BOULDER, Colo. — Before playing his final regular-season game at the Coors Events Center, Colorado’s Josh Scott received a simple but powerful text from teammate and fellow senior Xavier Talton.
Scott said the message read, “We’re going to go out winners,” and that they did.
Josh Fortune scored 17 points, Scott had 15, and Colorado pulled away in the late going to beat Arizona State 79-69 on Sunday.
Tre’Shaun Fletcher added 13 points, connecting on all three of his 3-point tries, and George King finished with nine points, including a pair of 3-pointers down the stretch for Colorado (21-9, 10-7 Pac-12), which tied the school record for most regular season wins.
While embracing the emotions of Senior Day, Scott said he and the rest of the team were mindful that there’s more basketball ahead.
“We’re going to take the mojo and what we’ve learned from the entire season and make a final push,” Scott said.
Tra Holder had 16 points for Arizona State (14-15, 4-12), which could not avoid its fourth straight loss but turned in a much improved effort after being routed 81-46 at Utah Thursday. Gerry Blakes added 15 points and Eric Jacobsen 14 for the Sun Devils.
“The guys felt the pain of that loss,” Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley said. “The energy was good. We battled in the paint. The guys competed for each other. We had a winning effort.”
A pair of free throws by Holder pulled the Sun Devils to 62-59 with 7:37 remaining, but King responded with a 3-pointer to restore a six-point lead for the Buffaloes.
King hit another 3-pointer with 4:28 remaining after the Sun Devils narrowed the deficit to five.
Scott put in a reverse layup and Wesley Gordon and Talton made four free throws between them in the last 2:40 to help fend off the Sun Devils.
Colorado coach Tad Boyle said Colorado’s role players figured prominently in the win.
“Our bench gave us great minutes — 38 points,” Boyle said. “It was a great win, a workman-like win. It wasn’t really a pretty win but I think Arizona State had a lot to do with that.”
Colorado opened a 14-point lead early, but the Sun Devils fought back to trail 38-35 at halftime, including a tip-in at the buzzer by Savon Goodman.
“I am going to miss this place, and I am happy to go out with win,” Talton said.
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