski) would be one of the best players we’d face. We did pretty well with him.”
After scoring 16 points, grabbing seven rebounds and blocking nine shots in the first meeting, Bachynski line read 12, 3 and 3 in those categories Saturday night.
Boyle told his team that “every game from here on out is going to be like this . . . we’re 0-2 against Arizona State, but guess what? We’ve still got a conference tournament.”
By B.G Brooks, CUBuffs.com Contributing Editor
BOULDER – 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.
“From start to finish, yes,” he said. “We made them work for everything. When we have a break down defensively now, our players know it and it burns at them, which is a great sign. We were dialed in – and we made some shots.”
“Some,” indeed. The Buffs checked out at 50 percent from the field, including 59.1 percent in the second half when the Wildcats cut a 15-point deficit to nine on two occasions and closed to within six with 10:35 to play. Dinwiddie scored 19 of his total in the final 20 minutes and added a career-best seven assists.
Of his assists, Dinwiddie said: “I didn’t play too much different . . . I have got to give thanks to this person (Xavier Johnson); he made a ton of shots, a bunch of threes. Without him I don’t get those assists, a lot of those are him.”
The Buffs finished nine of 17 from behind the three-point arc, with Johnson going four-for-five and Dinwiddie two-for-five. Freshman reserve Xavier Talton each hit their only three-point attempt and Booker was good on one of his four trey tries. Talton’s trey was only his second of the season, but it was undoubtedly his biggest, coming after Arizona had closed to 45-39.
In winning its fourth straight and sixth of its last seven games, CU (17-7, 7-5) avenged its 92-83 overtime loss in Tucson on Jan. 3. Arizona (20-4, 8-4) lost its second consecutive game and was shoved out of a first-place Pac-12 tie with UCLA and Oregon.
The Buffs, defeating a Top 25 team for the second time in three games, improved to 11-1 in the CEC this season and went to 42-5 at home under Boyle. CU won 48-47 at No. 19 Oregon a week ago.
On Valentine’s Night, the CEC was the place to be. The sellout crowd (11,120) included John Elway and former Buffs linebacker Matt Russell, now Elway’s right hand man with the Broncos; former CU kicker Mason Crosby (Green Bay) and his wife; and former Buffs hoopsters Alec Burks (Utah Jazz) and Shannon Sharpe.
With the building’s decibel level cranked past deafening, they watched a first half that saw CU start by missing consecutive layups on consecutive possessions, then settle in and stifle Arizona.
By halftime, CU had matched its largest lead of the first 20 minutes, with its 30-23 advantage produced by a 10-3 run over the half’s last 6:12. Johnson and Booker got the surge started with back-to-back treys, followed by Shane Harris-Tunks’ baby hook and a Roberson stuff.
Johnson (12) was CU’s only player in double figures, but the Buffs’ defense allowed the offense any slack it needed. No Arizona player reached double figures in the first 20 minutes, with Lyons and Angelo Chol managing six points each.
The second-half start was nothing like the first for the Buffs. Scoring the half’s first eight points – three free throws by Dinwiddie, a Dinwiddie stuff and a trey by Roberson – they went up by 15 (38-23) with 17:52 to play.
The Wildcats needed a timeout – and maybe it helped. They got their first points of the half on a trey by Lyons, then another by Nick Johnson and cut the Buffs’ lead to 38-29 with 16:05 remaining.
CU’s answer: a long triple by Dinwiddie as the shot clock wound down and a step-back jumper by Booker. The Buffs’ lead went to 14 (43-29), but the Wildcats got two of three free throws from Grant Jerrett and a Lyons layup to close to 43-33.
Arizona pulled as close as six points (45-39) before Talton drained his trey, Dinwiddie following with a spinning layup, then adding a triple to restore a 14-point (53-39) Buffs advantage with just under 10 minutes to play.
Boyle lauded Booker for urging his coach to leave Talton in. “I was ready to put ‘Ski’ in, but ‘Ski’ said let him (Talton) go,” Boyle said. “I played him another three or four minutes . . . when you’ve got players like that, putting their best interests behind the team’s, you’ve got a chance to have something special. I’m proud of ‘Ski;’ that wouldn’t have happened last year.”
A layup by Talton 2 minutes later pushed CU ahead by 15 (56-41), giving the Buffs their largest lead of the night. Over the final 7 minutes, Arizona trimmed its deficit to nine points twice, but Johnson answered the second surge with back-to-back treys. When Booker hit a one-handed leaner, CU had another 15-point lead (68-53) with 2:38 remaining.
The Buffs had watched a 17-point lead evaporate in Tucson, but no way it would happen in the rematch. All that remained was for the CU student body to rush court – and this time no one questioned whether it was justified.
CU hosts Arizona State Saturday (7 p.m., ESPNU), and Boyle said the Buffs need another shot of Thursday night’s CEC energy: “We need that same kind of atmosphere; they (fans) were part of this victory.”
We’ve all heard examples of animal altruism: Dogs caring for orphaned kittens, chimps sharing food or dolphins nudging injured mates to the surface. Now, a study led by the University of Colorado Boulder suggests some plants are altruistic too.
The researchers looked at corn, in which each fertilized seed contained two “siblings” — an embryo and a corresponding bit of tissue known as endosperm that feeds the embryo as the seed grows, said CU-Boulder Professor Pamela Diggle. They compared the growth and behavior of the embryos and endosperm in seeds sharing the same mother and father with the growth and behavior of embryos and endosperm that had genetically different parents.
“The results indicated embryos with the same mother and father as the endosperm in their seed weighed significantly more than embryos with the same mother but a different father,” said Diggle, a faculty member in CU-Boulder’s ecology and evolutionary biology department. “We found that endosperm that does not share the same father as the embryo does not hand over as much food — it appears to be acting less cooperatively.”
A paper on the subject was published during the week of Jan. 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Co-authors on the study included Chi-Chih Wu, a CU-Boulder doctoral student in the ecology and evolutionary biology department and Professor William “Ned” Friedman, a professor at Harvard University who helped conduct research on the project while a faculty member at CU-Boulder.
Diggle said it is fairly clear from previous research that plants can preferentially withhold nutrients from inferior offspring when resources are limited. “Our study is the first to specifically test the idea of cooperation among siblings in plants.”
“One of the most fundamental laws of nature is that if you are going to be an altruist, give it up to your closest relatives,” said Friedman. “Altruism only evolves if the benefactor is a close relative of the beneficiary. When the endosperm gives all of its food to the embryo and then dies, it doesn’t get more altruistic than that.”
In corn reproduction, male flowers at the top of the plants distribute pollen grains two at a time through individual tubes to tiny cobs on the stalks covered by strands known as silks in a process known as double fertilization. When the two pollen grains come in contact with an individual silk, they produce a seed containing an embryo and endosperm. Each embryo results in just a single kernel of corn, said Diggle.
The team took advantage of an extremely rare phenomenon in plants called “hetero-fertilization,” in which two different fathers sire individual corn kernels, said Diggle, currently a visiting professor at Harvard. The manipulation of corn plant genes that has been going on for millennia — resulting in the production of multicolored “Indian corn” cobs of various colors like red, purple, blue and yellow — helped the researchers in assessing the parentage of the kernels, she said.
Wu, who cultivated the corn and harvested more than 100 ears over a three-year period, removed, mapped and weighed every individual kernel out of each cob from the harvests. While the majority of kernels had an endosperm and embryo of the same color — an indication they shared the same mother and father — some had different colors for each, such as a purple outer kernel with yellow embryo.
Wu was searching for such rare kernels — far less than one in 100 — that had two different fathers as a way to assess cooperation between the embryo and endosperm. “It was very challenging and time-consuming research,” said Friedman. “It was like looking for a needle in a haystack, or in this case, a kernel in a silo.”
Endosperm — in the form of corn, rice, wheat and other crops — is critical to humans, providing about 70 percent of calories we consume annually worldwide. “The tissue in the seeds of flowering plants is what feeds the world,” said Friedman, who also directs the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard. “If flowering plants weren’t here, humans wouldn’t be here.”