The Story: The No. 9 Arizona Wildcats went into their matchup with Colorado expecting an emotional Buffaloes squad.
They got it.
Colorado used a 18-3 run over the final 5:39 of the first half and first 3:02 of the second to run away from Arizona, beating the visitors by a score of 71-58 Thursday night in Boulder.
The Good: This wasn’t an NCAA Tournament game, so the season isn’t over, and nine different Wildcats saw action without suffering an injury.
That’s about it.
If one had to stretch to find something, you could point to five different Wildcats notching an assist. Mark Lyons did a solid job getting teammates open looks, notching four assists on the night. Forward Angelo Chol, back in the rotation, made 4-6 shots for eight points.
Oh, and the Wildcats had nine offensive rebounds compared to Colorado’s eight. Then again, that could probably be attributed to the fact that Arizona missed plenty of shots in this one. Which leads us to…
The Bad: You can start with Arizona’s shooting.
The Wildcats made just 42.3 percent of their shots and hit on just 5-19 three point attempts. And while the Buffaloes played solid defense in this one, Arizona missed a good many open looks. Can’t afford to do that, especially on the road.
Nick Johnson turned the ball over four times and Solomon Hill struggled to get going. Combine that with struggles from the team’s freshman, who combined to score just 14 points on the night, and you have a recipe for a loss.
And it didn’t help that Colorado, who was led by Spencer Dinwiddie and his 21 points, shot 50 percent from the field and made 9-17 threes.
Player of the Game: Colorado sophomore Spencer Dinwiddie scored 21 points on the night, with 19 of them coming in the second half. When Colorado needed a bucket they turned to him, and he delivered.
• This was the first meeting between the team’s since the infamous shot that was good but didn’t count.
• Colorado freshman Xavier Johnson scored a career-high 19 points in the game.
• The Wildcats cut the deficit to six with 10:59 left in the second half, but the Buffaloes responded with an 8-0 run to put the Cats away.
• Arizona lost consecutive games for the first time this season.
• Colorado’s Sabatino Chen scored 15 points in the first meeting between the teams; he missed his only shot attempt Thursday and finished with 0 points.
What’s Next: Arizona’s road swing continues as the team heads to Utah to take on the Utes Sunday. The Wildcats pulled out a 60-57 win over Utah when they last met at the McKale Center in Tucson. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Arizona time.