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The University of Colorado men’s basketball beat the Arizona Wildcats 71-58 Thursday, healing a wound the left after teams’ previous encounter.
The last game on Jan. 3 was close, but ended with a ‘no’ call from the refs after a three point basket by senior guard Sabatino Chen sailed into the hoop with less than a second on the clock. The game ended up going into overtime and Arizona won it, 92-83.
Sophomore guard Spencer Dinwiddie said the team was more disappointed in themselves after the January loss, but they got a chance to redeem themselves at Coors Events Center in Boulder on Thursday.
“We were disappointed in ourselves with how we closed it off and we were disappointed with the call at the end of the game as well,” Dinwiddie said. “As far as the slump we went into, we are not blaming it on the call or the refs; we just played some bad basketball. The mark of a good team is to pull out of that and play some good basketball. We proved that tonight.”The first half went back and forth between the Buffs and Wildcats. With eight minutes remaining, Colorado led only by one, 18-17. In those remaining minutes of the half, they increased their lead and ended the half with a seven-point lead.
The Buffs came out strong in the second half and scored eight straight, unanswered points to start the half. The men expanded on that lead to finish the game 71-58.
“We held Arizona to 58 points, which is good enough to beat any good team because we will generally score 60 or more,” Dinwiddie said.
Colorado’s leading scorers were freshman forward Xavier Johnson with 19 and Dinwiddie with 21.
“I got to give credit to tonight to Xavier Johnson,” Dinwiddie said. “He made a ton of shots.”
Johnson says that he is able to do so well against the Arizona teams because he knows them so well.
“I knew them when I grew up,” Johnson said. “It fuels up my fire.”
With the win, the Buffs move to 17-7 overall and 7-5 in the Pac-12. Arizona is now 20-4 overall and 8-4 in the conference.
Arizona is ranked third in the Pac-12; Colorado is ranked fifth.
The atmosphere in Coors Events Center was electrifying. Students with season tickets were required to pick up paper versions in advance to avoid overflow, the game sold out and Coors’ 11,200 seats were filled. Head Coach Tad Boyle says that everyone should take credit for this win.
“This was a great atmosphere for college basketball tonight and the entire state of Colorado can be proud,” Boyle said.
Boyle said that the team will need an equal amount of support when they face Arizona State at 7 p.m. in Boulder on Saturday.
Click here for more from Thursday’s win including the #MillShake video.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jillian Arja at Jillian.Arja@colorado.edu.