Basketball counteracts its shaky offense with solid defense

The University of Colorado men’s basketball earned their first conference road win and second overall conference win against Washington State on Saturday night.

In a long and hard-fought battle, the Buffs finished strongly with a 58-49 win over the Cougars. It was the Buffs’ relentless defense that allowed the team to stay in the game.

Spencer Dinwiddie drives against a Texas Southern defender in this file photo from Nov. 27, 2012. On Saturday, Dinwiddie scored 16 points. (Amy Leder/CU Independent File)

The Cougars’ record now stands at 10-8 overall and 1-4 in the Pac-12, while CU advances to 12-6 and 2-4. 

WSU’s field goal percentage was limited to 29.6 in the first half, which is the lowest of any CU opponent this season. 

Junior Andre Roberson’s persistent defense held the Pac-12’s second leading scorer, Brock Motum who averages 19.4 points per game, to 13 points on Saturday.

CU led by four points (23-19) going into intermission after the Cougars sunk a 3-point buzzer beater. 

The Cougars took an early lead in the second half, outscoring the Buffs 7-2 (26-25). Shortly after, WSU’s Royce Woolridge added five uninterrupted points to give the Cougars their largest lead of the night at 31-27.

With back-to-back points scored by freshman Xavier Johnson and sophomore Spencer Dinwiddie, the Buffs regained a one-point lead. 

Dinwiddie hit the Buffs’ only 3-pointer of the night. Over the past two games CU has shot poorly from behind the arc, only making 2-19 attempts.

Dinwiddie posted 16 points, Johnson provided 14 and freshman Josh Scott added 11. Sophomore Askia Booker had 7 points, and two of his field goals came at a critical moment in the game. CU’s bench added 20 points compared to WSU’s 11.

Johnson and Scott provided significant post presence for the Buffs by out-boarding the Cougars 36-32 and dominating the battles in the paint at 32-24.

CU did not post a single field goal for the last 6:15 of the game. Five free throws were the only points added then, four by Scott and one by Johnson.

The game was back and forth for a solid 10 minutes until Booker hit two jumpers and Dinwiddie added a three-point play, clinching the victory at 58-49.

Look out for the next home basketball games against Stanford at 8 p.m. Thursday and California at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jessica Malknecht at

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